My Coercive Classroom
Last fall I found myself involved in one of those brief, but intense internet flame-ups that many of us have experienced from time to time. It began when I made a comment on an education blog and mentioned how important "time-on-task" is in my middle school math classroom. Another reader shot back: "Cossondra, why is time-on-task critical? Are kids working in a sweatshop? Does learning occur best in such a coercive predictive environment?"
Ouch. I was a bit riled, I’ll admit. But, being the reflective teacher that I am, I tried to put aside the loaded word "sweatshop" and consider the merits of this fellow’s pointed question.
Googling coercive, I found this definition: Coercion is the practice of compelling a person to behave in an involuntary way (whether through action or inaction) by use of threats, intimidation, or some other form of pressure or force .
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