Student Behaviour: Theory and Practice for Teachers

By Louise Porter | Go to book overview

8
CRITIQUE OF THE THEORIES

There is a time to admire the grace and persuasive power of an influential idea, and
there is a time to fear its hold over us. The time to worry is when the idea is so widely
shared that we no longer even notice it, when it is so deeply rooted that it feels to
us like plain common sense. At the point when objections are not answered anymore
because they are no longer even raised, we are not in control: we do not have the
idea; it has us.

Kohn (1999: 3)


KEY POINTS
One can give the illusion of a lively debate by asking and attempting to answer questions about the merits of the various theories covered here, by examining evidence of their effectiveness. Meanwhile, however, the presuppositions of the field itself typically go unnoticed and unexamined.
Disciplinary policies and practices in schools are not selected in a vacuum, but within the context of a society that marginalises and silences powerless groups— in this case, young people. This necessitates a scrutiny of the politics of the ideas themselves.
Practices must also be judged by both their ethics and effectiveness, which encompasses not only ending a disruption but also promoting positive learning and respectful relationships within the classroom.

-180-

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