We sometimes justify coercive methods because we believe they are justified by the ultimate goal or target, but coercion dehumanizes and teaches students to dehumanize others. The “learning target” is only valuable if the learner’s path to that target is authentic, internalized and respectful of the learner’s humanity.
“We must come together in ways that respect the solitude of the soul, that avoid the unconscious violence we do when we try to save each other, that evoke our capacity to hold another life without dishonoring its mystery, never trying to coerce the other into meeting our own needs.”
–Parker J. Palmer
- Pedagogies of choice: challenging coercive relations of power in classrooms and communities by Jim Cummins