PCM

PCM Used in Education: the MUSE Way

PCM in Education; Magda Tabac; PCM Trainer; MUSE School

Since becoming a PCM trainer, I have always heard stories about the success of MUSE Global School in applying PCM in education. MUSE Global School is a PK–12 co-educational private school in California, United States.

It was co-founded by Suzy Amis Cameron and her sister Rebecca Amis in 2005. Both were already trained in PCM and, around 2008/2009 they decided to train the entire staff of the school in PCM. Around 2012, they decided to integrate PCM into every facet of the new school and they get amazing results in teaching both students and parents how to use it.

PCM helps MUSE maintain a positive environment and a culture of healthy connections across all relationships in the school:

  • Teachers utilize their training to recognize personality cues and help motivate students leading to a learning environment in which students feel safe, respected, and accepted for who they are;
  • Students are able to resolve conflict more quickly due to their understanding of PCM elements and how academic learning and social interactions have improved since bringing PCM into the school.

Just consider, how much better would our children learn and develop if they were part of an environment where they are understood, accepted and really helped to thrive. Besides education, there are clear applications in parenting that can make the child-parent relationship so much easier and rewarding.

I invite you to watch THE VIDEO BELOW about how MUSE Global School is applying PCM. From it, I have extracted the summary below. I hope that like me, you will enjoy discovering how PCM can be used in education and also, in parenting.

How does MUSE Global School make use of PCM?

For the youngest of the children (first grade, kindergarten, pre-school, early childhood) they are being taught the channels and environmental preferences. Then, every day, hour to hour, they can decide and pick which channel they want the teachers and colleagues to address them in. They do that by using some clothes pins with their names on them, which they can move to the respective channel: Play / Ask / Care / Tell (Emotive / Requestive / Nurturative / Directive). For the older kids, as one teacher says, using the channels can take this shape: “For my middle school kids, we have a chart with their channels, and they are changing them around, and they frequently talk about them. Sometimes they’re changing them within a class period, and they’re able to say to each other “That’s not my channel, please use my channel”. I often change mine as well, so they don’t know exactly what I’m looking for each day, because I’m a fluid person too and this is how I feel today. […] It’s nice to be spoken to the way you want to be.”

image - PCM Used in Education: the MUSE Way
Photo: Communication Channels as used by MUSE Global School
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Photo: Communication Channels as used by MUSE Global School
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Photo: Favourite Channels, as drawn and described by MUSE pupils
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Photo: Environmental Preferences, as used by MUSE Global School
  • When in second grade, kids learn currencies and interaction styles. And this is the moment when the school teaches the kids how to speak using logic, how to speak through values, how to speak with emotions. The teacher might then say things: I’m going to be Autocratic right now: “Everyone go to lunch” or, “let’s do a Democratic process right now”: who wants to go on a hike, who wants to swim?
  • And later, in high school, they are teaching a full-on PCM class, where the students are now experiencing the same program that their teacher attended.
  • Each classroom is set up in a way that meets everybody’s environmental preferences: they have places where they can chat in a group, or others spots to sit with just another person and, of course, places where they can be alone and recharge their batteries if they need it. As Jenny, Kindergarten Teacher says it: “In traditional schools they have to all sit at the desk and be in a chair, and that’s what’s “expected” of them. So, some of my kids want to be in our cosy corner, snuggling up with a teddy bear. Some of our kids want to be rebelling it out on a wobbly chair. Some kids want that desk and they want to just sit there and be by themselves. I think that is huge to let them be in the environment that they want to be in.”
  • With the parents, during the parent-children conferences, they are communicating to the parents: here are two channels that your kid is really strong at, and these are the channels that might cause power struggles. And then the teachers are able to tell them: “Your first two channels for your kid are Play and Care. Let’s work on delivering that content in a Play or Care way, instead of a Tell or Requestive Channel. And parents will tell that this is probably one of the most beneficial things that they’ve learnt about their child. Because it’s immediate, it’s easy… It might take a little time to adjust the relationship and the habit that they have, but it’s so easy for them to start to deliver their content in a different way.”

What are the benefits of applying and teaching PCM in the MUSE Global School?

  • Their high school students say they get along with their parents better, they understand their parents better, they have less power struggles and fights with their parents.
  • The teachers will say that their classroom management skills have gone out through the roof, because now they start to understand what that Imaginer Base child is doing, what that Rebel Base or Phase child is doing, or that a Thinker Base child really wants information and not trying to be sarcastic. Or that they are not trying to put their teacher down by bombarding them with Requestive channel or thoughts. They just want information.
  • At the high school level, another benefit is the way the students treat each other. Because they know: you’re a Rebel base and I’m Promoter base, and they start using the specific language (channel + perception) with each other. So, at times, when they will have those common teenager identity issues, wondering “who am I?”, PCM will give them a means of understanding each other.
  • At the end of their freshmen year, they are already able to talk about their psychological needs, and how, many times, their passions are actually directed at covering those needs.

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I found the following segments from the video to be quite powerful, and want to share them with you verbatim:

PCM from a Teacher’s Perspective

“PCM has helped me to become a better teacher by allowing me to understand my students better. I’ve always understood the Harmoniser kids. Those ones are easy for me. I think the biggest jump for me has been understanding Imaginer children.

Randy, ECE Teacher, Harmoniser | Thinker

“One of the main reasons why I love PCM inside the classroom is because you know a little more about their personality types… So, I am a Harmoniser base, Phase Rebel, Stage Thinker, and, with some of the kids, like Persisters or Imaginers (those are my top floors), I cannot normally connect that easily. So, for me, by using this tool, I’m able to communicate with them and take care of their environmental preference, use their channel (of communication) and know what their psychological needs are. So, although my psychological need might not be to stay by myself, doing nothing, I know that my Imaginer kids might need that.

I think PCM has help me to teach academics to different personality types because I know what they are looking for and I know how to deliver that message to them. Some of my Thinker kids want all of the information and all of the data, while some of my Promoter or Rebel students want to actually experience it. And they want to be moving their bodies and getting that contact and play.”

Jenny, Kindergarten Teacher, Harmoniser | Rebel

“Throughout my careers, teachers have always been so quick to diagnose children: “somethings off”, “I see someone on the spectrum”… and through PCM I’ve realised how many of these children do not have behavioural issues, they do not need to be labelled with medical issues. It’s their channel. Most of these kids are Imaginers who, while it looks like they are staring into space and it’s something to be concerned about. The second you tell them what to do and give them a couple of steps and ask them to come back to you, they’re doing it and they’re thriving. So, it has helped me realise that at this young age not everything is such a big problem. There are ways to connect with these children.”

Randy, ECE Teacher, Harmoniser | Thinker

PCM from the Parents’ perspective

“When a parent comes sceptical about the PCM, I find modelling it, right in front of them, it’s the best way to do it. Clean-up time is always met with a lot of grunting and “I don’t want!” or “I didn’t play with that!” so getting our children to take ownership of our room and clean it up is one of the biggest challenges. Using their channels helps a lot.

So, we’ll do a big announcement: “Ta-ta-ta-ta! It’s clean up time!”. And I’ll turn to my Rebel or Promoter kids and say: “Let’s see who can pick up the most Legos. Ready, steady, go! Then I’ll turn to my Harmoniser and say: “I would love so much for you to help me clean up the crayons”. Then, I’ll turn to my Imaginers and say: “Pick up that paper, put it on the shelf, come back to me”. And parents stay and watch this every morning and note how we are addressing each individual child. And it’s the best way to show: it works!”

Randy, Early Childhood Education Teacher, Harmoniser | Thinker

“Parents come, at times, saying “Oh my God, they really listen to you, they come home and tell us all the things that happened, but we’re struggling at home”. And I ask them: “What is your channel”. And they say “My channel is Tell (Directive)”. Ok, that’s not his channel. So, when you’re telling him all these things to do, he’s not listening to you, because that’s not how he receives information, that’s not how he learns, that’s not how he likes to be interacted with. It’s a great learning moment for families when they come to our community events.”

Katelyn Patterson, 2nd-grade teacher

I really believe that by using PCM in their day to day functioning, teaching and management, the MUSE Global School is demonstrating an amazing initiative, which brings benefits for all those involved: kids, parents, teachers, school.

Why not experiment with applying PCM with your children? Take it step by step, just like the MUSE Global School does… I’m sure you’ll be amazed by the results.

Thank you for reading,

Magda.

PS: If you want to find out more about the MUSE Global School, please feel free to visit their website here: https://museglobalschoolca.com.

PPS: Please note that, given that the source video for this article was recorded in 2017, some of the teachers quoted are not working anymore with MUSE Global School

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Bring PCM into your life!

If you would like to bring the benefits of PCM in your professional and personal life and become a better communicator, learn how to better manage stress and how to invite others out of distress and back into productive behaviours, join my next Open PCM Workshop, starting in November 2021.


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