Prizes as Curriculum • How my school gets students to “behave”

A harrowing report on systematic child abuse in an American school. What’s particularly tragic about that is that the teachers who are inflicting such abuses are not bad people: they genuinely believe that they are doing good or, if not good, then at least they are doing their best to help.

Louisa was a warm and well-meaning person. After this incident, she wanted to reflect on what had happened—it had been an upsetting day for all. Louisa asked herself certain questions and didn’t ask others. In the end, she was able to justify her decision in a way that enabled her to see her decision as a moral one. “Eric has problems entertaining himself, and that’s something we need to support him with. Maybe something is going on at home,” she sighed.

Very sad. We must change this reward and punishment culture. It does not work.

Address of the bookmark: http://www.rethinkingschools.org/archive/30_03/30-3_lagerwerff.shtml

I am a professional learner, employed as a Full Professor at Athabasca University, where I research lots of things broadly in the area of learning and technology and teach mainly in the School of Computing & Information Systems, of which I am the Chair. I am married, with two grown-up children, and live in beautiful Vancouver.

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