A "No Nonsense Classroom" Is Nonsense
NPR recently had a piece on "non-nonsense nurturing". It came with a cartoon shown below. While the article talked about some positive points regarding this approach, it was clear from the picture that this method needed a closer look.
|Above copied from NPR|
It is in fact ironic to see that a martial arts class does not subscribe to a "no-nonsense nurturing" method. Dietrich does provide structure and discipline in his classes but not in the same way that compliance is emphasized to make up for engagement.
There have been several comments posted on the NPR article. I find one worth sharing here. This is from Tom Birkenstock:
...It's sad to see people cheer on oppressive, conformist teaching methods for "those" children. I also wonder what you are unintentionally teaching all the students, both the well behaved and the difficult. If a teacher is strident and does not say "please" or "thank you," is he or she showing the children that they do not need to empathize or care about others? What sort of interpersonal interactions are being modeled here?Another point that karate instructor Dietrich always reminds students is that empowerment is key. In the "non-nonsense nurturing", teachers are actually turned into robots. In fact, everyone seems to be treated as one.
Obviously, structure is important in the classroom so that you may maintain control and to create an environment that children perceive as safe. At the same time, this method appears to suck out all of the exploration and creativity from the classroom.