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Beyond Discipline: From Compliance to Community
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Beyond Discipline: From Compliance to Community

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  497 ratings  ·  52 reviews
What is most remarkable about the assortment of discipline programs on the market today is the number of fundamental assumptions they seem to share. Some may advocate the use of carrots rather than sticks; some may refer to punishments as "logical consequences." But virtually all take for granted that the teacher must be in control of the classroom, and that what we need a ...more
Paperback, 10th Anniversary Edition, 191 pages
Published August 15th 2006 by ASCD (first published August 1st 1996)
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3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  497 ratings  ·  52 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
Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Тезата на Алфи Кон е, че със строга дисциплина (масово използваният поход за управление на класната стая от почти всички учители в традиционните училища, свеждащ се до въвеждане на система от награди и наказания с цел постигане на пълно подчинение) не се формират нравствените качества и социалните умения, които самите учители иначе са си поставили като главна цел в работата си с децата. Напълно съм съгласна с тази теза и напълно неспособна на този етап да следвам в работата ми съдържащата се в н ...more
Book Him Danno
Apr 04, 2013 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
Gabie (OwlEyesReviews)
This book gave me a lot of really rich ideas and strategies for creating community in my future classroom. Although I do not believe that everything in this book is applicable to every situation, I do think that I will use this book as a resource in my future.
Jun 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommended to Andrew by:
Shelves: phil, 2014-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
Dec 10, 2014 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
Feb 19, 2013 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
Jun 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teacher-pd
Highest possible recommendation. Beyond Discipline is readable and rigorous in its takedown of what doesn't work (threats and treats), what still doesn't work (subtler threats and shinier treats), and what actually helps our students learn to participate productively in a community. Kohn lays out the ground principles of a caring community clearly and convincingly.

As with most PD books, I see low reviews coming from people who wanted concrete techniques to implement directly in the classroom. Th
Mar 09, 2012 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 02, 2012 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.
Jun 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
So much food for thought! So important to think about why we do the things we do in a classroom, and the real impact of consequences and quasi-choices.

"The only way to help students become ethical people, as opposed to people who merely do what they are told, is to have them construct moral meaning. It is to help them figure out - for themselves and with each other - how one ought to act."
Jul 08, 2008 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.
Jan 31, 2013 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.
Rose Peterson
Aug 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
I appreciate Kohn's criticism of classroom management and advocacy for community building but feel his argument could have been made in half as many pages.
Mar 25, 2018 rated it liked it
I did not find anything Earth shattering in this book. However, I think Kohn's work belongs in the conversation of how to create safer, stronger schools. He argues that students need to be given more choice and say in the running of their schools and classrooms. His claim is founded in the idea that one only learns through exposure and practical experience. If teachers and administrators are left to make all the decisions surrounding student conflict, students never learn how to problem solve wh ...more
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I resonated with Kohn's perspective and logic. I have also seen that all too often, rewards and punishments backfire with children, and get in the way of children developing a true sense of consideration for others and a sense of morality. It seems that not much has changed since Kohn first published the book in 1996. There is still a hyper focus on classroom management, instead of developing a sense of community in the classroom, which would likely reduce things like bullying also. The only cri ...more
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is a must-read for anyone working with children, but especially educators. This book draws on past research to critique the punishment/reward system while simultaneously offering advice on how to build responsible, caring communities within the classroom. I would recommend this book to every teacher, parent, and administrator I know.
Muhammad Sheheryar
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An amazing book. Alfie Kohn really raises some serious questions and debunks many of the discipline myths. I spent twice the time I usually spend on a book because at almost every paragraph I had to stop and reflect on the point being made. I connected to almost all of it. A big Thumbs UP!!
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm just going to go ahead and say this is one of the best books written about student "behavior" ever. I want every teacher everywhere to read it and then read it again.
Adam Ross
Apr 22, 2016 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
Academic Eric
"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
Roderic and Amanda
Apr 26, 2010 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
Aug 30, 2012 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
Христо Блажев
Nov 17, 2011 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
Jul 04, 2014 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
Feb 04, 2015 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.
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.
Oct 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
This is a good book for people who's mind needs to be changed about how classroom management should look. However, if you are already a kind, and reasonable person who understands how humans generally work, his excess of pathos, ranting, and lack of concrete strategies to use in the classroom is frustrating.

Good for you... not for me.
Robert Hultman
May 21, 2012 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.
Ms Bryan
Jun 22, 2010 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.
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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
“Малко противоположности в образованието са толкова силни и значими, както тази между отправянето на изисквания към учениците и инструктирането им какво могат и не могат да вършат, от една страна, и задружното, самостоятелно търсене от страна на учениците на начина да живеят и учат заедно, от друга. Говорим за разлика между това да си подготвен да прекараш живота си, правейки каквото ти казват, и да си подготвен да поемаш активна роля в демократичното общество (или, в зависимост от случая, да трансформираш обществото, така че да го превърнеш в демократично.)” 0 likes
“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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