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Posted May 3, 2004
Standard non-conformist silly pseudo-science
What you will find in this book, if you ignore the first six chapters, are some really good common sense points followed-up with some radical extrapolations. This is a common strategy, so let me inform you of the tactic. Step (1): Set-up a straw man for the opposition. Mr. Kohn does this by proposing that behaviorism is all about 'do this to get that'. This is silly and untrue, though it plays to the uninformed myth. Step (2): Make some common sense points that seem to make you know what you are talking about. Mr. Kohn does this using various studies which either don't say what he implies, or which can just as easily support a real behaviorist interpretation. Once again, the points are made against the 'straw man', not really aginst behaviorism. Step (3): Suggest some of the stuff people usually don't listen to. Here is where Mr. Kohn rants against grades, etc. It is all predictable and designed to reduce the amount of skepticism the weird suggestions are faced with. Read this book to get some of the good ideas, but disregard the first six chapters (straw-man for behaviorism), and the sillier of his other suggestions. Anyway, most of the good stuff from this book can already be had from a good teacher training program, an i/o psychology business minor, or a hundred other good books you might find by using your little mouse on this very site.
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