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Philosophy

At Woodberry Learning Centre we believe in the theory of Dr William Glasser - Choice Theory - that states that all our behaviour is internally motivated, that is, comes from within and is a chosen response to the information we receive from the outside work.

 

This means that the only person I can control is myself. I cannot "make" another person do what I want unless s/he chooses to do so. We live in a society that generally believes that I can make another do what I want - I just have to create enough pleasure (rewards) or enough pain (punishment). This Behaviourist Theory has been the basis of what we do in schools/organizations and families for the past 100 years. So by now, you would think we would have perfect schools, organizations and families. At WLC we do not use these coercive practices and instead help our students to self-evaluate and decide whether the behaviour they have chosen is actually getting then what they want.

 

We store "pictures" from birth in a speical place in our memory called The Quality World that represent how we want our world to be. We are constantly comparing what we want at any one time with what we perceive we are getting and when it is not now we want it, we do what we think will match the way we want it with how it actually is. These behaviours are not always effective but they are the best we can come up with at the time to get what we want. These pictures either have been or we believe will be extremely needs-satisfying and satisfy our Basic Needs to be loved and loving, to feel in control of our lives and be recognized as a worthwhile individual, to be playful and learn, to have choices and be free and to stay alive and be emotionally and physically safe.

 

Everything we do at WLC has a theoretical underpinning including Glasser, Bloom, and Gardner and McCarthy. Our job is to help our students shift from a belief in external control where they see themselves as "victims" of everyone and everything around them to taking responsibility for who and what they are and the behaviours they choose and to accept the consequences of their choices.

 

Because we accept that we cannot make someone do what we want, we realize that in order to have any influence on what our students decide to do, we need to form positive, connecting relationships with each of them. We do this by always using the connecting habits of listening, encouraging, supporting, negotiating, caring, respecting, and trying to avoid using the relationship destroyers of criticizing, threatening, nagging, punishing, bribing or rewarding to control, complaining and blaming.