Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


Student behavior and classroom discipline have been growing concerns for many years. This paper is a review of the literature relative to the Choice Theory model of classroom discipline and behavior as proposed by Glasser ( 1969, 1985, 1990) especially as compared to the traditional ways that schools have used to manage student behavior. (Choice Theory was known as Control Theory until 1996, when Glasser changed its name to better reflect its primary goal, which is to help children learn how to make better choices). The focus of this paper is a description of what Choice Theory is and how it can be implemented in schools. The causes that are generally acknowledged as contributing to discipline problems and how teachers address these using the traditional methods of discipline and using Choice Theory were discussed. Traditionally, schools have relied on behavioral approaches to discipline problems, such as Assertive Discipline or behavior modification techniques. Since these methods focus on what can be done to students, they are often referred to as Obedience Models. Glasser's Choice Theory describes how teachers can meet student needs while working with students and emphasizing that the responsibility for the misbehavior belongs to the students. Choice Theory teaches students how to choose more appropriate behaviors. Therefore, it is often referred to as the Responsibility Model. The conclusion addressed how children were helped to change their behavior by implementing Choice Theory principles in the author's third grade classroom.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction


Division of Elementary Education

First Advisor

Donna H. Schumacher

Second Advisor

Marvin Heller


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Date Original


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