25 August 2010

PBS, NBR, and other appropriate acronyms

Greetings, readers.

I am a guest contributor to this blog, and it is my erstwhile hope that, through my writings, and your reading, we can become collaborators on a movement which will help to change American public education for the better. 

Now, let us not be fooled into thinking that this new paradigm, through which we will view education will be easy to adapt to, or that others in education will be quickly swayed to our side of this philosophical debate. Indeed, as there is with any serious change, there will be serious resistance, I suspect. That being said, our cause is just, and right, and in the end, as they say, truth will out!

As a bit of background, I hold an EdD. in Administrative Sciences Support from the renowned Indiana Normal School, and a pHd in Behavioural Sciences, from the Shannon Higher Institute of Teaching, in Ireland . I have been published numerous times in both scholarly journals and less serious works, including some poetry. As will become obvious from my writing, I also spent many years in high school teaching and administration, prior to my sojourn to academia.

Well, let us begin our discussion of student behaviour, and my plan to drastically change the way public schools in America attempt to regulate and modify student behaviour. As I am sure you are aware, there has been a split among behavioural scientists, such as myself, over what the best way to modify behaviour is.

1. There are those who hold dear to the theory of Positive Reinforcement. These people, guided by the ideals espoused in instructional films, such as Whale Done, believe earnestly that by simply rewarding positive behaviour, and ignoring negative behaviour, children will, out of a desire to fit in and be rewarded, behave properly. They draw much of their evidence from the trainers of killer whales, who only use positive reinforcement.

2. There is a second group of behavourists, who I count myself among, who believe that human beings, especially once they reach adult or young-adult-hood, will act in their own self interest, and thus, will act in many cases not for reward; but to avoid punishment.

The positive behaviourists have created a system for school-wide discipline, which they call "Positive Behaviour Support". In order to sell this system to schools, they have dressed it up with acronyms and fancy charts. (they never call it Positive Behaviour Support, rather choosing "PBS") They think it is one of the best systems ever devised. I think it is rubbish.

And so, in cooperation with some of my learned colleagues, and with willing teachers in several American public high schools, I have developed a response to "PBS". I call it "Negative Behaviour Response", or to keep up with the Joneses, NBR. My system is simple, and I hope to present it to you here, over the next several weeks. Today, I just wish to explain the basic outline:

1. Students misbehave.
2. Students receive a consequence, which is unpleasant.
3. If students continue to misbehave, then they receive more and more unpleasant consequences until they stop misbehaving.

In the future, you can expect me to explain some of my favourite concepts surrounding NBR, such as my patented OIR and STFU methods of behaviour modification.


  1. Dr. Johncock, I am a long admirer of your work and look forward to learning more about your methods. As I identify with Gardner's Visual Learning Style, I am hoping to see some sort of shape (an octagon, perhaps) to help demonstrate your impressive techniques and methods more clearly.

  2. WOW,
    As an experienced educator, I am intrigued by these novel ideas. I have not been exposed to such raw and original thinking in my numerous staff development days and my continuing credit hours though BER. Please elaborate and give a form to these abstract ideas.