Since I’m taking classroom management right now, I’m learning a lot about theorists and finding which theorists I associate with. While I’m not quite as humanist as Kohn, I’m pretty far on that side of the spectrum. However, I’ve noticed that many of the kids in my generation (90s-2000s) were raised by teachers who are an interesting mix. There are many older teachers who are strictly behaviorist for the most part, and then a mix of newer teachers who are all over the spectrum. I think as a child, I associated older teachers as being bad teachers because they couldn’t relate to the students as much, while some of the younger teachers were listening to our music and understood what the life of a student was like.
However, after reading about Fred Jones and some of the other behaviorists, I’m realizing that I didn’t hate older teachers because of their age – I hated them because they were behaviorists. I don’t think that looking at a student and saying their name while they are talking addressing the underlying issue of the student talking in class – nor do I think moving their seat works. Yes, it stops the student from talking for that moment in time, but obviously if a student is talking to a friend, they probably aren’t paying attention to a thing that you, the teacher, is saying.
I realize that this is all personal preference, and there are many students who hate learning under humanists because there is less structure and emphasis on grades. I also realize that there can be some teachers who are behaviorists and are excellent and other teachers who are humanist and be terrible. What are some of the qualities of the teachers you hate?