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May 26, 2021 Volume 11 Number 5

Applying Choice Theory in a Developing Nation

Gideon Kilonzo believes that the key to building success in the developing world is educating individuals in constructive behaviors for satisfying their power need. Born in Kalawa, a small village in Kenya, Gideon received a scholarship to a high school outside of Sioux Falls, SD in the US. He continued to college, completing his Bachelor's in three years. He then finished a Masters and an Educational Specialist degree. After his return to Kenya, he found a scholarship opportunity to go back to the States, where he completed his Ed.D. at the University of South Dakota. In 1986, he married Paula, his long time sweetheart.
Gideon said he first encountered Dr. Glasser in his master’s level Educational Counseling course which included theories of counseling. Reality Therapy by Dr. Glasser among them. As he read Glasser’s book Schools Without Failure the ideas resonated with him.
About two years after their marriage, he and Paula moved to Nairobi with their first two children. They decided to begin a private primary school in their home to educate students struggling with learning in traditional schools. Gideon’s father, who lived with them briefly during that time, remarked that children in the rural villages need similar caring schools.
Upon returning to the US in 2001, the Kilonzos were a family of six, looking for jobs and a place to educate their four children. Gideon became a counselor for Todd County School District in Mission, SD. He continued his interest in Reality Therapy, which led him to Choice Theory. After persuading his supervisor to send him to courses leading to CT certification, he became certified in Ireland at the 2005 International Conference. He had also persuaded his superintendent to invest in bringing Glasser Institute Instructors to the facilities in South Dakota and teach Choice Theory to the staff of the Todd County School District. Ultimately, the whole community involved with the school invited Dr. Glasser for a formal visit and a daylong seminar. (Continued below…)
What does Catching-Up Entail? by Carleen Glasser

“Zoom Fatigue” is the new term in everyone’s vocabulary. Pandemic protocols required schools and universities to close their doors and go online to teach, impacting students of all ages. Parents have enlisted help from extended family as well as neighbors to accomplish socially distanced learning via computer technology. We were completely unprepared to go from in-person to online teaching on a moment’s notice. Many students did well and kept up, yet there were many more who fell behind.  

Confronted with challenges that schools face every day, people of all ages began to understand and appreciate the difficulty of a teacher’s job. Dr. Glasser often said that teaching is one of the hardest jobs there is. He compared it to brain surgery: a surgeon only has to deal with one brain at a time; whereas a teacher has to deal with 20 brains or more at once! 
The looming question is, what can be done now to address the current problem of lagging educational performance the pandemic made so clearly apparent?. In chapter 10 of Choice Theory (starting on page 255) there is a description of the Schwab School program that prepared 148 out of 170 overage middle school students who were “behind” to go on to high school. The specific Choice Theory suggestion is to clearly define expectations and competencies as was done a Schwab, and create a non- punitive environment for students who need to catch up. 
Dr Glasser wrote five books explaining many more educational techniques any school can use to assure that every student will succeed. Perhaps we also need to renew a search for ideas that create a better opportunity for all students to succeed. It might be possible to re-create the pandemic’s negative toll as positive change within our educational systems. 
Glasser Ventures is presenting Strategies for Self Caring

May 28, 2021 at 4PM MT
(Continued from above.) In 2011, Gideon returned to Kenya for a longer visit and began to fulfill his wish to honor his father by starting a school in his home village of Kalawa. The intent has been to create a quality school so rural children could learn sciences, literature, mathematics--and within these subjects critical thinking skills--before going on to high school. The school is fortunate to have received donations of computers, so the children can be introduced to computers at an early age.
With their own children now launched as adults, the Kilonzos plan to make their primary home in Kalawa, and are organizing their relocation over this next year. Their plans are to support St. Joseph’s Academy, the elementary school they founded in Kalawa, and to participate in community development activities.
In the last few years, Gideon has also identified the need for an adult vocational school in the village for subjects such as motor mechanics, welding, woodworking, farming, and computers. Their latest project includes coding and instruction in web site creation. This web based program is already popular with young adults in the area.
Gideon explains there are many poor countries which are rich in resources like Kenya, but are without skilled workers to develop these resources. He believes there are three educational principles which foster community development. Effective education would:
1)    Avoid “schooling” and teach young people how to learn, think, and solve problems.
2)    Provide a safe and need satisfying community environment and foster problem solving skills for life.
3)    Support and encourage youth to use what they have learned by finding employment or by creating their own.
Gideon also plans to bring adult members of the community to the school for educational forums, especially in Choice Theory, but also for subjects useful to support the community at large such as public health or sustainable energy. He is planning to translate CT materials into Swahili, to help spread Glasser’s ideas in Africa. Gideon and his family are doing a great deal to bring Choice Theory to the world!

Dr. Glasser Wrote Five Books on Education:

Buy two, and the third book is free!
Basic Intensive Training Online
May 31-June 3, 2021
Kim Olver

Advanced Intensive Training
June 11-13, 2021
Les Triché

Basic Intensive Training Online
June 11-13, 2021
Les Triché

Basic Intensive Training Online
June 17-19, 2021
Mona Dunkin

Basic Intensive Training Online
July 9-11, 2021
Les Triché

Advanced Intensive Training
Chicago, IL
July 19-22, 2021
Kim Olver

Choice Theory Certification Online
Nancy Herrick
July 23-25, 2021
Practicum Supervisor Endorsement
Jean Seville Suffield, DNM & Nancy Herrick
June 25 - June 27

Open Instructor Endorsement
Jean Seville Suffield, DNM & Nancy Herrick
June 25 - June 27

Open Training Certification
Nancy D. Herrick
July 23 - July 25

Upcoming WGI Research Symposiums: 
June 12: Spiritual Distress among 1st Responders and CT/RT
Wesley Hartman

Training in Europe in Choice Theory and Reality Therapy:
Training through the European Institute for Realilty Therapy can lead to licensure as a therapist in European countries.
The European Association for Reality Therapy is planning its 7th Annual Conference as a virtual event June 24th through 27th 2021.
Choice Theory and Reality Therapy Certification Online!
Currently scheduled for July 23 thru 25th. Please contact Nancy Herrick ( for further information.

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