Self-Discipline in Education


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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 […]

The Origins of Self-Discipline in American 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 […]

Effective and Ineffective Motivation in Learning Systems


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 […]

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



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 […]

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


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 […]

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


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 […]

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




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 […]

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