Today’s “Pickles” comic strip has many applications to education. Often, in the classroom, we might see a issue needing a solution — a student needing to develop a greater capacity for self-control, a reluctant reader, etc. — and wonder why our solutions (punishment, etc.) don’t work. One reason might be because we’re applying the wrong “tool.”

The same is true for many school reform ideas — merit pay, a longer school day, more standardized testing. These tools are not the right ones for the job.