Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Talking Points #4: Kohl and Kohn


While reading Herbert Kohl's article "I Won't Learn From You!" and Alfie Kohn's arcticle "Five Reasons to Stop Saying 'Good Job'", I did a lot of thinking about the experiences that I've had so far during Service Learning. The most important message from Kohl's article was that there's a big difference between failure and refusal or unwillingness to learn. In my service learning classroom, there's a particular student that I see getting in trouble every single week. In fact, this past week he walked outside of the school in the middle of the day and nobody could find him. When he was finally found, his reasoning for leaving the building was because he "wanted to play outside". I see him acting up in class all the time, and he never answers the teachers questions when he's called upon. In his case, I've come to find that he refuses to learn or behave because he gets attention for it. I'm not sure if he's getting a lot of attention at home or not, but it seems like he'd rather receive negative attention than no attention at all. I don't think he's actually incapable of doing what the other students are doing, I just think he wants more attention than the rest of the class. Also, after reading Aflie Kohn's article I decided to change the way I complimented the students on their work. At first, I was always saying "good job" whenever the students would show me their work, and I really did start to notice that they were becoming "praise junkies". They just wanted me to tell them that they did a good job, no matter how well they actually did. Students were constantly asking me how their work was and wanted approval. After reading the article, I stopped saying "good job". I started simply saying "you did it" or "that's right", or I'd ask the students what their favorite part about their work was. This honestly seemed to work much better. They were no longer constantly asking me how they were doing, they just accepted that they did it, and completed things the way that they considered their best. Both of these articles are great reads for future teachers. because clearly they are things that happen frequently in the field. 

No comments:

Post a Comment