Friday, December 02, 2005

Self-Managed Behavior vs. Typical Behavior Plans

Morality cannot really be imposed on a child, but must instead arise out of his/her own trials and tribulations. Likewise, this principle applies to behavior. A child must not be expected to intrinsically appreciate “appropriate” behavior that they have not manifested to be “appropriate” from within themselves. Building “Social Contracts” with peers through trial and error, while at the same time providing an emotionally safe environment to discuss what is and is not working, are essential needs for fostering the growth of intrinsically-motivated children. Therefore, formulaic behavior management plans employed by public schools throughout this country must be scraped onto the heap of Skinnerian Behaviorism that has only led to failed attempts to control and “manage” human lives. Conversely, “self-management” is logically the only approach to child-rearing and classroom management to have any long-term positive effect since it is generated from within; and at the same time, a child/student’s self-selection of an “appropriate” behavior is clearly the least coercive and least harmful, hence, the most desirable. Finally, only self-management can claim a genuine belief in the much-hoped-for goal of educating youth to be “self-reliant, independent, and critical-thinking.” It is necessary to state that there are instances when the assertion of authority is legitimate and not capricious: SAFETY. Such cases need only be discussed within context. If a child were about to run out into a street it is easy to prove that the assertion of authority was not arbitrary but legitimate.

1 comment:

troutsky said...

Have you ever seen the work of A.S.Neil who ran a school in England caled Summerhill? I used to be all over that stuff when I was in high school, I remember giving a speech at a large conference where I advocated the necessity of taking some kids away from their parents so they could be educated.A room full of parents ,teachers, administrators, you could have heard a pin drop.I would probably have to revise lots of my opinions today but we definately need to think outside of the box. Droids just use up good air.