Contrasts the idea of discipline, in which things are done to students to control their behavior, with an approach that features teachers working with students to make decisions together within the framework of a caring community.
Release Date:August 1996
Publisher:Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development
I thoroughly enjoyed Alfie Kohn's book. It was a refreshing look at creating a democratic classroom where students are engaged, empowered, and respected. It will definitely influence how I behave in the classroom in the fall. It has led me to explore his other views and books on education and on parenting which I am currently reading.
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 15 years ago
I read this book while researching my topic for my MA thesis in elementary education. This book blew me away. It's provocative, it's funny and it challenges so many of the unnecessarily cruel and transparently manipulatie behaviors we use as teachers on a daily basis. While I agree that the book doesn't offer a paint by the numbers how to guide for implementing a more democratic and community based classroom, the intelligent reader can understand what needs to be done or at least look elsewhere for answers. This book inspired me allow me third grade students to throw out some of the old classroom rules and create new guidelines that they brainstormed, justified and ultimately settled on with me only acting as facilitator. It worked amazingly well and they really came up with some responsible guidelines for class behavior (although I gotta admit I was really holding my breath that they'd try to create some crazy stuff). At first I needed to remind them of these policies THEY CREATED but gradually they began to remind one another and there's been noticeable improvement. They own these new policies and have shown they can think critically and take charge. Best book I've ever read in education, hands down.
Why I Became a Teacher
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 17 years ago
First, Alfie Kohn is a former teacher, to answer a previous reviewer who said he wasn't. As I begin my fourth year of teaching, I have tried so many of the behavior-management methods. And as I look back on my teaching, I had the least behavior problems when my class was having fun and I was tailoring lessons to meet their interest. Whenever I decided to take a more traditional, back-to-basics approach, I found the class to be visibly more miserable with an increase in behavior problems. Alfie Kohn's book makes us take a reflective look at our teaching rather than blaming everything on the children. It challenges us to use the children as co-problem solvers and relinquish some control in the classroom. After a difficult past year, I realized that marble jars, funny money, class stores, tickets, and even behavior awards were simply bribing children, pitting them against each other, and creating a "What am I going to get for this?" mentality. I told myself that I wouldn't do it again this year. I feel so fortunate to have read this book before the beginning of school. This book reminds me why I wanted to become a teacher.
Best Book I've Read in a Long Time
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 18 years ago
Alfie Kohn is a lonely voice of reason and compassion amid a sea of reactionary rhetoric about accountanbilty and "classrooom management." He changed my life; let him change your's too.
A different perspective on "managing" the classroom.
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 22 years ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It offered me insights into classroom discipline that I had never considered. The most powerful statement made in the book--in my opinion-- is that, instead of wondering how to make children behave differently, we should be asking ourselves what we are doing to make them behave the way they are. Too often I make decisions solely for the purpose of being the "boss". This book helped me to stop and think about why I want the children to behave a certain way. I had a very difficult class a few years ago, and I wish I would have read this book prior to that time. However, during the reading, a lot of that class's problems made more sense to me!
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