First Glasser Quality School in Ireland



Friday 5th March is an incredibly significant landmark in Irish education.  It is that day that an education centre declares itself as in full flight as a Glasser Quality School.  This is not a spur-of-the-moment thing for Youthreach Trim Quality Centre of Education but something that has taken years to put into place.  There is firm evidence of its success in the well-nigh 100% attendance record and the joyful atmosphere of learning that pervades the centre, obvious even to the casual visitor.


The Glasser Quality School approach represents a radical change from traditional education.  Fortunately many elements of the approach are to be found with increasing frequency in mainstream education and have been the unwritten philosophy of the marvellous Youthreach Centres and Community Training Workshops that are dotted around the country.


Today we celebrate with the students of Trim, their parents, community, teachers and the management of Co. Meath V.E.C.  Today is not the end of the process but the celebration of firm foundations and firm commitment.  Like any good relationship that between students and staff will be reworked every day, constantly assessing new factors and working together in a powerful spirit of collaboration.

Becoming a Glasser Quality School only happens after a long process of staff-training and then implementing the ideas in the daily life of the centre under the supervision of WGI faculty.  By declaring themselves a Glasser Quality School in consultation with WGI faculty, the centre indicates that it has reached and practises the following goals:

  1. Our relationships are based upon trust and respect, and all discipline problems, not incidents, have been eliminated.
  2. Total Learning Competency is stressed and an evaluation that is below competence or what is now a “B” has been eliminated. All schooling as defined by Dr. William Glasser has been replaced by useful education.
  3. All students do some Quality Work each year that is significantly beyond competence. All such work receives an “A” grade or higher, such as an “A+”.
  4. Students and staff are taught to use Choice Theory in their lives and in their work in school. Parents are encouraged to participate in study groups to become familiar with the ideas of Dr. William Glasser.
  5. Students do better on state proficiency tests and college entrance examinations. The importance of these tests is emphasized in the school.
  6. Staff, students, parents and administrators view the school as a joyful place.

At the core of the Glasser Quality School is the idea that  each person controls himself or herself, is motivated from within.  Learning, therefore, cannot be forced on a student but the presentation of the subject matter and the teaching relationship can be such that learning is attractive.  Discipline problems, in Glasser’s approach, are not addressed by increasing rules and regulations but by changing the whole approach of the centre or school.  The new focus is not on control but on achievement.  Very high standards of work are expected and achieved.  Lower standards are regarded as incomplete rather than as failures.

There will be those who do not believe these things are possible.   The evidence is Trim Youthreach!

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