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Responsibility-Centered Discipline

Responsibility-Centered Discipline
Keeping Students on the Path of Accountability

  • Larry Thompson - Creator of the Responsibility-Centered Discipline Program

August 2024 | 120 pages | Corwin

Foster responsibility, empathy, and self-regulation in every learner. 

Hundreds of schools across North America are embracing Larry Thompson’s Responsibility-Centered Discipline (RCD) – a groundbreaking approach that supports students in developing intrinsic motivation and growing as conscientious and active members of their school communities. Emphasizing responsibility, empathy, and self-regulation, RCD offers a transformative whole-school method to create a thriving school climate and responsible students. 

In this clear and explicit guide, Thompson presents an overview of RCD and its foundations, the six exits students commonly use to avoid responsibility, a structured conversation to return students to a path of responsibility, and a process educators can implement to create a solutions space. Additional features include: 

  • Success stories from the field
  • Research highlights
  • Coaching conversations
  • Questions to help readers apply the information to their own contexts

A must-read for teachers and education leaders seeking to reimagine discipline for a healthier and more supportive educational environment, Responsibility-Centered Discipline provides research-based actions to build skills such as responsibility, perseverance, empathy, and self-regulation in every learner from preK through high school.

Part I: Defining RCD’s Key Concepts
Chapter 1. Responsibility-Centered Discipline: Defining RCD
Chapter 2. Self-Control: Elevating an Essential Skill
Part II: The Responsibility-Centered Discipline Process
Chapter 3. Step 1, The Foundations: Shifting a school from rules to skills (values)
Chapter 4. Step 2, The Six Exits: Recognizing how students avoid responsibility
Chapter 5. Step 3, Closing the Exits: Helping students embrace responsibility
Chapter 6. Step 4 (Part I), Addressing Higher Levels of Challenge: Assisting students who need more support
Chapter 7. Step 4 (Part II), In-School-Solutions: Reimaging school-based suspension
Chapter 8. Leading RCD
Appendix A: Activity: Creating Foundations With Staff
Appendix B: Practice scenarios by level
Appendix C: Response-Ability Mats

I have been a fan of Larry Thompson’s work since I interviewed him on Corwin’s Leaders Coaching Leaders podcast. Responsibility-Centered Discipline is about discipline, but it’s also about being more human, and we all need a little more of that. 

Peter DeWitt, Ed.D.
CEO Instructional Leadership Collective, Corwin Author, Leadership Coach, Facilitator of Learning, Education Week blogger

This whole-school approach shows educators how to make the much-needed shift away from gaining control of students to helping students control themselves. To create a mindshift change throughout the school community, this book provides step-by-step actions to build skills such as responsibility, perseverance, empathy, and self-regulation in every learner from preK through high school. Every school leader should read this book and then buy it for every member of their staff.

Debbie Silver
Author of Fall Down 7 Times, Get Up 8, Co-author of Deliberate Optimism: Still Reclaiming the Joy in Education

The need to reimagine school discipline has never been more important. Thompson lays out a clear pathway for school staff and students to engage in a manner that shifts the mindset and practice of school discipline to have a positive impact on the culture of any school. The Responsibility-Centered Discipline approach is grounded in research and best practice. I encourage every educator to read it. 

Steven M. Constantino
Executive Professor, William & Mary School of Education, Author, Engage Every Family: Five Simple Principles

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ISBN: 9781071924952