Feel-Bad Education – Alfie Kohn On What Schools Do Wrong

Can You Have Fun and Learn at the Same Time?

  • Prefab, minutely scripted lessons aimed at increasing test scores force students to go from being subjects to objects and from being learners to workers. Kohn cites the Listerine Theory of education which would claim that if the students are enjoying school, they can’t be learning much. Learning isn’t supposed to be fun and self-denial is common. Redemption though suffering also makes it seem like we really haven’t taken religion out of schools. The opposite view supported by research is that students achieve more when they are interested. There are also many (e.g. Nel Noddings in Happiness and Education) who believe that children learn best when they are happy.
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