Teachers or counselors can reinforce taught concepts in spontaneously arising situations (Knaus, 1974, 1977a, 1977b, 2004; Knaus & Haberstroh 1993). For example, asking a student to use a coping skill in a problem situation, when the student does not know the skill, is generally impractical. On the other hand, once the student has learned and practiced an REE concept, promptinga student to use a tested coping strategy, can prove productive. This application prompting method shows students that they truly do have choices in how they respond to problem situations, and can experience a sense of reward from applying a new REE taught skill.
If professional educators can’t understand how kids outside of school learn so much without being taught, it may be because they don’t understand how this kind of attention works. They shut it down as soon as the bell rings. In school children must turn off their powers of observation, they must narrow their attention and “focus,” which means they must not notice what's happening around them. They are told not to look out of windows. They are told not to let their eyes — or their minds — wander. A child who maintains a state of open attention in the classroom will be diagnosed with an attention “disorder” and drugged.