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Alfie Kohn's Beyong Discipline

By sweetappl2 Apr 13, 2008 590 Words
Alfie Kohn’s
Beyond Discipline

About Alfie Kohn:
-A former teacher who is now a full-time writer and lecturer. -Wrote several influential books and published numerous journal articles relating to motivation, grading, discipline, and developing caring people. -Recognized as one of the most original thinkers in education -www.afliekohn.org

Kohn’s Contributions:
-Instruction should be based off constructivist theory.
oConstructivist Theory holds that students cannot receive knowledge directly from teachers but rather from experience. -Developing a sense of community which develops caring, responsible students. oCommunity brings about purposeful activity and concern for others, which teachers normally hope to achieve through discipline techniques.

Kohn’s Central Focus:
-Focused on helping teachers develop caring, supportive classrooms in which students pursue in depth topics of interest to them and participate fully in solving class problems. -Has criticized teaching and approaches to discipline that do things to students rather than involving students as partners in the process. -Attack discipline schemes that involve rewards or punishments. oThese are counterproductive and produce side effects such as mistrust, avoidance, and working for rewards only. -Work toward developing a sense of community where students are continually brought into making judgments, expressing their opinions, and working cooperatively toward solutions that affect themselves and the class.

Principal Teachings:
-Educators must abandon teaching that “does things to” students and replace it with teaching that takes students seriously, involves them in decisions, and helps them explore in depth topics they consider important. oStudents forget what they’ve learned because the learning has little importance from the student’s point of view. -Educators must look beyond the techniques of discipline and ask the question. What are we attempting to accomplish with discipline? oAs a result of discipline, strong and compliant students are not what we’d like students to become. -Almost all popular discipline programs are based on threat, reward, and punishment, which are used to gain student compliance. oThe only difference is how kindly and respectfully the teacher speaks to students while using discipline. -When students are rewarded (or punished) into compliance, they usually feel no commitment to what they are doing. oThey have no real understanding of why they are doing the act and are not changing their behaviors.

-Teacher-made rules are of no practical value in the classroom oStudents learn best to behave not from being told but having the opportunity to behave responsibly. -Some teachers – and most authorities in discipline – have an unrealistically negative view of students’ basic motives. oStudents are predisposed to disobedience and troublemaking. They seem to ignore curriculum powerfully influences student interest and involvement. -Student growth toward kindness, happiness, and self-fulfillment occurs as they work closely with fellow students. oIncludes students’ disagreeing and arguing with each other, which can have strong benefits -When concerns arise, the teacher should always ask students, “What do you think we can do to solve this problem?” oThis helps students develop a sense of capability and responsibility

-Class meetings offer the best forum for addressing questions that affect the class. Education must be reformed so that classrooms take on the nature of communities. oA community is a place where students are cared about and care about others, are valued and respected. They learn to think in terms of we instead of I. -Teachers who with to move beyond discipline must do three things: oProvide an engaging curriculum based on student interests, develop a sense of community, and draw students into meaningful decision making.

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