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The Responsible Thinking Process RTP


Responsible Thinking Process (RTP) Developed by Ed Ford during the early 1990's. ... You must have a trained Responsible Thinking Classroom teacher who is able to ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Responsible Thinking Process RTP

The Responsible Thinking Process (RTP)
  • Based On The Perceptual Control Theory

Responsible Thinking Process (RTP)
  • Developed by Ed Ford during the early 1990s.
  • Teaching children to respect the rights of others
    through responsible thinking based on the
    perceptual control theory.
  • Teachers have the right to teach and students
    have the right to learn without being disrupted
    by another.
  • A school-wide system of discipline that involves
    a questioning process, goal writing and
    negotiating by misbehaving students, and
    interventions when necessary.
  • In order to work it needs to be be embraced by
    the entire school.

Student Disrupts
Student is asked questions What are you doing?
What are the rules? What do you want to do now?
Student accepts responsibility for behavior and
remains in class.
Student does not work with teacher or does not
accept responsibility for behavior.
Student is sent to responsible thinking
classroom to work on behavior plan.
Student disrupts again.
Student writes a plan that works for him/her.
Student Is Successful!!!
Student negotiates plan with the teacher (or
adult who sent him/her to RTC) and is allowed to
return to class.
A Look At The Theory- Perceptual Control
  • Developed by William T. Powers in the 1950s.
  • PCT is about the inborn nature of human beings
    who control themselves, and are inherently in
    charge of what happens to themselves.
  • Discipline, under this theory, is not one person
    trying to force another into behaving right. It
    is an individual (the student) trying to make
    personal sense of standards, goals, and
    relationships with other people.
  • Based on the idea that different systematic
    levels control our actions.

Systematic Levels of PCT
  • Each of us is endowed with a fascinating
    perceptual system that is designed to make sense
    of our environment so we can build a satisfying
    life. We fashion the meaning that we create
    through various systematic levels.
  • Systems Concepts Level From this level flow all
    of the standards and structures we create to have
    satisfying lives. This is the level where we look
    within ourselves and establish the way we want to
    be, how we want to see ourselves as persons, and
    the kinds of values and beliefs that we believe
    will bring us happiness.
  • Principles Level Once we have established how
    we want to be, it naturally follows that we need
    to set parameters that define our goals. The
    Principles level is where we set our priorities
    and the standards, criteria, and guidelines that
    establish boundaries on how we should live so as
    to reflect our values and beliefs. Program
    Level In order to live the way we want, based on
    the criteria we have set, we must have effective
    programs for accomplishing our goals, so that the
    plans we make bring us satisfaction. If we want
    to live in harmony with others, achieving our
    goals means that we must not violate others
    rights. This means that we must not act as
    disturbances to their attempts to get what they
  • Reorganization Whenever there is a conflict
    within our perceptual system, such as when there
    are conflicting beliefs or standards, our system
    senses the conflict and eventually might begin to
    reorganize itself, generating random signals that
    suggest various ways that might resolve the
  • The Responsible Thinking Process helps students
    with Reorganization!

Who needs to be involved in order for RTP to work?
All School Staff
Responsibilities of Those Involved
  • Administration- The administrator must be trained
    in RTP and must drive the process by supporting
    all school staff, finding the funds to keep the
    staff trained, and making sure he/she maintains
    the integrity of the process in all situations.
  • Teachers- All teachers need to be trained in the
    process (questioning aspect and negotiation
    aspect) and must follow the process with all
    students, at all times. Must be involved in the
    intervention team when necessary. Must be
    supported by the administration.
  • Staff (RTP Classroom Teacher, Counselor,
    Custodians, Classroom Aides, Kitchen Staff,
    etc.)- Must be trained in the process
    (questioning aspect and negotiation aspect) and
    use it on all students. Must be supported by
  • Parents- Must be informed of process and the
    reasons why RTP is being used.
  • Students- Must be informed of process and the
    reasons why RTP is being used.

About the Questioning Phase
  • When Should The Questions Be Asked? The
    philosophy of the program is based on the premise
    that teachers should be able to teach and
    students should be able to learn in an
    environment free of disturbances and threats.
    Therefore, if a student is disturbing the leaning
    process or threatening another students right to
    learn you should begin the questioning process.
  • Where Should The Questions Be Asked? Anywhere
    where disturbances or threatening behavior
    occurs! In the classroom, in the hallway, in the
    cafeteria, in the gym, outside on the playground.
  • Who Should Ask The Questions? Any adult in
    charge. Teachers, administrators, aides,
    custodians, cafeteria workers, etc.
  • How Should The Questions Be Asked? For the
    student to succeed they must know that you care
    and you have the confidence that they can solve
    their problems. Therefore, questions should
    always be asked in a respectful, calm, curious
    manner. You are not trying to control them. It is
    their responsibility to change their behavior,
    whether they do it in the classroom by respecting
    the rules or whether they do it in the
    Responsible Thinking Classroom by making a plan.

Questioning Process Mistakes (Be Aware)
  • Never ignore a disruption because you favor a
    particular student. You must ask the questions of
    anyone who is disturbing the learning process.
  • Never skip the initial questioning and send a
    student directly to RTC. Follow the process.
  • Once you have said that a student must go to RTC
    never back down. They have already had one chance
    to change their behavior in order to stay in
    class. This is no time for negotiation. They must
    present a plan to you before they come back to
  • Never ask the questions in an intimidating
    manner. Stay calm and respectful.

Example Referral To RTC
Referred By____________ Place of
Disruption____________ Date_____ Name of
Student Being Referred __________________________
___ Describe The First Disruption in
Detail Were the RTP Questions
Asked? Describe The Second Disruption in
Detail Best Time To Negotiate Plan
Writing a Plan- An Important Task
  • You must have a trained Responsible Thinking
    Classroom teacher who is able to help the student
    make a sound plan that includes
  • Acknowledgement of the misbehavior- The student
    must take responsibility for their misbehavior in
    order to change it.
  • Why the misbehavior was disruptive- The student
    must realize why his/her actions are disturbing
    the learning process in order to see the need to
    change it.
  • A specified area for improvement- The student
    needs to be able to work on one area of
    improvement at a time. Too much at once can be
  • A measurable goal within the area for
    improvement-A goal is useless unless it can be
    measured. This way a child knows when he/she is
    successfully reaching the goal.
  • A detailed outline of how they may accomplish
    their goal- This should be a specific plan that
    discusses exactly what they need to do to reach
    their goal.
  • A way to record the progress-A chart or graph
    that can easily present the difference between
    the goal and how close the student is to reaching
    his/her goal.

Example Plan Form
  • Name________________________
  • Who referred you to RTC? ________________________
  • 1. Describe, in detail, what you did in order to
    be sent to RTC.
  • 2. What rule did this break?
  • 3.. Who was affected by your disruption and how?
  • 4. What is your behavior goal going to be?
  • 5. What steps do you need to take in order to
    change your behavior and reach you goal?
  • 6. Who do you need support from and what do they
    need to do to support you?
  • 7. Please make a chart or graph that will record
    your behavior and how close you are to reaching
    your goal.
  • Student Signature________________________
    Teacher Signature____________________________
  • By signing this we verify that we are committed
    to this plan and will take the necessary steps to
    make sure it is successful. .

  • Negotiations are vital to the student/teacher
  • The student must negotiate his/her plan with the
    teacher before returning to class.
  • A plan must never be ignored or refused.
  • A plan must be discussed in a calm and reflective
    manner, on both the students part and the
    teachers part.
  • When a plan is deemed acceptable to both the
    student and the teacher it is signed by both and
    put into effect.
  • Plans are reviewed by the student and teacher
    periodically to determine success.

Student Responsibilities While Negotiating the
  • The student must have created a thorough and
    specific plan with the RTC teacher before he/she
    negotiates with the teacher.
  • The student must set up an appropriate time to
    negotiate their plan with the teacher.
  • The student must communicate their plan to the
    teacher and discuss what support they will need
    in order to be successful in accomplishing their
  • The student must be willing to listen to the
    teacher and accept suggestions.
  • If the plan is deemed unacceptable to the teacher
    the student must be willing to revise.

Teacher Responsibilities While Negotiating the
  • The teacher must make himself/herself available
    to the student for negotiation.
  • The teacher must give the student the time to
    explain his/her plan.
  • The teacher must listen carefully in order to
    fully understand the students plan.
  • If part of the plan is unacceptable, then an
    alternative must be offered.
  • The teacher must show his/her willingness to
    support the student in whatever way necessary.

Problems When Negotiating The Plan- Be Aware
  • The student must take responsibility for his/her
    behavior. If they do not then they are not ready
    to negotiate the plan, in which case they must
    return to RTC until they are ready to take
    responsibility for their behavior and negotiate.
  • Make sure that the events that occurred are
    accurate on the students plan. The student may
    try to blame someone else or downplay the
    effect his/her disruption had on the class.
  • The teacher needs to make sure that the goal is
    realistic and measurable. The student may try to
    make a grandiose goal that is just not realistic.
  • Make sure that the student has a good way to keep
    record of their accomplishments and be willing to
    commend them when positive behavior occurs.
  • The teacher should assure the student that he/she
    is not only willing to help them but that they
    are excited to be able to help them be

Intervention Meetings- When Plans Are Not Working
  • Interventions become necessary when students are
    not being successful with their written plan(s).
  • Often necessary with chronically disruptive
    students who have visited RTC a number of times.
  • An intervention team is assembled which includes
    any of the following counselor, teachers,
    principal, vice principal, social worker,
    psychologist, or any other staff that has a
    positive relationship with the student.
  • The purpose of the team is to review current data
    and make recommendations to help the student
    succeed, and to decide on an appropriate level of
    support that should be offered to the student.

Example Intervention Questions
  • How many times has the student written a plan?
  • What parts have worked/not worked?
  • Does the student spend quality time with anyone?
  • If yes, describe. What seems to work?
  • Does the student participate in classroom
  • Why, why not?
  • What is the student controlling for (function of
  • How can the student get what he/she needs without
    disrupting the leaning process?
  • What should be the main focus (goal) for the
  • This should be focused on the most disruptive
    behavior, but should include a high probability
    of success.
  • What is the student successful at?
  • How can this be incorporated into his/her goal

RTP- Questioning, Planning, Negotiating,
The Student Is Questioned
An Intervention Team Gets Involved
Student Disrupts
The Student Is Sent To RTC
The Student Negotiates The Plan With The Teacher
and Returns To Class
The Student Writes A Plan With RTC teacher
Levels Where Success Can Occur
Continued Commitment to RTP
  • Each RTP school should assemble a core team of
    staff that oversees the commitment to and the
    progress of RTP.
  • There should be a dedication to continued
    assessment of how the process is being applied
    and its success.
  • Training should be offered regularly in different
    aspects of the process questioning, negotiating,
    and interventions.
  • All new staff should be adequately prepared for
    RTP before beginning at the school.
  • Parents should be continually informed about the
    process and how it is working.

Statistics of Success
  • Evart High School
  • Located in central Michigan.
  • 400 students
  • 20-25 special education population
  • Over 50 free/reduced lunch population
  • Since RTP was implemented in 1999
  • Suspensions for disrespect toward staff has
    decreased by 82.3.
  • Suspensions for fighting has decreased by 44.4.
  • Suspensions from instances of drugs, alcohol and
    tobacco have declined 87.5.
  • Suspensions from skipping school has declined

Statistics Of Success
  • Breckenridge Middle School
  • Located in lower Michigan.
  • 250 students
  • 10 special education population
  • 33 free/reduced lunch population
  • Since RTP was implemented in 2000
  • 65 decrease in gross misconduct
  • 65 decrease in fights

Statistics Of Success
  • Sahuaro Elementary School
  • Located in Phoenix, Arizona.
  • 650 students
  • 44 free/reduced lunch population
  • Since RTP was implemented in 2001
  • Theft by students has decreased by 40.
  • Violent behaviors (reckless play and hurting
    other students) have decreased 50.
  • Disrespect to staff has decreased by 77.

  • Ford, E. (1994) Discipline For Home and School
    Book One. Scottsdale, AR Brandt Publishing.
  • Ford, E. (1999) Discipline For Home and School
    Book Two. Scottsdale, AR Brandt Publishing.
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