Practice Twelve – Introduction

Practice #12

Learners assume responsibility for their own behavior. Their choices determine their consequences.

Contents include
Printable materials, Ready-to-use Strategies, and Web links in the following sections:

Implementation Basics

Ideas for Implementation

Implementation Evaluation and Goal Setting

Life Principle



Hand Signs

Practice Connections

Practice Characteristics

Evidence of Practice




Music & Video Links

Learning Strategies

Mind Map

Goal Setting Process with Individual and Class Forms and Examples

Introduction to Practice #12

Learners assume responsibility for their own behavior. Their choices determine their consequences.

The WHY? of Practice #12! Implementation supports: The ‘WHY?’ For Choice Education! - YES! MAKING CHOICES CAN BE TAUGHT!

  • The “Why?” of Teaching Decision-making, Goal Setting, and Other Basic Life Skills
    • ACCORDING TO Stephen R. Covey, Daniel Goleman, Chick Moorman, and Robert Marzano
      • Research abounds showing the need and efficacy of teaching decision-making, goal setting, conflict resolution, problem-solving and other basic life skills. Open this document to find pertinent statements from these and others in support of Choice Education

“By getting students to recognize their choices (cause) and the result their choices produce (effect), the students can experience increased personal power. This personal power boosts self-esteem and motivation while it reduces discipline problems.” --Chick Moorman “In today’s global economy, we simply cannot afford to wait until young people receive their first promotion into corporate leadership before we show them the better road to getting along with others. We cannot stand by and wait for them to become CEO’s or school teachers or parents before we teach them how to organize their lives, to set goals, or to be assertive. We cannot afford to sit by idly and hope that they pick up on their own how to resolve conflicts, how to be more responsible. We have done that for years and the approach is just not working. We must show them the upward path.” --Stephen R. Covey, The Leader in Me

  • Educators as they utilize activities and discussion with learners helping them to see and feel the role they play in creating their own learning experiences.
  • Learners as they develop characteristics of accountability, dependability, and reliability resulting in a better understanding of personal responsibility.
  • Learners as they build better understand themselves by forming habits and setting goals that promote self-actualization and academic success.


  • Educators can utilize activities and discussion with learners to help them see and feel the role they play in creating their own experiences. By getting learners to recognize their choices (cause) and the result their choices produce (effect), the learners can experience increased personal power. This personal power boosts self- esteem, and motivation while it reduces discipline problems. Glenn, H.S. and Jelsen, J. (2000). Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self-Indulgent World. Roseville, CA; Prima Publishing.
  • Maslow states that the self-actualized individual will take responsibility. He further states, “Each time one takes responsibility, this is an actualizing of the self.” Maslow, A. (1976) The Farther Reaches of Human Nature. New York: Penguin Books
  • The Individual who sees himself and his situation clearly and who freely takes responsibility for that self and for that situation is a very different person from one who is simply in the grip of outside circumstances. This difference shows up clearly in important aspects of his behavior. Rogers, C. (1983). Freedom to Learn for the ’80s. Columbus, OH: Charles E. Merrill Publishing Company.

The time is always right to do what is right” - Martin Luther King Jr.   For Research: see Rationale for 17 Practices - Practice 12 – pages 26-27 on Great Expectations website.   The WHO? EVERY LEARNER! The WHERE? EVERYWHERE learners are engaged in the instructional process. The WHEN? - Daily use of the elements of Practice #12 will:

  • Provide a model for communication skills, work skills, and personal living skills.
  • Allow the C.R.O.S.S.ROADS Choice process of making and evaluating choices including goal setting to become a habit
  • Increase skills and build the character that will aid learners in being responsible and productive members of any community.


  • Encourage learners to use goal setting, self-evaluation, and positive choices to demonstrate their ability to be responsible and reliable.

“There is an intrinsic value in making good choices. Young people can learn that some consequences can be positive so that they will decide to choose behaviors that will have positive consequences.” --Bob Sullo, Activating the Desire to Learn (Printable Poster) Main objection: "This takes too much time!" Response: What are the goals for all learners? Goals:

  • To provide a universal process that may be used in goal setting, problem-solving, general decision-making, and conflict resolution.
  • To expand the concept of making positive choices and decisions that will result in positive consequences.
  • To understand and desire character qualities that will aid in academic achievement and successful career choices.
  • To model habits that result in positive outcomes.
  • To create a threat-free environment that encourages individuals to take risks in learning and to become confident, positive leaders.


  • Allowing learners to assume responsibility for their own behaviors and providing them with choices, as well as guidelines for making those choices, is motivational and can build a sense of capability in learners.


  • The educator’s role changes from disciplinarian to coach and from authoritarian to advisor. It does not diminish the leadership value the educator brings to the relationship; it enables the learner to share that leadership.

Application to Employment Skills:

  • Orderly schools usually balance clearly established and communicated expectations with a climate of concern for students as individuals. Duke, D. L. "School Organization, Leadership, and Student Behavior." Strategies to Reduce Student Misbehavior. Available online: http.//
  • Article "Meet Microsoft Teams" - addresses elements of teamwork including collaboration and engaging the voice of every student.

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