Alfie Kohn Bad Signs

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Alfie Khon “bad signs” is an in insightful article that embodies different themes to emphasis on the importance and influence that learning environment plays to students in a school. Alfie addresses the misconception held by most institutions’ on the importance of signs on the wall of schools as a motivational and inspirational aspect to facilitate a better learning environment.

Kohn clearly reiterates on his belief about the magnitude signs have to the psyche of students. The author believes that teachers do not consider the effects that the signs have to students and how they deprive students of any form of freedom considering that they already go through the process of education by adhering to other numerous rules. Under the section emphasising on the sign “no whining”, the author tries to reverse the role of the sign and picture the same message addressed to teachers claiming that they would not be as inclined to adhering to the message as they expect from students (Kohn 1). Kohn uses this perception to outline how students are denied freedom of expression while at school through issuance of such commands in a statement “We don’t let them hit, scream, or curse.  Now we’re insisting that they can’t even use a tone of voice that’s, well, insistent?” (Kohn 1).

Kohn also disapproves of the use of inspirational posters regardless of what context they are meant to embody. He states, “At this point I should probably confess that I don’t much care for posters on school walls, period” where he insists that posters often stretch the truth beyond a limit students mostly if not all the time cannot achieve (Kohn 1). In a statement he questions the though process that goes to deciding the importance of the signs and who should be responsible for putting the signs on the wall when he claims “What should go on the walls….Who decides what goes on the walls?” (Kohn 1).

Work Cited
  • Kohn, Alfie. “Bad Signs.” KAPPA DELTA PI RECORD (2010) : n. pag. Web. 01 Nov. 2013

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