Comparisons of the Glasser and Dreikurs Models
There are many similarities to the behavioral models of William Glasser and Rudolf Dreikurs. Both psychiatrists worked closely with young people, and both developed ways to encourage proper behavioral management of disgruntled youth. The methods that each man established are often utilized in clinical sessions and in proper classrooms management.
Dreikurs’ model relies on the idea that “a misbehaving child is only a discouraged child trying to find his place” (Jones & Jones, 2013, p. 33). When a student is feeling inadequate, they will filter through some or all of the four attention-getting behaviors. These disruptive behaviors are: attention getting, power, revenge, and displays of inadequacy. Dreikurs believed that when a child fails to feel as though he or she belongs, they will “act out” in various ways in order to gain acceptable. Sometimes these behaviors work, and other times, students are left feeling more frustrated. For example, a student who may fall behind in class may use inappropriate jokes or commentary to solicit respect from classmates. The student may then try exhibiting power over the administrator in the classroom further trying to increase their status in the social climate. If the student does not receive the attention they seek, they may try to seek revenge on the teacher or even other students in the classroom. In many cases, the disgruntled student gives up entirely and will revert to using phrases such as, “I don’t care anyway,” or “I meant to do that.” Instead of being instructed on how to cope effectively with their emotions, students default into primitive fight or flight strategies. Because of a student’s inability to feel socially equal, they either lash out or become unresponsive. This why Dreikurs believed that there are “Two key dynamic social-congnitive factors, of valuing oneself and others as equal and of contributing to the community on the basis of respect for self and others, in their conjunction provide the most enduring processes for well-being” (Ferguson, 2001, p.326).
Glasser also understood how important self-efficacy is to student achievement and behavior. Glasser believed that five “powerful forces” were at work in everyone’s “genetic structure” (34). The five basic needs are: to survive and reproduce, to belong and love, to gain power, to be free, and to have fun (34). Students deprived of one or more necessities would find themselves lacking when it came to success in school. Environments that were more student-center were conducive to student achievement, and offer students choice is one way to empower failing students. For example, clinical studies that use the Glasser approach are concerned with moving clients from the “past to present”; the desire is to take the individual “from the problem (the ‘‘don’t want’’) to the desired outcome—what the client does want (W). The client is then asked what he or she has been...