The Three Beliefs

The cornerstone of creating a need-satisfying learning environment is addressing assumptions and beliefs about the nature of behavior and of compulsion.

  1. I think and act in ways that I believe will help me meet a need, not because I’ve been conditioned to respond to an external signal.
  2. I cannot make others do things they do not want to do. I can only provide information; Others cannot control how I think, act, and feel.
  3. Every person has the right to be free from ridicule, threats, punishments, and rewards as a means for compelling them to do things they do not want to do.

These beliefs are the exact opposite of what Dr. William Glasser called “External Control Psychology.”

Educators, parents, and children who can at least verbally assent to these beliefs are well on the road to understanding how important it is to honor and respect the intrinsic freedoms of others.

Without these beliefs in place, school culture is at risk of remaining or becoming a place where power struggles and secrecy are the norm instead of openness and negotiation.

Philip Mott

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