Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Marvin Marshall's Raise Responsibility framework rejects both punishing and rewarding students. Instead, we encourage students to develop personal responsibility. Ultimately, we want citizens to do the right thing always - not just to avoid punishment, not just to receive rewards.

Chris Biffle's Whole Brain Teaching emphasizes making teaching as engaging as possible, which both increases understanding and retention *and* reduces misbehavior. However, class rules and rewards are an integral part of his vision. Can I be a WBT without using his rules? without the scoreboard?

I rolled out the scoreboard this week -- I've used it successfully in the past -- and realized that if the kids work toward earning points and, therefore, a reward, I am in direct conflict with my Marshall Raise Responsibility values.

What to do?

On top of it all, I continue to struggle with ... all of it!

I think I need to choose.

The goals of RR are more important to me at this point. Perhaps I will adopt the WBT engagement approaches -- teach-okay, mirroring, etc. -- and leave the rules and scoreboard behind.

1 comment:

  1. Actually, do not be confused by semantics. What Marshall describes as "responsibilities" can easily be substituted as the rules in WBT. The WBT "rules" really are expectations, and can be presented as such.

    Marshall says rules lead to conflict, but WBT rules are non-confrontational. You remind everyone of the rules after a violation by having everyone repeat the rule. The violator stops, without feeling they have been singled out. It is a reminder of expectations.

    The WBT Scoreboard game is still valid. If your kids are meeting expectations how will they know? The Scoreboard Game gives you a visual cue for your kids for when they are meeting your expectations.

    In my opinion, the two systems are not incompatible. In fact, most of what Marshall advocates is readily achieved by WBT techniques.