Bird Droppings October 20-21, 2010
How do we find democracy?
I often wonder why we have a dog last night was one of those as raced to get to the vet to pick our dog up after being boarded while we were in Florida. I some how hit every red light and every small batch of traffic as I tried to make it to the vet clinic before they closed. Today it actually was warmer than more recent nights and as I drove to school this morning the rain started. I do miss it when the sky is not crystal clear and Orion is covered in clouds. For a split second this morning our dog did not want to venture outside. As I turned back inside only to find as I stepped why my dog did not need to go out, a wonderful surprise I was standing in. My dog is still alive though I did threaten her life Funny how dog’s sense things maybe she felt the rain coming and she quickly retreated to the kitchen and then went and laid down on my wife’s chair sort of smiling at me. What you going to do now?
As I do so often each morning as I am looking in one place find another direction another thought. I have several of Dr. James Sutton’s books. Dr. Sutton’s lectures around the country on Conduct disorders and Oppositional Deviant Disorder, an interesting combination and as a teacher I see them all the time. Parents see some and in the work place many corporate issues and political issues stem from childhood issues such as these. I was looking through Dr. Sutton’s book 101 ways to make your class room special and found a website of Dr. Marvin Marshall Promoting Responsibility and learning, Dr. Marshall has developed a Hierarchy of Social Development. We need to send this to Washington as a reminder.
“A is for anarchy, B is for bullying, bossing around, C is for cooperation, conformity and D is for democracy – Level A is never acceptable, Level B is someone who needs to be bossed, level C is external and D is Internal” Dr. Marvin Marshall
One of the difficulties is many teachers and or leaders is they want their group to be a Level B or Level C because they want the authority and in doing so limit that group. Many teachers strive only for conformity and trying to go beyond that level is then difficult and or nearly impossible for the people under that type personality.
“At Level C, a person is not acting from an entirely genuine desire to be kind or respectful, tolerant, etc. Rather, at Level C, a person acts due to the presence or influence of someone else. Although this level is certainly acceptable (and even many adults never move past it in their own development), it is important for young people to understand that this is not the highest level of personal or social development.” Dr. Marvin Marshall
I think we all can relate to this level of socialization. I use a story from psychology where in an experiment a group of monkeys is trained to refrain from going after some bananas. It takes only a short time to have group influence on new members to the group. In the monkey story this is the level the monkeys operated on where the influences of others is the driving force and the limiting force. So often in society we place level C at the top and never mention anything better or higher.
“…it is important for young people to understand that this is not the highest level of personal or social development.” Dr. Marvin Marshall
By not telling and not disclosing an alternative allows for certain types of leaders and teachers to perpetuate their ideas and survive. Watching national politics unfold often the rules are made and remade to keep this type of system going even at a federal government level. When a malfunction occurs we quickly change the rule and always external reasons are the driving force.
“At Level D, a person is kind, (or tolerant, respectful, diligent, etc.), because he/she is motivated INTERNALLY. A person operating at this highest level of development acts kindly (tolerantly, respectfully, with diligence, etc.), WHETHER OR NOT someone is watching or supervising. At Level D, there is no desire to impress, be rewarded, or even be noticed. When operating at this very high level, a person acts in a kind, tolerant, respectful or diligent way without any EXTERNAL incentive to do so.” Dr. Marvin Marshall
I am sitting here sadly most people simply say no way it is not possible. It is way too mushy or no one acts that way. Yet educational leaders keep throwing it out. John Dewey in the early 1900’s proposed democracy in the class room. Back even further Thomas Jefferson wrote extensively on the issue enough that we remade the nickel for him of course on the other side is a buffalo which is a herding animal. Maybe that was the true hero of the coin and going back further to ancient Greeks democracy is a powerful word and tool when wielded. From Dr. Marshall a key thought for educators.
“When operating at this very high level, a person acts in a kind, tolerant, respectful or diligent way without any EXTERNAL incentive to do so.” Dr. Marvin Marshall
We escape from a discipline driven environment to a self motivating and stimulating structure.
“….a person of the highest character is motivated INTERNALLY to do the right thing simply because it is the right thing to do.” Dr. Marvin Marshall
“Although Level C operation leads to decent relationships with others, a decision to operate more consistently at Level D naturally leads to EXCELLENT relationships and, additionally, a strong sense of self-esteem. By focusing on the benefits of operating at Level D (the great feelings of inner satisfaction that come from knowing that you are an authentic and genuinely motivated individual), I have found that young people become inwardly motivated to WANT to reach for this highest level of personal development more and more often.” Dr. Marvin Marshall
I have observed many times young teachers and industry leaders come in and feel they can build a level D in their class room and in their job. In a manner of weeks usually within six months they are steadfastly operating at level C. I mentioned fear over the years as a possible cause but it may be deeper that that. It is easier to function at a level C and easier to walk away and go home each night. The parameters are more clearly defined and established I was drawing an illustration from sheep raising. I can build an electric fence that will confine my sheep. If I build it right and it will be a deterrent to predators as well so movement in and out will curtail. However what if and this is a big if I develop, train, raise, and or educate self motivating sheep. Each morning they vote on which pasture to graze and when to return to the barn and on how long to stay out and other sheep issues. We become a level D sheep flock and no sheep dog is needed and many issues involving new sheep training can be done on a basic discussion level, bahhhh! One of the reasons level D is so hard to attain and even consider is so many leaders in the world look at people as sheep and will say they can not do this so instead the following exist.
“Cooperates – Does what is expected – Exhibits self-discipline, kindness, responsibility, reliance, etc.–when someone else is present to provide the motivation” Dr. Marvin Marshall
Good little children all in a row all are coloring with a red crayon just as I ask. It takes a renegade or an instigator to mix up desks and to offer other colors. But with a little thinking and a little confidence in the resources of mankind it is possible and students employees can achieve.
“Develop self-discipline – Show kindness to others – Develop self-reliance – Demonstrate responsibility – Do good because it is the right thing to do.” Dr. Marvin Marshall
Attaining a democracy is truly not all that hard it takes a bit more humility and a bit more concern for your people or students, “because it is the right thing to do.” Today is a new day a wonderful day I went out earlier and it was still cool this morning so I did not sit on my porch and listened to the morning crickets as most were quiet and few were out. Today I had to only imagine and sat down to write so please keep all in harms way on your mind and in your hearts.