Characteristics of a Quality School

The following chart compares the Glasser Quality School with a more traditional school using a number of different parameters.  Fortunately most schools have long moved away from the traditional model depicted below.



THEORY Choice Theory External Control Theory
MANAGEMENT Lead Management Boss Management
CONTROL Internal External
NEED FOCUS needs of the whole school community boss’s needs
FOCUS OF CHANGE the whole system including teacher and teaching methods students
ATMOSPHERE confidence, trust fear, insecurity
comfortable strained
open discussion of quality sets tasks and standards
invites ideas on improving learning situations no discussion of teacher’s methods
teacher shows or models job teacher tells what to do
aims at need satisfaction aims at silence, control
attempts to entertain outlaws entertainment
RELATIONSHIP friendly, involvement, “professional friendship” lukewarm-cold, distant, critical, “professional distance”
equality, first names superiority, titles
co-operative adversarial (competition)
teacher as co-learner teacher as expert
teacher as facilitator of learning teaching activity done “to” students
use of self-disclosure arms length
caring coercion
emphasis on “we”, community emphasis on “I”, ego-centricism
see students as wanting to learn see students as unwilling to learn
use of peer tutors, community teacher as source of learning
co-operative learning groups individual learning
class meetings regularly course content focus
makes effort to know each student tends to get to know the brighter students and the most disruptive
SUBJECT MATTER emphasis on using knowledge and learning skills emphasis on rote learning of knowledge
useful unrelated to real life
help students put material in their quality world teach bare content
TIME take time needed to learn meet time deadlines
initially requires more time always requires time
EVALUATION internal evaluation external evaluation
aim for competence and quality accept minimal standards
sign of frustration sign of malice
frustration in school causes discipline problems discipline problems cause frustration in school
solve problems together teacher deals with problems
works at preventing problems works at dealing with problems
focus on need satisfaction focus on punishment/reward/force
focus on what to fix, future focus on whose fault, policing, past
GRADES always temporary fixed
based on quality based on minimal standards
used to empower used as punishment/reward
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