Three kind of disciplines

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In Three Kinds of Discipline from his book Freedom and Beyond, John Holt explains that discipline comes from a child’s environment as well as from parents and teachers. He identifies three kinds of discipline: Discipline of Nature or of Reality, Discipline of Culture, and Discipline of Superior Force. Holt argues that the Discipline of Nature or of Reality is the most important and should be used in schools to give children opportunities to learn from their mistakes. The Discipline of Culture is based on children imitating what they see around them, while the Discipline of Superior Force should only be used to protect a child’s safety or well-being. He believes that children are naturally attracted to intense discipline and are willing to learn things well. As a student, I agree with Holt’s thesis and have experienced all three kinds of discipline in my life.

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In this section Three Kinds of Discipline from his book Freedom and Beyond, John Holt states that besides discipline from parents and teachers, discipline comes from a child’s environment as well. The author’s purpose is to inform people about kinds of disciplines he states there are according to many years of research based on his experience as a fourteen-year-teacher in grade and high schools. A child may learn from three different kinds of disciplines: Discipline of Nature or of Reality; a child meets this discipline every time he tries to do something, Discipline of Culture; children imitate what others do, either is good or bad, and Discipline of Superior Force; parents should use force with their children only to avoid danger. I do agree with the author’s thesis because as a child I went through a lot being disciplined.

My grandparents use The Discipline of Superior Force, but at the same time I learned from the other two disciplines by failing and achieving things and imitating people around me The first and the one the author considers the most important is the discipline of Nature or of Reality when a child is trying something he can or cannot accomplish, he doesn’t get the result he wants. A child meets this kind of discipline every time he tries to do something that is why according to Holt, it is very important in school to give children the opportunity to do more things instead of reading or listening to teachers talk. The learner does not have to wait for his answer; it usually comes fast and clear, and from what happen the child can not only see that what he did was wrong, but also why and what needs to be changed.

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The Discipline of Culture, of Society of What People Really Do. Children watch what people around them are doing and want to imitate them. For example, children do not usually misbehave in church because they learned from the adult’s behavior at church. Children who live among adults who are courteous, kind, aggressive or talk nice or dirty to each other learn to behave the same way. Children want to understand agreements, customs, habits and rules binding the adults together and be part of it The last one he mentions is The Discipline of Superior Force, we cannot afford to let a child find out from experience the danger, so we say to him don’t do this or that or “I’ll punish you.” According to Holt “We ought to use this discipline only when it is necessary to protect the life, health, safety, or well-being of people or another living creature. We should not assume that having to yield to the threat of our superior force is good for the child character.”

There are places where all these three disciplines coincide. For example a student in a ballet class is told to do exercises and he is constantly corrected, but behind these demands by the teacher lie many decades of custom and tradition. We would be unlikely to learn any complicated human activity without relying on the experience of the ones who know better. According to the author the matter is that children are always avid and attracted to compete and in their private lives or extracurricular activities they often submit themselves willingly and wholeheartedly to very intense discipline because they are willing to learn a given thing well.

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Three kind of disciplines. (2016, Jun 17). Retrieved from

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