This book questions the assumption that classroom problems are always the fault of students who don't do what they are told. New classroom management techniques are not the answer, he says. Instead, we must reconsider what we're telling students to do and to learn. He shows how a fundamentally cynical view of children lies beneath the assumption that we must tell students exactly how we expect them to behave and then punish or reward them accordingly. Kohn contrasts the idea of discipline, in which things are done to students to control their behavior, with an approach in which we work with students to create caring communities where decisions are made together.
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Alfie Kohn is the author of many other books about education and human behavior, including Punished by Rewards, The Schools Our Children Deserve, and Unconditional Parenting.
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