Saturday, December 4, 2010

Withholding Learning

If a kid forgot his book, would we refuse to let him read?

If a kid forgot his pencil, would we refuse to let him write?

If a kid forgot his gym change, would we refuse to let him participate?

At what point is using learning as a reward or withholding the opportunity to learn as a punishment malpractice?


  1. Well put. I've been thinking along these lines for quite a while - so happy to find kindred spirits, thanks to twitter!

  2. What do you mean by withholding learning or the opportunity to learn?

  3. I've been having this conversation lately. I know teachers that will throw students out for not having a pencil. You've framed it perfectly!

  4. The gym one... well, yes, I was a victim of that in high school... but I guess not having smelly teenagers made that one bearable.

    I was just reading a post today that said if students forget to raise their hand then you should not acknowledge them. That one made me sad =(

    I think we need to stop playing the power game. School is the only place where we are not allowed to make minor mistakes. Even in the "real world," most bosses cut you a break if you forget a pen. Until we stop making these awkward divisions between school and the real world, we will find students unmotivated to learn and/or lacking practical education.

  5. I have spare boks and spare pencils. But gym clothes? Er, maybe they can be scorekeeper or officiator...

  6. OMG ...there ARE others out there on the same wavelength!
    As for the gym clothes...just try to play a good round of soccer or basketball in jeans and a long sleeved shirt. They can stew in their sweat the rest of the day...if they remember how THAT feels, they'll bring their gym clothes. I draw the line at shoes other than running shoes. Either way it affects their mark.(sadly - the be-all end-all for students).


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