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Lesson Plans

this whole long interminable classroom management thing

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
James Linker (jal19)
Sun, 15 Feb 1998 13:15:04 -0500


If everyone who has logged on to this thread so far doesn't realize by now
that this is neither simply a matter of making kids behave long enough to
get through the 50 minutes, nor one of finding ways to stick it to the
dominant culture, nor some pseudo-left-wing, neo-fascist political
correctness, then the state of education is worse than even the Republicans
would have us believe.

Do any of you honestly believe that either Kevin Tavin or Beth Reese don't
understand that order must be maintained in a classroom??!! You hardly need
teaching experience to understand that. What I find frustrating is that
many of the respondants to Kevin & Beth don't seem to realize that whatever
management strategies they deploy are also pedagogical practices -- what
you use to punish / control your students teaches us them something just as
surely as the stuff in your lesson plan. The point being made is simple and
clear; regarding disciplinary strategies, there are more factors to
consider than their simple short-term effectiveness. You become Teacher
when the first student walks into the building in the morning and you can't
stop teaching til you flop on your couch in the evening. It is simply
impossible to do otherwise. The kids are learning every moment they are in
your presence.

What long-term values are being unconsciously transmitted to students when
they are punished? If I understood Kevin's original objection, his gripe
concerned the use of writing *about art* as punishment. Seems to send a
clear message about the relationship between thinking / writing and making,
doesn't it? So they already like making stuff better; is punishing them
with writing going to teach them that thinking is creative too? What if a
physics teacher withheld time in the lab and made his misbehaving students
do endless formulas as punishment? Would that seem like a good teaching

Some of the strategies offered in the past few days have been wonderful;
they focus the student's attention on the behavior, its social
implications, their personal struggles, and their ultimate responsibility
to their fellows.Seems to me that this is right where the emphasis ought to

This conversation has had the potential to be very useful to all of us on
the list. It has been sad to see it degenerate into personal attacks and
name-calling. If that's the best we can do, we're a sorry bunch.



Use each man after his desert and who shall `scape whipping?

Shakespeare, *Hamlet*


james alan linker
doctoral candidate, art education
the pennsylvania state university
school of visual arts