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 Thinking about the readings 
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When I was reading, "Why Johnny Can't Disobey," I thought it had some good points even though I thought it exaggerated a little. Students are expected to obey their teachers, parents, and other authority figures without question. I'm sure we've all heard the phrase, "Because I said so" in response to a child's question about why they need to do something. Children are expected to follow classroom rules that the teacher has made, and many times the teacher does not give students the chance to discuss why those rules are important. In the past, children were supossed to "be seen and not heard," and the reading suggests that this thought is still prevelant in some schools today.

The author stresses that students should have the chance to voice their own opinions and question authority so they do not become unconcious robots, following everything the hear. The author warns readers that if people do not have the chance to question, they may get sucked into a cult where they follow awful leaders, such as Hitler. I think that this idea is a little extreme. As a younger student, I didn't have the chance to voice my opinion very often, but I am able to make my own decisions and question what is right. However, I do think that the author makes a valid point by saying teachers should allow students to discuss issues and learn how to critically think. They are not going to be in school forever and need to know how to independently make correct, smart choices. What better place to practice this than in the classroom.

However, there does need to be a balance; order needs to exist in the classroom, and the teacher needs to be the ultimate authority figure. However, this authority figure is only used for the students' benefit and also acts as a guide and facilitator who allows opinions to be shared and problems to be solved.

What does everyone think about this?

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Laura Greene

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Sun Jan 22, 2006 4:36 pm
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i think if (in the classroom) we present guidelines to our students with either natural or logical consequences. (not punishment) the students have choices. (enough to let them know they are making their own decisions)

we are giving them options, but along with those options come consequences that they were fully aware of before they made their choice to disobey or go against the guidelines.

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rebecca brown

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Wed Jan 25, 2006 2:05 pm
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I also thought "Why Johnny Can't Disobey" exaggerated some. Being in school is being in an organized, authoritative environment. Learning is about questioning and challenging things, but questioning authority can get a little out of hand. It is important for students to make their own decisions and learn things on their own. They will not be in school forever and must learn how to survive in the "real world". In order to do that though, they need basic knowledge, which can only be gained through a school environment. Teachers act as a mentor to students and are there to guide them in their decisions.

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Lauren Shook


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Wed Jan 25, 2006 2:31 pm
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