Tag Archives : Self-Discipline in Education


The Origins of Self-Discipline in American Learning Systems 1

In his article, “Why Self-Discipline is Overrated: The (Troubling) Theory and Practice of Control from Within,” Alfie Kohn poses the question in reference to learning systems: “Why do we find ourselves so infatuated with self-discipline and self-control?” The answer, he says, may involve basic values that pervade our culture. What must be true about children–and [...]


Effective and Ineffective Motivation in Learning Systems

Effective and Ineffective Motivation in Learning Systems

Another slippery issue is the kind of motivation received and exhibited in LMS-hosted and classroom learning systems. Just as the kind of self-discipline is as important as the quantity, so it is with motivation. Intrinsic motivation consists of wanting to do something for its own sake–to read, for example, for the pleasure of reading along. On [...]


Re-Examining Self-Discipline in Our Learning Systems, Pt. 7

Of course, not every child who shows self-discipline in a learning system has vulnerability, compulsion or control issues. So what sets apart a healthy sense of self-discipline and an unhealthy one? Moderation is good, but more important is flexibility. What counts, writes Alfie Kohn, is the ability to choose whether and when to exhibit grit [...]


Re-Examining Self-Discipline in Our Learning Systems, Pt. 6

I’ve been writing about how self-discipline and self-control in classroom learning systems should be emphasized less and differently. The array of traits that can enhance a student’s experience in a learning system and enrich his or her life extends beyond this ideal. And the practice of impressive self-discipline can actually be damaging for a child. [...]


Re-Examining Self-Discipline in Our Learning Systems, Pt. 5

In Alfie Kohn’s article, “Why Self-Discipline is Overrated: The (Troubling) Theory and Practice of Control from Within,” he makes a strong case against the emphasis on self-discipline and self-control in LMS and classroom learning systems. After examining the personality types related to rigid self-discipline and the lack thereof, he arrives at a couple of paradoxes. [...]


Re-Examining Self-Discipline in Our Learning Systems, Pt. 4

Published materials and discussions on the subject often assert that the promotion of self-discipline is an important goal for learning systems, ignoring research that suggests the issue isn’t so black and white. Kohn writes, “Self-discipline can be less a sign of health than of vulnerability. It may reflect a fear of being overwhelmed by external [...]


Re-Examining Self-Discipline in Our Learning Systems, Pt. 3

What does it say about our society and its learning systems, poses Kohn, if the idea of self-control is widely applauded even though it may sometimes be inflexible, limiting, and “spoil the experience and savorings of life”? It’s clear for many educators that any extreme in behavior is generally undesirable in a learning system. Too [...]


Re-Examining Self-Discipline in Our Learning Systems, Pt. 2

In Alfie Kohn’s article, “Why Self-Discipline is Overrated: The (Troubling) Theory and Practice of Control from Within,” he examines our attitudes about self-discipline in learning systems. He cites research psychologist Jack Block, who described people in terms of their degree of “ego control,” or the extent to which impulses and emotions are expressed or suppressed. [...]