articles by alfie kohn
|Scooped by JennaMRyan|
This article was written by Alfie Kohn for Learning Magazine in 1995. His position is that teachers ask themselves the wrong questions and try to address the wrong problems when looking at student behavior. Rather than asking himself or herself how do I get this kid to settle down and work, but what’s the task that's not engaging him? Another area is when students demonstrate undesired behavior, teachers should reflect on the climate of the classroom they have helped to create. Another way to discipline students that Kohn supports is engaging the students in the thinking for themselves by asking the children to think to themselves how long it takes them to get settled, why, and what we can do about that. Kohn says the whole field of classroom management only amounts to various techniques for manipulating student behavior.
I am intrigued by Kohn's perspective. His article isn't exactly opposed to discipline, rather he suggests the most effective way to get students to display desired behavior is to help them think through when they should act a certain way. When the children think their behavior is their idea for the good of the classroom, they are more likely to comply. I am just getting into discipline strategies and ideology of classroom discipline, so I can't speak to best practice for discipline, but I feel, in general, discipline has to be very individualized.