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Beyond Discipline: From Compliance to Community

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  354 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
In this 10th anniversary edition of an ASCD best seller, author Alfie Kohn reflects on his revolutionary ideas in the context of today's emphasis on school accountability and high-stakes testing. Find out how his innovative approach- where teachers learn to work with students, rather than do things to them-has withstood the test of time and helped educators create positive ...more
Paperback, 191 pages
Published August 1st 2006 by Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (first published August 1st 1996)
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Community Reviews

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Книгата не ми каза почти нищо ново. Не че съм някакъв експерт по педагогика или пък родител, отгледал 12 успели и щастливи деца, за когото няма тайни в детската психология. Детето ми дори още не е тръгнало на училище. Но възпитанието на деца не е ракетно инженерство, колкото и да се опитат да ни пробутат точно тази теза.
Алфи Коен не казва нищо ново за мен. Проблемът в училищата е с учебната програма и с отношението на учителите (системата – колкото и да ми е неприятна тази дума). Училището е сре
Book Him Danno
Apr 04, 2013 Book Him Danno rated it really liked it
Letting the students work out their own problems is a great plan, yes it will take time for them to learn how to do this, but they will need this skill in the future. Jobs are going to pay you for the work you do, but it isn't always going to be fun just like school. Learning to learn for learning sake is what we want kids to do, so letting them drive the class seems reasonable. Constructivism follows this course, student-centered learning where the teacher is a guide on the side, not the expert ...more
Jan 29, 2015 Andrew rated it liked it
Recommended to Andrew by:
Shelves: philosophy, 014-sig
An interesting subject and premise, but I don't think the content justified the length. It's not a long book; it just doesn't have much content. It's a very negative book in that it criticizes at length forms of discipline in the classroom but it doesn't offer much to replace those forms.

Punishment (and reward, which has the same outcome as punishment) allows teachers to gain temporary compliance. It has bad psychological effects on the children. Children grown up can feel these effects, like me
Feb 19, 2013 Deborah rated it really liked it
I like how Alfie Kohn thinks ~ respecting the integrity of each person rather than ramrodding. The principle of community building is reiterated throughout the book. He challenges us to move from control to relationship, from compliance to community -- ostensibly in school, although this is generalizable to all facets of life!

"If we want children to grow up to be compassionate people, we have to help them change educational structures." Mr. Kohn promotes replacing obedience with constructing a c
Mar 09, 2012 Camille rated it it was amazing
EXCELLENT BOOK. A Must-Read for all teachers, students, parents...heck, everyone! Thanks to the revelations in this book, I can draw a straight line from the educational system to the violent and punitive society many of us live in. Reward and punishment, "rules" and control, false choices and compulsion to's no surprise we have such a terribly flimsy democracy here in America. But don't worry, there is an answer. It's community, and Kohn supplies lots of excellent suggestions for ho ...more
Feb 07, 2012 Sumiko rated it liked it
Kohn spends a lot of time writing about why conventional discipline doesn't work and cites many studies for proof. He states that building a community is more important, but gives disappointingly little advice on how to achieve that. He gives some lists of principles to follow but then says he can't give specifics because each situation is different. It would have been a much more compelling book if he had included more sample scenarios and conversations such as he wrote in the last chapter.
Adam Ross
Apr 26, 2016 Adam Ross rated it it was amazing
Shelves: education, psychology
What a fantastic book. Kohn hits another one out of the park, this time a full book devoted to critiquing punitive discipline in schools. A short, concise piece illustrating the problem with traditional schooling methods, and how the new "innovative" ways of disciplining students is really just more of the same, dressed up in more kindly packaging. All of these ways of "doing" school are really ways to control students, and are therefore authoritarian, and he hammers this notion into the ground ...more
Dec 26, 2014 Rachel rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2014
If I'm perfectly honest in my feelings on this book, I must say I found chapters 1-5 to be nothing but infuriating, if not destructive, to a teacher's pedagogical outlook on how one should treat their students. It seems as though Kohn has never been in a classroom of children based upon some of the suggestions made regarding a student's ability to intrinsically motivate oneself to make rational decisions at ages which developmental psychology has taught us these skills have yet to develop. Witho ...more
Jul 19, 2013 Meg rated it really liked it
People weren't using the term "restorative justice" as much when Kohn wrote this book, but it surely applies. I found this book to be a more focused and convincing read, with more practical suggestions, than "Unconditional Parenting." I like his "class meetings" ideas.
Jul 09, 2008 Jason added it
I'm excited for the next school year. I can't imagine ever going back to the way I used to do things. I wish someone had given me this book and The Schools Our Children Deserve (by Kohn) my first year of teaching.
"The chief source of the 'problem of discipline' in schools is that... a premium is put on physical quietude; on silence, on rigid uniformity of posture and movement; upon a machine-like simulation of the attitudes of intelligent interest. The teachers' business is to hold the pupils up to these requirements and to punish the inevitable deviations which occur." - John Dewey, Democracy and Education

So, opens the book, on the page before the table of contents no less. However, strangely, Mr. Kohn
Arlene S
Publ. 1996. Some good ideas, though overall premise somewhat (or even wildly ) idealistic if intended for a classroom of 30+ students in the U.S. My four star rating is for presentation and authorial passion. Main idea: Carrots, sticks, and other manipulations do not develop learning (or personal moral fabric), but stunt the development of thinking and personal value construction. Theoretical foundation: Piaget's constructivist theory of knowing/learning.
Roderic Rinehart
Apr 26, 2010 Roderic Rinehart rated it did not like it
This is a book of the far left, that makes ridiculous and untenable suggestions and solutions for the classroom. It is a fairy tale land of children that do the right thing, help each other, and construct a community of learners and citizens.

As a teacher, it is laughable and insulting. We cannot expect children to naturally discover the right thing to do - pulling it out of the aether on their magical fun ride to ethics and good sense. It admonishes any form of behaviorist punishment, any kind o
Jul 26, 2014 Corinne rated it liked it
Kohn is not one of my favorite writers. I agree with his ideas, but he is redundant. The lack of practical application (a teacher's desire for which he descries) is nonetheless a barrier, though he does give some workable suggestions toward the end. I'd be curious to know if teachers at the high school level, who don't see their students as often throughout the week, have had success implementing his strategies. It seems like building a community to the degree necessary would take up too much in ...more
Aug 30, 2012 Shelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. I think the ideas behind the book are very logical. Sometimes I think the line between what is a reward and was isn't a reward is a little more blurry than he'd like us to believe. I wish he had focused more on developing his ideas, and ways to apply it in the classroom, and a little less time criticizing every other "program" out there. The criticism were often useful in illustrating his point, but I'd rather have a concrete idea on what to do than hear about why all t ...more
May 30, 2014 Paula rated it really liked it
Shelves: education
This is a great book with lots of good information on how to discipline in the classroom. But, it's more than discipline, it's lasting changes.
Jul 02, 2014 Barbara rated it really liked it
I read this several years ago and just pulled it off my shelf to revisit this title before next year.
Mar 08, 2015 Veronica rated it liked it
Similar to other books I've read by Alfie Kohn. This book is a restatement of other works. The point of this book is to bring a broader awareness of why discipline programs fail children. Discipline should be curriculum led, and children should not be blamed for the shortcomings of administrators and teaches. No Contest and Punished by Rewards should be required reading for all educators and managers.
Eamonn Barrett
Sep 20, 2014 Eamonn Barrett rated it it was amazing
Wonderful! Recommended for every school principal. A book to inform and inspire a career.
Христо Блажев
Nov 17, 2011 Христо Блажев rated it it was amazing
Дресура за деца – “Митът за дисциплината” на Алфи Кон

“Има ли разлика между начина, по който дисциплинираме децата и начина, по който дресираме животните? Алфи Кон показва недвусмислено (документирано), че методите, които прилагаме по отношение на учениците в училище, са разработени с цел модификация на поведението на лабораторни животни. Нашата педагогика се гордее с процедури и тактики, заимствани от експерименти с гълъби и мишки. Възможно ли е отговорът
Ms Bryan
Jul 11, 2011 Ms Bryan rated it liked it
This book is pretty much common sense. It helps an educator/parent relate to their students in a way that is proactive and effective. There is less blame on when things have already gone wrong and more how the environment you create gives you the results.
Robert Hultman
Sep 04, 2012 Robert Hultman rated it really liked it
A very well written and thought provoking account of Kohn's attempt to reconcile what we say and what we do in the classroom, while clearly illuminating the line between reflective behavior and Pavlovian obedience.
Jan 28, 2008 KatieSuzanne rated it liked it
I had to read this for an education class in college but I think anyone would find this interesting. A lot of it takes places in East St. Louis, a city many people don't know about but they should.
Sep 30, 2012 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Certainly a good book to help us realize that are other methods of achieving a safe & effective learning community for our children besides those based on rewards & punishments.
Jan 21, 2013 Jennie rated it really liked it
This makes SO MUCH SENSE! I loved it. I can't wait to incorporate it! I highly recommend anyone involved with children (educator and parent) to read Alfie Kohn's books.
Tiffany Leigh
Jul 08, 2014 Tiffany Leigh rated it liked it
Shelves: education
Progressive thoughts about how we interact with children and what we believe about them. Has me pondering many things about my classroom. A good read.
Jun 03, 2013 Danielle rated it really liked it
Food for thought. Really gets you thinking about your own approach to classroom management as well as those currently being used in the classroom today.
Mar 03, 2013 Megan rated it really liked it
Wish there was a little more application and less criticism of other techniques, but this was an enlightening and helpful book.
Jul 24, 2010 Clint rated it liked it
Shelves: education
has some good insight and suggestions to use with students. Good in theory but still yet to make it happen in my classroom.
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Alfie Kohn writes and speaks widely on human behavior, education, and parenting. The author of eleven books and scores of articles, he lectures at education conferences and universities as well as to parent groups and corporations.

Kohn's criticisms of competition and rewards have been widely discussed and debated, and he has been described in Time magazine as "perhaps the country's most outspoken
More about Alfie Kohn...

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“Сама по себе си общността не е достатъчна; необходима е също и автономност. Когато и двете неща присъстват, резултатът може да се нарече по още един начин: демокрация.” 0 likes
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