creative commons licensed (BY-NC) flickr photo by Dystopos: http://flickr.com/photos/dystopos/195707530
Plenty of studies have demonstrated that when humans are stressed or afraid, they cannot learn. This ASCD chapter by Bob Sullo outlines how and why to eliminate the use of fear as a behavior management strategy for students and classrooms.
“Despite compelling evidence to the contrary, many teachers still believe that fear—fear of failure, fear of an unwanted call home, fear of the teacher, fear of ridicule, or fear of an unpleasant consequence—is a prime motivator for students to do high-quality work. The intentional creation of fear in the classroom remains one of the most widely used strategies for managing student behavior and encouraging academic achievement.
But fear compromises our ability to learn. In this chapter, you will meet a well-intentioned teacher who undermines his capacity to inspire high achievement by creating a classroom environment infused with fear.” Read the entire chapter here.