A libertarian inclined blog for teachers and learners of all ages. Comments, emails and links to other educational stuff welcome.

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Next entry: Angel
Previous entry: Dave MacLeod loves climbing but hated school
Saturday January 26 2008

My deepest thanks to TDK, commenting on this posting, for alerting me to a blogger who is new to me but look very major, To Miss with Love.

And right away, we step into the hornet’s nest that is the debate about exclusion.  Forty one comments and counting when I last looked, from both ends of the debate, heated on both sides.

I will now use a classic junior blogger technique, and recycle the comment I have just contributed to the senior blog.  This was my pennyworth, just added to the above posting, making it 42 comments:

Fascinating. I’ve not read all of these comments right through so I may be repeating a point already made, but if so, sorry, but I believe it worth repeating.

“Exclusion” is not just the actual process of chucking someone out. It is the credible threat that one might do this in the future, to a pupil behaving badly.

Without that threat, the teacher has no power to make a badly behaved pupil behave better. With it, a badly behaving pupil might learn to behave better. It is no exaggeration, surely, to say that such a threat might make all the difference to a life which might have gone either way, to criminality and destruction and self-destruction, or towards something much better.

In other words, the exclusion threat actually does favours to many of those who are risking exclusion by behaving badly, by facing them with the possible consequences of bad behaviour before those consequences become actual.

Letting bad kids do as they please, ... until one day you slam them in jail, doesn’t seem like a good policy to me, nor even a nice one.

Rather badly explained. I have much to learn about teaching. (I do teach a little, and we do have the exclusion threat on our side, but we almost never have to talk about it.) But I hope some people understood that.

And I hope you did too.

ADDENDUM: I see that Shuggy had also commented on this ruckus, which became a ruckus because of this.