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THE CHOICE THEORY IN SCHOOL

The goal of the programme - Programme contents: - An overview of schools in the Republic of Croatia - books - Authors' note (Glasser's model)

Introduction


Throughout the history of mankind the problem was how to transfer knowledge, values and attitudes. To this purpose was done much on the plan of the pedagogic-psychological science but the fact is that a good part of these discoveries cannot fully satisfy the requirements for transfer to the "younger" of the knowledge, values and quality of the "older" acquired until now. Maybe there is a mistake, because little attention was paid in the previous work to the manner in which we transfer the knowledge. A number of professionals in methodology and didactics may disagree but we can see that the results of the transfer of knowledge achieved through exceptional efforts of teachers, professors, educators, and parents who are nowadays better trained than ever, in terms of didactics-methodology, have been growing worse. From our talks with teachers, educators and parents it is visible that they apply the most of the psychological-pedagogic science as demanded today yet the results are worse and teachers and parents ever more unsatisfied. They have less success, or better, they have less control over the education of children. Gradually they give up or resort to the drastic measures of constraint in order to "pour" as much facts as possible into their children or pupils' heads with faith that this is their future, which we doubt.
What is less accounted is to answer the questions:

  • does our previous practice produce results
  • what are the relations like in which we try to act on someone
  • is it possible and in what way to act on someone, "shape" someone
  • what can we do to become more effective
  • what to do to have a healthier and happier generation left behind
  • what to do to be happier ourselves, more satisfied and proud of our children, pupils or students
  • how to have daily effect on someone in a quality setting without coercion
  • do we believe we can raise and educate the generation to live after us in relations without coercion and know how to build such relations, of higher quality than these we live through so hard today.


  • We have been looking for answers to these questions in years of our practice, cooperation with parents, teachers, professionals, locally and globally, and ten years ago we have started with a programme that lived many changes and additions in the past but provided us with answers to the most of the questions we asked ourselves then.

    "We have to create conditions in which pupils feel safe enough to be able to risk failure. The fear is the major obstacle in learning: the fear from failure, fear from criticism, fear from being stupid. The teacher in the quality school enables each child to make mistakes without being punished. Once the fear is removed the child tries all his/her capacities. To welcome mistakes means to encourage learning. To build confidence means to make me feel I care: I am here to help you not to hurt you. I care about your interests. When you succeed and satisfy your needs then I feel the same". Dr.William Glsser

    Much of the answer we found in the personal perceptions of man as the being living and satisfying only his own needs and motivated exclusively from inside. Our dear teacher Dr. William Glaser pointed this to us in his theory of inner motivation and action of the man in his environment called The Choice Theory. We had the honour of working with and collaborating with Nikola Kraljić in the atmosphere of the humanistic philosophic thinking that the man is good by his nature and that all he does is for the good. These two circumstances together with expert assistance and respect we had in the milieu in which we live directed us toward finding an answer to the above questions. The application of these perceptions in practice was support to us to continue and persist in the shaping of the school and education different from the one traditionally established, together with hundreds of teachers in the country and abroad.



    1. According to data from the William Glaser Institute, more than 60% of primary and secondary school pupils are neither active in the educational process nor performing adequately to the maximum of their capacities.

    2. The educational technology is still based on the approach of the so-called external motivation, which can not ensure the optimum psychosocial conditions for a responsible and active personal engagement in the education.

    3. Inside the educational system, the teachers and pupils, and parents and the local community indirectly, cannot meet their own psychological needs in full. Often, as a consequence of this occur difficulties in the personal development, interpersonal communication difficulties, as well as difficulties in solving specific problems.

    4. An increase of occurrences of the social pathology among children and youths is progressive. In the total population of Croatia, as perpetrators of criminal actions, children and underage persons take up between 2% and 4%. In the population of perpetrators of criminal acts, children and underage persons take up approximately 11% to 16%. Depending on researches, predelinquent behaviours appear in the future delinquent population with the rate of 50% to 85%, primarily in all different forms of school failure and ill success.

    5. The progressive increase has been recorded also in the drug abuse: "Researches showed that about 5% of the urban adolescent population abused a sort of drugs other than alcohol or tobacco. At least one experiment with illegal drugs was made by approximately 20% of youth under 16 years old. In the last three years, in Zagreb in the "Sisters of Mercy" clinical hospital was recorded more than 1.000 new cases of youths with drug-taking related problems.
    The drugs are taken by ever younger adolescents and the period between the taking of mild drugs and the transition to the hard opiate drugs has considerably shortened. Especially increased among the youths is the criminality related to drugs. More and more displaced persons take drugs." (S. Sakoman in the Almanach "Together Against Addiction", 1995)

    6. The areas exposed to war activities are in particular danger: as to the official data from 1992, out of the 600.000 displaced persons, the ratio of preschool age children is 20% and 35% are school age children. In the population of the displaced children in Zagreb, 92% of them were exposed to armed conflicts, 42% witnessed wounding and 28% witnessed killing (Stuvland and Kuterovac, 1992). On the sample of 163 displaced children in Zagreb, Vidović and associates found fear in 58% of these children, regressive dependence on parents in 53%, and the general fear and restlessness were found in 22% of these children.



    We wish to take you through the programme that was designed initially as help to teachers in the primary school "Fran Franković" in Rijeka where the Head of the school, Professor Jakov Curać who always had understanding for children with behavioural disorders and for his personnel, set this task. The task he assigned to us, then the workers of the Rijeka Counceling Centre for children, youths, marriage and family, was to see teachers, parents and children satisfied and we are expert in these problems. As workers of the Counceling Centre he believed we were competent to do this in his school. What we had in mind then and designed was going very slow because our skills and knowledge were limited and rather poor in the area of the internal motivation. But, our desire was big and we tried.

    Quality school is a school without coercion in which the principals, teachers and pupils satisfy their needs by employing the choice theory and lead management. The school where the useful curriculum is taught, the one important for life skills (speech, reading, writing, problem solving) may convince pupils that the education process will improve the quality of their lives if they invest some effort.

    In the quality school, the participants in the education process will say:

    Pupils: - I love school, I want to go to school every day; I learn things that I believe to be helpful in life; Now is my performance in school better than ever, I would call some of my work the quality work.

    Teachers: - I love working in this friendly school: nobody forces me and I do not force anyone; They treat me as an expert and encourage me to teach the curriculum in the way that I find the best for my pupils; I like the new method of selfevaluation of pupils; I do not think about disciplinary problems any longer ? they disappeared from classes where I teach.

    Principals: - When problems occur both teachers and pupils participate in the problem solving process; Lead management is my basic style of managing; Problems with discipline are reduced to the minimum and the force or coercion is eliminated; The school will always focus and strive for cooperation, selfevaluation and quality work.
    Soon we realized that this was a process to last for several years. Then, we did not know how to set the time but we left the possibility open for additional training and improvement not only for us but also for teachers, parents and pupils. We started the professional improvement and training all alone and gradually we discovered the boundaries of the process. It is hard to change systems. This was not our desire but this was not possible without changes in the school management system and in the leading of children toward knowledge.

    In order not to bore the readers with history of this programme, which grew into a project, we shall take the liberty to present the basic characteristics of the programme that proved its efficiency for teachers in schools both in satisfying their personal needs, strengthening and self-assessment, their acting in their own families, and in the work in school with children entrusted with them for education. Yet, for the final and complete results you will have to wait until the end of this review because the review is scientifically based on results obtained in the school that persisted in the process for the longest time.

    The goal of the programme

    What was our goal? It kept changing as we were monitoring the process but now we may say that the goals divided into long-term and short-term goals.

    The long-term goals are focused on the process through which the system of relations in the school gradually changed and we could count them through:

  • development of the teacher's skills and methodic procedures whose aim is to increase the level of success of each participatant in the educational process; razvoj učiteljevih vještina i metodičkih postupaka koji imaju za cilj povećanje uspješnosti svakog sudionika u odgojno-obrazovnom procesu,
  • development of communication with focus on the mutual quality satisfaction of basic human needs,
  • development of identity of the school based on the principles of active cooperation, success.


  • These goals are achieved through the programme in the process of development of skills and methods of work that can direct the school work toward success:

    1.how to motivate pupils to involve personally into the life and work of the school
    2.how to build and develop mutual respect in relations with pupils
    3.how to help pupils develop responsible behaviour
    4.how to eliminate failure from the programme
    5.how to eliminate problems related to discipline, the major problem of the school, by dealing with success
    6.how to include parents and the community into the work of the school using efficient techniques.

    CHOICE THEORY
    explains psychological and physiologic behaviours of all living beings.

    CHOICE THEORY
    claims that all we do from birth until death is in fact behaving and that our behaviour is motivated from inside and chosen.

    CHOICE THEORY
    is opposite to the traditional and worldwide accepted common sense psychology ? the theory of stimulus-response (S ? R theory) which claims that the behaviour is externaly motivated. Contrary, each behavioural pattern of ours is our best attempt to satisfy one or more of the five basic needs incorporated into our genetic structure.

    CHOICE THEORY
    claims we can control only our own behaviour. Using this theory we help people learn that what we do is not determined by external causes but by what is going on inside us.

    The short-term goals we wish to achieve, being the base for the long-term goals, are:
  • acquiring knowledge in the domain of the humanistic psychology
  • acquiring knowledge in the area of the Dr. William Glaser's choice theory
  • acquiring new methodological procedures that improve considerably the educational success.


  • Using this cognition we reach the stimulating psychosocial climate, i.e.:
    1.development of the quality communication between the school management, teachers, pupils and parents
    2.stimulation of the inner motivation of pupils with encouraging of the responsible approach toward the personal education
    3.stimulation of cooperation at all levels
    4.training of teachers and pupils for creative solving of problem situations
    5.relieving tensions in school


    Programme contents

    Phase One - Phase Two - Phase three

    The programme developed in stages that followed the processes in schools so that today we can speak of several programme phases. We agreed to divide the programme phases into years in which the programme is conducted. Regarding the needs of the programme and the needs for monitoring of the programme, so far, we have adopted the active part of the programme in five stages:

    Phase One
    This phase is the oldest one and its characteristic is to satisfy the short-term goals and it is conducted in the first year of the work with teachers of the interested school. In this period, there are three seminars within four months with teachers who express the wish to be trained in this way. All seminars have their names, depending on the topic and actual contents, which are:

    I."The inner strength of the class"
    II."Team cooperative learning"
    III."Quality school"

    Before we present each of these three seminars in details, it is important to mention that the teachers are included in the work on the voluntary basis. The previous results indicate that the speed of the process in the school depends on the number of teachers included in the work. Actually, the larger the number of teachers in one school included in this phase, the faster the process and the set goals are achieved sooner.

    And vice versa, the processes run slower if only a few teachers are included in the programme.

    All three seminars are weekend seminars so that the regular work of the school remains undisturbed and each of them lasts 24 school hours. It is characteristic to all these seminars that they represent a combination of experiencing workshops, lectures and instructions through dynamic action of all participants in the seminar.

    "I received a plenty of new information, ideas for designing my work with children aiming at the higher quality work and better results. Meeting, getting closer and connecting better with people on the same tasks. Pleasant associating and cheerful mood".

    "I received many guidelines that I wish to apply in my work and life which make me think about the quality of my work and life. I think, create ideas in my head, put them on paper and wish to materialise them soon as to see their effects as soon as possible."

    "We presented spontaneously and relaxed our visions created during discussions about our desires, and desires of others, without constraint and at the same time we respected every judgment that might produce a more valuable picture of life."

    Our experiences obtained through written feedback from the participants of the seminar indicated that such a work was acceptable to them and the knowledge and skills acquired through such work became longer lasting and easily applied in the work as soon as the next day.

    It is important to mention that the process runs faster if the principal and professional services are included in the seminar. It is ideal if all are included ? the principal, professional services and teachers.

    The inner strength of the class
    This is the name of the first seminar which aims at teaching and refreshing the levels and conditions of the mutual communication of teachers in the very beginning so as to enable them communicate through these elements later in the group, in school and in their contacts with parents. Such knowledge allows them to be trained to recognise and teach pupils communicate clearer, with more of tolerance.
    In this direction, later in the seminar they get familiar with elements of the choice theory: the world of quality, human needs, and the initial elements for creating a more responsible environment, in which they live and work. Specially introduced to their work are elements of cooperation, and permanent re-evaluation and assessment of what they used to do until now with quality and success, in order to continue in that direction.

    Team - cooperative learning The basic theme of this seminar is the technique of work in schools for high efficiency in the work, increase of the number of pupils who start to learn, and also structuring the conditions for learning in which all pupils can satisfy their needs and where the learning, knowledge and contents they learn enter their world of quality.

    An overview of schools in the Republic of Croatia in which was implemented a part of the programme " CHOICE THEORY IN THE SCHOOL" (1990 - 1999.)

    COUNTY

    SCHOOL

    PHASE

    YEAR

     

     

    PRIMORJE

     

     

     

    GORSKI KOTAR

     

    PS Fran Franković

    RIJEKA

    Shipbuilding and machinery school for industry and craftwork vocations RIJEKA

    Chemical technology school RIJEKA

    Medical school RIJEKA

    PS Rikarda Katalinića Jeretova OPATIJA

    I.

     

    I.

     

    I.

    I.

    I.

    1990

     

    1994

     

    1995

    1998

    1991

     

     

    ISTRIA

    Primary school

    PAZIN

    Secondary school Jurja Dobrile PAZIN

    Secondary school Mate Blažine LABIN

    II.

     

    II.

    I.

    1996

     

    1996

    1995

    ZADAR

    PS OBROVAC

    PS PAKOŠTANE

    PS BIOGRAD

    I.

    I.

    I.

    1998

    1998

    1998

    ŠIBENIK

    KNIN

    Primary school KNIN

    I.

    1998

    SPLIT

    DALMATIA

    PS Kneza Branimira

    DONJI MUĆ

    PS Ivana Mažuzanića

    HAN/SINJ

    I.

    I.

    1998

    1998

     

    DUBROVNIK

     

    NERETVA

    PS CAVTAT

    PS ŽUPA DUBROVAČKA

    PS Lapad

    DUBROVNIK

    O.š.Marina Držića

    DUBROVNIK

    PS Mokošica

    DUBROVNIK

    II.

    II.

     

    II.

    II.

    I.

    1998

    1998

     

    1998

    1998

    1994

    ZAGREB

    PS Pantovčak

    ZAGREB

    I.

    1995

    OSIJEK

    BARANJA

    Medical school

    OSIJEK

    I.

    1998



    Parallel to these tasks, the work is done on the actual techniques of creating an environment of more responsible behaviour of children in the school and more efficient solving of conflicts, with active inclusion of pupils in solving their own problems. The theoretic explanations of behaviour that we deal with are based on the Choice Theory. An important element of this meeting is the transfer of the teacher from the teacher-worker situation into the teacher-leader (manager) situation.

    This meeting, together with the previous one provides teachers with a large number of techniques for work with pupils that they can apply in the next period and report about the results on the next seminar. The written and verbal reviews of implementation of these elements are a must.

    Quality school

    This is a very dynamic seminar based on the exchange of experiences of teachers in the implementation of the knowledge acquired so far. Also, the meeting includes a part of the programme in which the participants meet with elements of the quality school ? school without coERCION.

    "I am richer now for one experience. I made another step toward the quality school that I welcome as an idea. Associating with my colleagues is very pleasant. I learnt that learning through fun and entertainment is easy, I think that the knowledge acquired thus is longer lasting."

    "I adopted the vision of new work so we can finally remove the old stereotype method of repetition and precognition."

    "I acquired a new idea of quality catechism in school and in the parish. How to transfer the quality to other catechists? I do not think it is going to be hard. The cooperation with catechists and pupils and better cooperation with their parents. A quality catechism."

    "Socialising like this made me think about myself, my life and my work. My knowledge is richer through sharing experiences with my colleagues. My wish is now stronger to participate with my work in the creation of the quality school."

    These are elements of valuation because, as a rule, in the reports received from teachers there are problems of how to value and rate the success. The traditional school has no answer to this because it deals with valuation and rating of failure ? ill success, as a rule. Of course, this is only one of characteristics of the school without coerciont. Other elements are improved cooperation and sharing experiences in the school, between teachers.
    This meeting concludes the first phase of the project and participants are given certificates of successfully mastered programme described earlier by implementing the acquired knowledge.

    Phase Two

    The second year of the project is dedicated only to those schools that decided to continue with this process after the Phase One and as a rule these schools are the ones in which the principal, professional services and at least one half of all teachers is involved in the process, too.

    "I always get stronger when I feel there are people prepared more to give than take. Thank you!"

    "No chance I miss any of the future seminars. Socialising was very pleasant and learnt more about people I meet. Cordial regards to the team!"

    "I could have "enjoyed" the yields of my many years of work (retirement) but the desire to learn something new and to help those that need help from me awakes in me the desire for seminars like this and for the participation in the work during these meetings. Wonderful leaders-moderators contributed to this with their kindness and enormous knowledge that they wished to share with us."

    "We should socialise and learn in such manner. The learned matter is to be transferred to the young who expect us to do so and this is our professional duty."

    "This seminar gave me more self-confidence, I established communication with people I did not know well, I found out that there were no insolvable problems ? the point is to be persistent, help and understand each other. Applying only one bit of what I learnt will help me in my work, the reunion will reaffirm the immeasurable and priceless: the pleasant socialisation and readiness of leaders to help us."

    "Each time I am on such seminars my ideas get wings, I recharge my batteries necessary for realisation of these ideas. I can see more clearly and distinctively from close all I catch on the fly in corridors and around, all that bothers me but not clear what it is about. Once this is clarified to me, the opportunities are created for solutions (and new ideas) and how to carry them out. Contacts are warmer with people with whom I spend a large portion of my life every day without knowing them."

    "I shall try to apply the acquired knowledge in my personal life in relations with others. I wish this project include as many people as it can so we can understand each other better, make our entire living be of higher quality."

    This phase was also conducted in several schools and it consists of three new seminars called:

    IV - Personally toward the quality
    V - My school - Quality school
    VI - Selfevaluation

    These seminars are conducted in the same manner, on weekends, and on the base of the same levels of moderation, teaching, and workshop-experiencing activities. We are expected now to focus more on the management of the process and less on additional knowledge through lectures. After the first phase, teachers expect us to provide in-depth process and leading in that direction. In this phase, the activities in the school are intensified both on the plan of projects (class, team or school levels) and in the elimination of ill success on the educational plan.

    Personally toward the quality

    This seminar is focused on the personal quality in the implementation of the theory of internal motivation and how to achieve the same with each single pupil.
    The quality school is no fiction if all participants in the educational process are fully aware of their own quality. The competition stops then and stereotypes are removed such as inferiority and superiority or "I am the one to teach you and you are here to listen to me". Created are equal relations of cooperation and joint education and life-related contents.
    By the end of the seminar every participant shall have selected an area for which he/she believes to be of the highest quality to contribute to the work in the school. In the phases to come, the same experiences will be transferred to pupils and parents.

    My school - Quality school
    The task of the seminar is to design the vision of the school as a quality school on the large plan of action, relations, and image (identity) of the school, inside and outside. Beside the creativity, both parents and pupils should develop also a very real vision of the school over the longer period of time. The tasks taken over in this seminar are indispensable for sake of the next seminar and the end of this phase (selfevaluation). Wishes are elaborated in this part and activities are directed toward the realisation of these wishes.

    "Finally, the time has come to move toward the quality work and quality school, which is necessary for better progress and welfare of the school. A new approach and help provided to us who work and the greatest joy is to help children and have them start learning in a different way, and that learning means power, friendship. We do not learn for school's sake but for life: this is a great help to the hard and many years long work of teachers."

    The mood of participants is best illustrated by the poem read at the end of the seminar to facilitators of the 5th Seminar in Dubrovnik:

    "From the rainy North Jagoda, Toni and Milivoj flew again down to our warm South, and the road leads on toward the Quality school. Matija is a pearl of our town and masters the matter well. Here we are all old acquaintances and some new ones, welcome to all. How to create the quality school, you ask. The answer we all shall find. Why is the school important to us? To make our children happier, better, to love each other, agree with one another and understand. To let them learn without coercion and to choose. To let them see the quality in what they learn and to have no problems bothering them. To make self-assessment, this is a thing to do and there will never be much ado. We shall kick out punishment and threat and yet all shall obey the rules.

    The quality life in a town depends on the school and its QUALITY WORK. Come back dear Rijeka's people, we wait for you with sun in our bay".

    "I would like the school that I work in to be famous for its quality and beyond. Seminars helped me a lot to reach the quality for which I personally express my gratitude."

    "May our leaders-moderators bring us all together at least twice a year. And in the future. Without such gatherings and meetings the quality of our school or schools remains on the same line. Seminars are an impulse, an incentive to us teachers".

    "I am thrilled with this fifth meeting and I am never bored. I have learnt something better than the way I thought it was so. I wish I had many more of such meetings".

    On the school level is important the consensus about things that the school finds important. It is interesting that these consensuses are different in different schools, which is good because it unveils and creates the identity of every school as a separate educational subject.

    Selfevaluation

    This seminar concludes the second phase of the programme Choice Theory in School. It rounds up the achievements with clear elements of self-assessment: what was to be achieved and how far did it go. The tasks are checked for the future and goals and the direction is set for what is important to us.

    "Thank God there are who wish to deal with the toughest and most essential problems of the hard educational work sphere in times as hard as these. Keep on. You succeeded in awakening the desire for changes for the better in many of us, for happiness of young generations. May good luck follow you all the way."

    "The seminar was just in the right time to find solutions ? make agreements on activities that "bother" us in our collective. The problems we discussed already in our collective are now on their way toward solution. I cannot say how happy I am. I look forward to the Sixth meeting."

    "The idea of the quality school is an excellent thing. However, the basic problem will be to get the support from parents. There are many of them being illiterate (verbatim), irresponsible, oversensitive, unemployed and under stress due to war sufferings. Should the parent be the one to fail in the teacher-pupil-parent triangle there would be no results".

    "I thank for the knowledge, love and understanding. I was reminded of what I heard before and partially forgot. I want the quality school, quality life and quality individuals for cooperation. I will try to transfer to children as much as I can to help them become persons of as high quality as possible".

    As a rule, now we have developed the complete picture of quality relations, and how they occur.

    At the end of this phase all participants receive certificates proving not only that they have the knowledge about the abovementioned areas but that they also use it actively.

    Phase Three

    The third phase is the next phase for schools that are:
    - interested, from the management level to the level of teachers, provided they have passed the previous two phases. This phase is designed in cooperation with schools:

  • where teachers are prepared to actively transfer the knowledge from the previous phases to pupils and parents
  • where the school management guarantees to continue with the process. In our previous experiences we have realised that the process was blocked in schools where the change of the principal has occurred.



  • BOOKS IN CROATIAN

    W. Glasser: Quality school, Educa, Zagreb (Tel. 01/678-746)
    W. Glasser:A Teacher in the Quality School, Educa Zagreb
    W.Glasser: The manager and the Choice Theory, Varazdin Business School (Tel. 042/212-997)
    Other books were published by Alinea Zagreb (Tel. 01/46-55-060; Tel. or Fax 46-55-058; e-mail: alinea@zg.tel.hr)
    W.Glasseer: The Control Theory
    E.P.Good: Searching for Happiness
    E.P.Good: How to help kids so they can help themselves
    E.P.Good: It Is Good to Be the Boss
    E.P. Good: General Direction
    B.Boffey: To Be Recreated
    R..A. Sullo: Teach Them To Be Happy
    D.Gossen & J. Anderson: Creating Conditions for Quality School
    B.Greene: New Paradigms for Creation of the Quality Schools
    R.E. Wubbolding: Applying the Reality Therapy
    R.E.Wubbolding: How to Understand the Reality Therapy
    R.E. Wubbolding: How to Successfully Lead People


    The mentioned contemplations of ours are the consequence of the monitoring of the process in schools where the project is conducted.

    This phase includes two one-day seminars of 10 school hours each and we suggest that the first one be held in the beginning of the school year and the second during the springtime vacations. Contents of these seminars are related to the contents that the school requires or needs. As to the previous experiences from the work with schools, two types of contents are wanted:

    VII - "School Without Coercion"
    VIII- "Achievements"

    These contents are conditioned by some special needs such as repetition of particular contents of the earlier seminars because, for example, the school grew larger, new teachers were employed who never had an opportunity to meet with such work, etc.

    This one and the next phase are conducted in strict cooperation of the programme leaders-moderators or persons appointed by authors or school managements.

    School without coercion
    Although this is one of the subtitles of the programme in this stage are evaluated and assessed elements of the constraint in the particular, which still remain in the work with pupils and in relations inside the collective, and how to eliminate them. In this stage, the school has no problems with the discipline of pupils or ill success and it is considerably prepared to solve these problems competently without external help. Some teachers have already progressed so much in the implementation of these programme elements as to be able to transfer the knowledge skillfully to colleagues in other schools.

    Achievements
    This seminar, prepared together with teachers from the school, establishes the elements of monitoring of the Phase One and Two in the work with parents and pupils. In the school, which is the only one to have completed this phase until now, in the four-year period, the primary school "Janka Glazerja", Ruše, Slovenia was selected one of programme leaders-facilitators who was enabled to stay more often in the school and work on the elimination of some obstacles in the process. This school has finished the Phase Four and thus it is able to act on its own, without any external professional support. Now it is quite close to becoming the school without constraint, the quality school.

    Authors' note

    During the long years of cooperation with professional services in schools and some teachers, primarily in Rijeka and then in other areas, we heard their ideas of an efficient school that they strived for. We saw the enthusiasm of these people, love for the job and children they worked with but also many ideas of the traditional stimulus-response model; they believed they could make poor performers (pupils) work more in the school, using the external stimuli ? negative marks, more homework, and punishments for bad behaviour; they blamed the pupils' parents for the ill success of their pupils, as well as the over-extensive curricula or their own undermined social reputation.

    Working with poor performers or "problematic" pupils and their parents we kept realising that the school did not satisfy their needs. Aware of the Dr. Glasser's attitude that the quality school is the one where teachers and pupils satisfy their basic psychological needs we designed the programme for training of teachers in which we offered the Dr. Glasser's model of lead management instead of boss management in the school. We did that in the way that we put the people who are professionals in their work into the position of pupils that we were leading by following the Dr. Glasser's ideas of the teacher as a modern manager.

    Teachers accepted such model of work, rather unusual at that time. In their written reports and reviews of the teaching units structured so as to make pupils work in teams, not one of the teachers reported results poorer than those achieved through the traditional formal method of work.
    The majority of them noticed the increased motivation of pupils, the reduction of disciplinary problems, and the healthier interpersonal relations among pupils. A geography teacher said: "In this time of the year (May 1991), after six hours of the frontal teaching, I used to be breathless. Working in the way we do now, through cooperative learning, I feel relaxed and fresh and satisfied."

    The teacher's profession is probably one of the toughest and teachers are trained for lecturing rather than for motivating pupils to invest efforts into their school work. In the quality school, almost all pupils create conditions the quality school work. In such work there is no force, no coercion, pupils understand what they learn and assess the quality of the performance.

    Our work is not an alternative curriculum but rather a programme that makes the educational workers start the higher quality relations in their school, with parents and the local community.

    The programme of the seminar "CHOICE THEORY IN THE SCHOOL" does not deal directly with school success, school discipline problems, unexcused absences, or solves delinquent and addictive behaviours of pupils.

    However, the assessment of the seminar obtained from the interviewed teachers speaks about:

  • increased activity and interest of children in the curriculum
  • increased self-help in the classroom and responsibility for others
  • increased discipline
  • reduced number of unexcused and excused absences
  • increased cooperation of teachers who are satisfied with the work
  • The text before you is the review of our attempt to bring closer to Croatian teachers one of the most innovative ideas of the pedagogic practice in the world for which we believe to be the technology of the school work in the 21st century.

    YOU ARE INVITED TO JOIN US!