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

Challenging Students to Challenge

  • In this chapter Kohn touts the idea of teaching by doing and encouraging students to critically challenge ideas they encounter. Teachers should let students watch them write so they can see the process in action. Critical thinking helps students spot fallacies and develop a set of analytical thinking skills. Teachers, however, are more likely to focus on compliant behavior rather than raising rebels who can disagree as long at they have rational. How many kids would need treatment if excessive compliance was considered a disorder? Students need to also challenge their own beliefs so they can reorganize their thinking in light of new evidence. This is Constructivism 101. Making students feel comfortable challenging the status quo requires the right classroom culture. Unfortunately, many professors who espouse this approach use traditional teaching methods themselves.
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