towards diagnosis – some things teachers told me: 1)staff are too permissive; students think ‘anything goes’. 2)students import emotional problems into school. 3)teachers are inconsistent in their rules and enforcement. 4)school studies are irrelevant and uninteresting; bored students disrupt lessons.
which explanation might be the key to solving the problem? 1)staff are too permissive; students think ‘anything goes’. 2)students import emotional problems into school. 3)teachers are inconsistent in their rules and enforcement. 4)school studies are irrelevant and uninteresting; bored students disrupt lessons. 5)other?
are proposed solutions compatible with learning and teaching in a community of thinking? why isn’t anybody talking about the relationship between the pedagogical reforms and power relations? could the growing “discipline problems” be a product of our teaching reforms?
Michel Foucault (1926-1984) it’s not really about prison
discipline as technology of power distribution in space control of activity hierarchical observation normalizing judgment and examination
disciplinary technology – distribution in space
disciplinary technology – control of activity “Take your slates. At the word take, the children, with their right hands, take hold of the string by which the slate is suspended from the nail before them, and, with their left hands, they grasp the slate in the middle; at the word slates, they unhook it and place it on the table.”
disciplinary technology – hierarchical observation Can you find your way around?
b d c a Locate the main office? The teachers’ room?
b. class- rooms c. “design provides: Ability to observe more students with less people...” d. main office a. teachers’ room
disciplinary technology – normalizing judgment and examination “a pupil who at the end of three examinations has been unable to pass into the higher order must be placed, well in evidence, on the bench of the ‘ignorant’.”
“All the pupils in the grade should receive instruction relative to the same points, and write the same words simultaneously; thus all will attend to the same thing, at the same time...”
power is not exercised actively and consciously by teachers
the progressivist revolution John Dewey 1859-1952 “Now the change which is coming into our education is the shifting of the center of gravity... the child becomes the sun about which the appliances of education revolve; he is the center about which they are organized.”
traditional discipline subverted by progressivist instruction distribution in space control of activity hierarchical observation normalizing judgment and examination cooperative learning differentiated learning active learning authentic assessment
what about classroom control? a) what may seem like disorder is actually the noise and bustle of engaged learning b) student misbehavior is a sign that the lesson is inappropriate or uninteresting c) youthful rebellion against authority is natural and positive d) education for democracy means granting students self-government e) other?
“there is a certain disorder in any busy workshop... and there is the confusion, the bustle, that results from activity.”
“When students are ‘off task’, our first response should be to ask, ‘what’s the task?’” Alfie Kohn
selective history lesson: review traditional instruction and discipline coincide progressivist instruction subverts traditional discipline progressivist approach to the “discipline” problem: denial and self-blame
for further reading Dewey, John. 1938. Experience and education. New York: The Macmillan company. Egan, Kieran. 2002. Getting it wrong from the beginning : our progressivist inheritance from Herbert Spencer, John Dewey, and Jean Piaget. New Haven: Yale University Press. Foucault, Michel. 1978. Discipline and punish: the birth of the prison. New York: Random House. Kohn, Alfie. 1996. Beyond discipline: from compliance to community. Alexandria, Va.: ASCD. Lefstein, A. 2002. Thinking power and pedagogy apart - Coping with discipline in progressivist school reform. Teachers College Record 104 (8):1627-1655. Tanner, Laurel N. 1997. Dewey's laboratory school: lessons for today. New York: Teachers College Press.