violenceschools - The issue involving violence in schools...

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The issue involving violence in schools and how to address this issue is debated in the text by Albert Shanker and Alfie Kohn. Shanker was a firm believer in a zero tolerance policy while Kohn advocates a policy that would establish a sense of community and building relationships that would curb violent tendencies in students. I believe wholeheartedly in establishing relationships with students so that a trust is built between teacher and students. I do not believe you can be your most effective as a teacher without that. However, I do believe in a zero tolerance policy for certain actions. As I read, I could see positives and negatives, agreements and disagreements, with both arguments. Is a zero tolerance policy a valid and legitimate way to reestablish adult authority in public schools? My position is this: Why can’t we have both? Let me explain. First, let’s look at the bottom line purpose of schools, that being to educate children. That can not be accomplished optimally without a safe and secure, both physically and mentally, learning environment. Unlike the picture Kohn paints of a zero tolerance policy, it does not have to be like a dictator-driven concentration camp. Kohn claims proponents of a zero tolerance classroom envision “a classroom full of docile, unquestioning students . . . even if they aren’t learning much of value, (who) don’t care much about one another, and would rather be someplace else,” (as cited in Noll, 2007, p. 322). That is not the case; as Shanker suggests, the classroom should maintain “sufficient order,” (as cited in Noll, 2007, p. 308). Teachers know a productive classroom is filled with lively discussion and has students actively engaged in their learning. School is a reflection of society, and it seems as if violent crime begins at a younger age with every passing decade. How do we keep our classrooms in a safe and productive mode when a small minority of the students can be disruptive, sometimes violently, and inhibit the learning of the vast majority? I agree with Shanker in that schools are best served with a zero tolerance policy for certain actions, emphasis on certain. I also agree with Shanker in that those actions and consequences
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This note was uploaded on 11/20/2010 for the course HISTORY 250 taught by Professor Piper during the Spring '10 term at Piedmont College.

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violenceschools - The issue involving violence in schools...

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