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The Best Posts, Articles & Videos Explaining Why Punishment Is Often Not The Best Classroom Strategy

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I’ve written a lot about my belief in a positive, not punitive, classroom management strategy. You can read my books and The Best Posts On Classroom Management to get a better sense of how I practice what I preach.

I thought readers might find it helpful, though, if I pulled out many of my prior posts specifically on the typical ineffectiveness of punishment. Of course, there are some serious offenses that warrant it, and sometimes, when nothing else has seemed to work, I have asked students to help develop a “punishment” that they think would deter them from repeating an inappropriate behavior.

The vast majority of the time, however, I don’t find punishment to be particularly helpful to get what I want out of students, which is for them to behave as responsible members of a learning community.

Here are some resources explaining why that is the case (feel free to contribute more):

Punishing kids for lying just doesn’t work is from Science Daily.

“People who are angry pay more attention to rewards than threats” — No Kidding!

“Anger At Our Children” (Or Our Students)

Collective Punishment In The Classroom

Whenever You’re Tempted To Use Punishment As A Classroom Management Tool, Remember This Comic Strip

This Is What Students Learn When We Use Punishment As Our Classroom Management Strategy

Another Shocker – NOT! Students Respond Better To Support Than Threats

A Little Respect Can Go A Long Way In The Classroom

Being Reminded Of The Consequences Of Losing Self-Control Doesn’t Help; Asking About Goals Does

“Flowchart For When A Day Goes Bad In Classroom Management”

“The Darn Thing’s Not Working”

Keeping Our Eyes On The Wrong Prize

“Detentions make no difference, pupils claim”

Surprise, Surprise – Punishment May Not Be The Best Parenting (Or Teaching) Strategy

What If Everything You Knew About Disciplining Kids Was Wrong? is from Mother Jones.

Eureka Alert reports that “Adolescents focus on rewards and are less able to learn to avoid punishment or consider the consequences of alternative actions, finds a new UCL-led study.”

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

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