Classroom Management: Kohn’s Theory. Marisa Santana Gloria Cano. Alfie Kohn. Is an American author and lecturer who has explored a number of topics in education, parenting, and human behavior.
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Is an American author and lecturer who has explored a number of topics in education, parenting, and human behavior.
He is considered a leading figure in progressive education. He has also offered critiques of many traditional aspects of parenting, managing, and American society.
Kohn’s challenges to widely accepted theories and practices have made him a controversial figure, particularly with behaviorist, conservatives, and those who defend the specific practices he calls into question, such as the use of competition, incentive programs, conventional discipline, standardized testing , grades, homework, and traditional schooling.
“…reject rewards and punishments…[because] a child may come to act in the desired way only in order to receive the former or avoid the latter…. Students [will] be self-disciplined, to internalize good values so that outside inducements are no longer necessary.”
In a consequence-based classroom, students are led to ask, "What does she want me to do, and what happens to me if I don't do it?"
In a reward-based classroom, they're led to ask, "What does she want me to do, and what do I get for doing it?“
Notice how similar these two questions are. Rewards and punishments are really two sides of the same coin. And notice how different either one is from what we'd like children to be thinking about: "What kind of person do I want to be?" or "What kind of classroom do we want to have?"
To help kids engage in such reflection, we have to work with them rather than doing things to them. We have to bring them in on the process of making decisions about their learning and their lives together in the classroom. Children learn to make good choices by having the chance to choose, not by following directions.
Sandy refuses to share her glue stick with Amy while working on an art project. Camille says, “it’s ok Amy, you can borrow my glue. ” Teacher while monitoring art station says, “good job, Camille sharing your glue, thank you!”
Miguelito and Juan are talking during reading time and teacher says, “Hey, kids this is your third warning, you owe me 5 minutes of your recess.”
Sam keeps on disrupting reading time by getting up constantly to take drinks of water, sharpen his pencil or going to the restroom. Teacher takes Sam to the side and talks to him about what is disturbing him, teacher says, are you feeling ok? Is there something bothering you? You got up about 5 times in 30 minutes, what do you thing you could do about it?