This course covers the theoretical underpinnings of choice theory as well as suggested strategies for teaching choice theory to students, integrating choice theory in the learning environment, and illustrating choice theory in lesson plans across subject areas. This course focuses on conveying strategies to help teachers develop choice theory connections with and among the students in their classrooms. It is intended to present the basic concepts of choice theory and how it is applied in the classroom at any grade level.
Participants will have the opportunity to learn choice theory by reflecting on its relevance in their own lives and applying it in their classrooms. This course builds a framework for understanding students’ motivations from a new perspective and an opportunity to practice choice theory by creating learning experiences for students that help them to keep school, teachers, and school work in their quality worlds for a lifetime of learning.
This course will require participants to engage in self-reflection, critical thinking and personal practice of the ideas being taught. Just reading about choice theory is not enough to internalize its ideas and begin operating from them intrinsically. Personal experiences with choices theory involving critical thinking and personal practice will help participants understand the relevance and benefits of applying choice theory in their lives, in their relationships with students, and in their professional practice.
Choice theory in education provides an intrinsic model of teaching and learning that is focused on increasing students’ self-understanding and their ability to evaluate their choices and schoolwork for quality and effectiveness. Austrian neurologist and renowned Holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl affirmed, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our responses lie our growth and our freedom.” This course will invite participants to find and explore that space of choice and freedom. As such, this course may challenge the way participants were taught to learn and teach, but all of the ideas presented in this course can be implemented in any classroom at any school if the people in those systems choose to do so.
Course Objectives: Participants will
- Learn that choice theory is an intrinsic model of psychology and learning that is based on the premise that we can make effective choices that lead to happiness
- Understand the detriment of external control practices in relationships and schools
- Learn the 5 basic needs of choice theory and appreciate that students’ behaviors reflect their attempts to satisfy one or more of these basic needs
- Appreciate that everyone has a quality world that contains pictures of what is most important to them and that degrees of happiness correspond with the ability to have quality world experiences
- Understand that all behavior is total behavior comprised of actions, thoughts, feelings, and physiology
- Learn that all total behavior is chosen and that self-understanding increases the likelihood of making more effective choices that contribute to happiness
- Discover that each individual has a unique creative system that is a reservoir of possibility and ingenuity
- Understand that the threat of failure has detrimental outcomes for students and that there are considerable benefits to creating a success-based learning environment
- Create classroom meetings plans that explore choice theory topics using the define, personalize, and challenge method of teaching
- Understand the meaning of quality in schools and how quality is reflected by leader teachers who expect competent schoolwork and encourage quality
- Learn how to use classroom meetings, choice theory language, connecting relationship habits, and solution-focused strategies to teach choice theory to students
- Know the value of providing students with meaningful, relevant educational experiences and how to embed choice theory in lesson plans