YOUTH: The five stages of problem behaviour. It certainly is an interesting analysis. First you look for admiration and then go all out to get people’s attention, and when that doesn’t work, you start power struggles, which then turns into heinous revenge. And lastly, make a show of your own incompetence.
    PHILOSOPHER: And all of these are rooted in a ‘sense of belonging’; that is to say, the goal of securing a special position within the community.
    YOUTH: Right. That is a very Adlerian psychology-style, interpersonal relationship-focused line of reasoning. Let’s acknowledge this classification. But have you forgotten? Shouldn’t we be discussing whether rebuking is right or wrong? Look, I have put this Adlerian no-rebuking education into practice. I have waited, without rebuking no matter what, for them to notice things on their own. And what do you think has happened to my class as a result? It’s turned into a complete zoo, without any rules whatsoever!
    PHILOSOPHER: So, you chose rebuking. Did anything change by rebuking?
    YOUTH: If I yell at the students in a loud voice when they’re being noisy, things quieten down right away. And if I rebuke them when
    they forget to do their homework, they get looks of self-reflection on their faces. It doesn’t last, though. They start making noise again in short order, and they stop doing their homework, too.

    PHILOSOPHER: Why do you think it happens this way?
    YOUTH: I’m telling you, it’s because of Adler! It was a mistake to decide to start with no rebuking. Since I started off by being easygoing and allowing everything, they look down on me now and think, ‘This guy’s nothing to be afraid of,’ and ‘He’ll let us get away with anything!’
    PHILOSOPHER: Would it have been different if you’d been rebuking from the start?
    YOUTH: Of course it would’ve. This is my greatest regret. In everything, the way you start is crucial. Next year, if I get assigned to a different classroom, I’m going to start yelling at them strictly from the very first day.
    PHILOSOPHER: So, there are some very strict people among your coworkers and senior colleagues, aren’t there?
    YOUTH: Yes. Well, not anyone who goes as far as corporal punishment, of course. But there are several teachers who always yell at their students and instruct them using strict language. They put everything they’ve got into playing the bad guy, into the role of the teacher. I guess you could say they are paragons of the professional teacher.
    PHILOSOPHER: Well, that’s strange. Why are these teachers always yelling?
    YOUTH: Why? Because the students do bad things.
    PHILOSOPHER: No, because if rebuking were effective as an educational approach, just doing it a few times at the outset should be enough to put a stop to the problem behaviour. Why do they end up always rebuking? Why do they always put on a scary face and always use a loud voice? Hasn’t it ever seemed odd to you?
    YOUTH: . . . But it’s because those kids are so impossible!
    PHILOSOPHER: No, you are wrong. This is undeniable proof that rebuking is not effective in any way as an educational approach. Even if you were to engage in strict rebuking from the start next year, the situation would not be any different from now. It might actually be worse.
    YOUTH: It’d be worse?
    PHILOSOPHER: You should understand by now that their problem behaviour is a behaviour in which being rebuked by you is implied. It is their wish to be reprimanded.
    YOUTH: They wish to be rebuked by their teacher? They enjoy it? Ha-ha, now they’re masochists. Stop joking around!
    PHILOSOPHER: I wouldn’t say that anyone enjoys being rebuked. But, there is a sense of heroic fulfilment in being able to say to oneself, ‘I did something that was special enough to get rebuked.’ They can prove to themselves that they are special beings by getting rebuked. YOUTH: No, before being a question of human psychology, this is a question of law and order. There’s someone doing something bad right in front of you. Regardless of what goal might be involved, that person is breaking a rule. It is only natural to punish them for that. If that is not done, the public order cannot be maintained. PHILOSOPHER: You are rebuking in order to maintain law and order? YOUTH: That’s right. It’s not that I want to rebuke my students. And I don’t want to punish them, either. It’s obvious—who would want to do that kind of thing! But punishment is necessary. One reason is to maintain law and order. And another is as a deterrent against crime. PHILOSOPHER: What do you mean by a deterrent? YOUTH: A boxer in the ring, for example, even if he finds himself in a tight spot with no way out, he will never kick at or try to throw his opponent, no matter what. Because he knows full well that he’ll be disqualified if he does anything like that. So, the grave punishment that is disqualification functions as a deterrent against rule violation. If the administering of that punishment is inconsistent, it will no longer act as a deterrent and the boxing match will no longer exist as such. Punishment is the only deterrent against crime. PHILOSOPHER: It is an interesting example. Then, why don’t such serious punishments—in other words, the reprimands all of you are giving—function as deterrents in an actual education setting? YOUTH: There are all kinds of opinions about that. The senior teachers all reminisce about the old days when corporal punishment was allowed. Basically, they say that times have changed, and because punishment has got lighter it has lost its function as a deterrent.PHILOSOPHER: I see. Now, let’s probe a little deeper into why rebuking cannot have any effectiveness as an educational approach. The youth considered the five stages of problem behaviour conveyed by the philosopher. To be sure, the truths they contained were accurate assessments of human psychology and offered glimpses of the greatness of Adler. Still, the youth thought to himself, I am the only adult in charge of my classroom, and it is up to me to set an example as a person living in society. In other words, if punishment is not meted out to those who engage in wrongdoing, the order of this society will fall apart. I am not a philosopher who uses theories to treat people like playthings—I am an educator who bears responsibility for our children’s future. This weight, this responsibility for people living in the real world, is not something this man is capable of understanding!
    Wadifa Club
    writer and blogger, founder of Dog food planet .

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