Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Keep 'em busy, or Issue a ticket
I always enjoy combinations of stories. This time it concerns discipline. In Austin Texas it has been deemed too strict, even racially biassed. Shira Fishman, by contrast, keeps students busy from the moment they enter her geometry class, thus avoiding bouts of defiance or disruption. I recognise the practical value of each approach: strict discipline removes the expression of distractions, and has driven up standards in many schools; by keeping students busy likewise, teachers can avoid the tedium, or boredom that sometimes leads to misbehaviour. As a perennial dreamer, however, one who preferred to be off-task in school, I wonder if we are still trying to shoe-horn students into an unwanted place. Maybe it is the system that is wrong, not the students' failure to go along with it at all times.