Compliance

Previously Posted on Edublogs 

So here goes… My first blog post!

I have been thinking about the idea of “compliance” lately.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a five year old and a two year old so I understand the urge to have children comply…

Sometimes I just want my kids to listen to me when I say, “please put your shoes on” for the fifth time. It would make things a whole lot easier.

There are times though, when I question whether I truly want my kids or my kindergarten students to follow my commands blindly.

In her book, Kids Are Worth It!, Barbara Coloroso says,

Control tactics, positive or negative, have as their objective to compel or prevent actions and coerce kids to behave in an adult-approved way.  As a result, kids learn to do what they are told without question – not because they believe it is the right thing to do…

If I believe that as adults we should question what we are told, then why do I want to raise kids who just do what I say?

Obviously, if kids are engaged in behaviour that is unhealthy or dangerous then there isn’t room for negotiation. When I think about my kindergarten classroom though, a number of questions arise…

Why can’t students decide where they want to play? Why shouldn’t they be able to choose their own activities and materials? Do all students need to sit on the carpet at the same time, especially if they are not engaged? Is it appropriate to make a student apologize if they aren’t sorry?

As educators we need to question why we make students do certain things. Is it based on sound pedagogy or do we just want them to comply? And if so, why?