One immediate way to promote student responsibility is to add three
words to classrooms:
These words need to be seen, verbalized and repeated constantly.
Students need to understand they are responsible for their actions.
When a student doesn't turn in homework, it is that person's
choice. If a student doesn't prepare for a test, it is a choice.
Educators need students to know that they "pick, choose, decide."
For the student who doesn't turn in homework, educators need to
tell the person it was a choice.
Students pick, choose and decide all the time. Educators can
promote responsibility by making sure students see the words "pick,"
"choose" and "decide" posted in classrooms. Place each word on
brightly colored paper and place them where everyone can see the
words. Every time they can, educators need to use these words to let
students know they were responsible. "I see you chose not to bring
the required materials to class." "You decided to do the more
In his book
"Teacher Talk," Moorman encourages the use of these words "to
help your students see themselves as responsible for their own
behaviors." A key for promoting student responsibility is making
sure students realize they are responsible for their actions. Too
often students want teachers to take all the responsibility for
every aspect of learning.
To discover additional ways to promote student responsibility,
Performance Learning Systems offers the graduate course Successful
Teaching for Acceptance of Responsibility, known as STAR.
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Jeff Keller, head of the math department at Lincoln-Way East High
School, comments: "STAR, like all PLS courses, gives particular
strategies to use in a given situation, but it goes a step further
and gives exact words to be said in each situation."
words and strategies for yourself this spring. Learn new techniques
to eliminate irresponsible student behavior and empower students to
achieve personal power and responsibility. The three-hour graduate
course Successful Teaching for Acceptance of Responsibility will be
offered in Calumet City, Naperville, Petersburg, Rockford and Wood
River. It can also be brought directly to your school.
For dates and times, visit
These classes can be used for renewal of Illinois teaching
certificates. Courses include activities related to meeting the
needs of students with disabilities in the least restrictive
environment, as needed for Illinois recertification.
Master's degree program
The Illinois Board of Higher Education has approved Rockford
College to offer its instructional strategies track at off-campus
sites across the entire state. This track of the college's
Arts in Teaching program, which consists of a 32-hour thesis
option or 36-hour non-thesis with portfolio option, can include up
to seven Performance Learning System courses. It is practical,
relevant and highly participatory. Student feedback has been
exceptionally positive. For information or application materials,
contact Dr. Bob Middleton, 800-292-0209 or
[Performance Learning Systems]