Meeting Needs & Motivation
According to Choice Theory developed by William Glasser people behave to meet the basic needs of "safety & security, connection & belonging, power & competence, freedom & autonomy and enjoyment & fun." All behavior serves a purpose, and that purpose is to meet ones' needs at any particular moment in time. Conscious Discipline is a brain state model of classroom management that seeks to help children meet their basic needs of safety and connection so they can operate in the higher centers of the brain for increased learning. We must strive to create conditions under which a child's needs are met if we want more of what we teach to actually be learned.
Power & Competence
- We meet the need for power and competence by working hard to build skills and being successful.
- Educational tasks should be challenging but attainable. Differentiated instruction helps teachers meet a student's need for competence.
- Planning for success at the outset gives a shot of dopamine which will foster motivation to move on to the next challenge. (When using a progression of tasks in class the first 2 or 3 should be attainable by all students, giving everyone an entrance point and success at the outset. From there, some students will move quickly through several challenges until they are more challenged, and some will need more time a lot sooner, but they are all growing.
- If a student is overwhelmed by the task at hand and continually fails even though he/she is trying he/she cannot meet the need for power and competence and will more than likely find another way to meet this need. Possibly by resorting to disruptive behavior.
- Creating a grading system whereby students are held accountable for making progress from where they are beginning, show evidence of their learning, and can track their own progress, allows for all students to experience success and meet this basic need.
- Creating a clear definition of success and involving students in the process further meets the need for control.
- Holding students accountable for the work habits that are valued in the class or learning community places value in this area. This creates another area in which all students can shine, making positive choices, and be recognized for them. KIPP Schools consider the development of character strengths as important as teaching academic skills.
- Provide as many choices as you can when planning to help students meet the learning goals. There is always more than one way to get to the same place. Sometimes they don't see all of the choices available, let them know when they can make choices.
- Use games, movement, humor, skits, funny voices, music, props, rhyme, flavor, scent, stories, role plays, celebration, controversy, poems, and social interactions to engage emotion and insert some fun into the learning process. People go back for more of what they enjoy most.
- A good rubric or scale is essential for students to see their "target," but you don't need a rubric to measure joyful learning!!! You just know when it's there.
Students all come with different degrees/ratios of needs including safety & security, connection & belonging, power & competence, freedom & autonomy and fun & enjoyment, how will this influence my planning?