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Posted On 10-21-2007 6:35 AM
Your Name: Alex Gibson
Email Address: alexanderagibson@hotmail.com
Location: East Kilbride, Scotland
How did you find our site?: Referred Through Glasgow University
Comment: Some great ideas about education , which are obviously generated by an understanding that traditional methods and in fact all methods require to be evaluated.

 


Posted On 10-04-2007 1:16 PM
Your Name: Virgil Schmidt
Email Address: v.schmidt@sbcglobal.net
Location: California, USA
How did you find our site?: From the DVD and the Unconditional Parenting website
Comment:

I want to thank you for reaching out to people on a matter that is about our future.  In discussing this perception with my wife, I told her it seems people in our society parent today as if the generation tomorrow is going to be like today, and this is what keeps us stuck in the way we parent.  Instead they could think of parenting with the thought in mind that tomorrows style may not be today's style.

I loved what I heard from the DVD.  It has made me want to sit down with my 5 year old daughter and ask her some questions that she hasn't been able to answer yet.  We are fairly open minded, but I do go into those lapses you mentioned and it is definately (and admittedly) about control for the moment.  I could go on about how every point you bring up in the DVD is a great and positive perception.

I also wanted to be in the audience to ask the question about sparing the rod and spoiling the child (Proverbs 22:15; 23:13; 29:15).  The clincher here is that a rod is not a spanking tool, but a tool of measuring.  I believe what you are sharing does not contridict this (in that light); when it's not about punishement or control.  Correction does not have to be done in these forms.  If you ever get the time, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Again, I thank you for putting this DVD together, and I'm excited to make these principles a part of my relationship with my children (our second to be born in March 2008).


Posted On 10-02-2007 8:35 PM
Your Name: David Whitfield
Email Address: davidwhitfield@pifactory.net
Location: Parkrose HS, Portland, OR
How did you find our site?: Google
Comment: What a relief to read your article. I told my parents (I teach Algebra in a Portland HS) that there'd be little homework... and the look of relief on their faces. Yet in my school there seems to be a headlong retreat (in the face of meaningless hi-stakes test results) into more tests, more homework and now compulsory homework lunches and parties. I'm trying to replace the whole thing with no homework and an end to alpha-numeric grades... using class participation and discussion (group and one-to-one) as the measure. I've developed an individualised feedback system based on 300+ student-friendly learning targets + positive study skills feedback. See http//:pifactory.net. Is there a network for collaboration/support/discussion? The current system seems entirely geared to making it easier for those who inevitably will be successful to be seen to be successful... while making it more and more difficult for the rest to survive. We seem to be a sorting line for corporate America.

Posted On 09-23-2007 8:29 PM
Your Name: Kim
Email Address: griffin523@hotmail.com
Organization: Toddler teacher for NGLC
Location: Casper, Wy
How did you find our site?: from conference
Comment: I had the pleasure of hearing you speak Saturday the 22 at our WECA conference in Casper, WY. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and do agree with alot of what you were speaking about. It made me come away from the conference really thinking about what you said--doing to children or with children. It will definitly make me aware of what I am saying to the toddlers I work with and how can I work with the child. I love the idea of always looking for the positive intent of children instead of assuming the worst. What a negative and very depressing place that would be. To bad many of the schools do not have that same approach. Instead children are labeled very quickly and the child is the one that suffers.  Thanks again for a wonderful opening discussion at our WECA conference.

Posted On 09-18-2007 8:36 PM
Your Name: Sarah Smith
Email Address: ubahsarah@yahoo.com
Location: Arkansas
How did you find our site?: searching for info
Comment: I discovered your site while searching the internet for information about rewards programs.  My son's school recently implemented a "buck" program where the kids are given a school buck for good behavior.  The bucks may also be taken away by teachers for bad behavior.  My son has been miserable ever since.  He is so in tune to 'fairness' that it really bothers him that this system is anything but fair.  He said he feels like the teachers only notice the bad things and nobody notices when something is right.  I enjoyed reading the summaries from your books and can't wait to find a book...not sure which one I will get first!!   Thanks.

Posted On 09-18-2007 3:52 PM
Your Name: Dan Rider
Email Address: dan_tw_rider@hotmail.com
Organization: Queen's University Faculty of Education-Student
Location: Kingston, Ontario, Canada
How did you find our site?: Google Search
Comment: I have just finished reading Mr. Kohn's book Beyond Discipline as part of an assignment geared to prepare me for practice teaching.  The reading began as an assignment and developed into a passion.  I was working on becoming a teacher as a day job to support my arts career and am now very excited to get into a classroom of my own and try to help some kids see that that school doesn't have to be a sentence, and that learning can be what you want it to be.  Respect for all-what a concept...

Posted On 09-04-2007 3:29 PM
Your Name: Alex Knipper
Organization: high school senior
Location: Dayton, Kentucky
How did you find our site?: By reading Mr. Kohn's work.
Comment: I think what Alfie Kohn has done and continues to do for the children of this country is exciting and commendable. I've had to go through many of the situations he's described and talked about myself. I have four of Mr.Kohn's books in my collection (I'm in the middle of reading Punished by Rewards right now) and plan on acquiring more in the near future. When I enter college next fall, I plan on double majoring in world history and secondary education. When I teach, I'm going to allow my students to actually LEARN instead of doing worksheets and reading out of textbooks.

Posted On 08-28-2007 11:02 AM
Your Name: Cara
Email Address: cara@preggersnproud.com
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
How did you find our site?: UP book recommended by friend
Comment: Dear Mr. Kohn,
Your book is my new bible and it has TRANSFORMED my life. I saw things in UP about how I was raised and immediately evolved my relationship with my 3 yo son. It has been amazing. I had a "doing to" default parenting style and am now a "working with" Mama. Your book even gave birth to our Unconditional Love Game, "I love you when" and we list everything from "I love you when you play with your friends" to "I love you if you hit your friends." (Of course, we use teachable moments to guide our son in being gentle with his friends.)

We'd love to see you in Santa Barbara sometime!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Cara
ps - I recommend UP to every parent I know and I also re-read it myself every 4-6 months.

Posted On 08-27-2007 1:54 AM
Your Name: Amy
Email Address: speaktruthquietly@gmail.com
Location: Olympia, WA
How did you find our site?: friends
Comment: Thank you for all you do - my relationship with my children is changed for all time and we are experiencing love on a whole new real level.  Words cannot sum up what you have done for my family through your education.
Amy

Posted On 08-20-2007 3:35 PM
Your Name: 7zcata
Email Address: jgaudet@c-gate.net
Location: southeast
Comment: http://scienceblogs.com/cognitivedaily/2007/08/basic_concepts_reinforcement_a.php#more

 

Here is an interesting post on "cognitive daily," a Blog dealing with psychological issues.  Several Kohn supporters posting in the reply section.  I'm posting this in case anyone is interested.

 


Posted On 08-16-2007 3:05 PM
Your Name: Chad Dull
Email Address: cddull@charter.net
Location: La Crosse WI
How did you find our site?: prior visit
Comment: I see on your schedule that you are visiting us next summer. I couldn't be more thrilled. I drove to River Falls to hear you in 2006 and have been bubbling ever since.

See you next summer

Posted On 08-06-2007 1:06 PM
Your Name: Jack Fretwell
Email Address: jack@capjax.com
Location: Reston, VA
How did you find our site?: familiar with Kohn's work
Comment:

Some subjects need active student participation to be truly learned. Math is one of them. Any successful math student will tell you that simply "doing the homework" can mean the difference between success and failure.

Considering the current levels of American math achievement, we probably need more math homework, not less.
Of course, since teachers already have full plates, the big questions are who's to assign additional math homework and who's to grade it? And then feed back results to students?
Sounds like a job for computers and software to me.
__Jack Fretwell
703-471-6790


Posted On 08-06-2007 8:44 AM
Your Name: Barrie
Location: Oakland, California
How did you find our site?: the back of Unconditional Parenting
Comment: I was recently loaned a copy of Unconditional Parenting and was inspired to change my relationship with my 3yo daughter.  I, like others, am still struggling with the practical aspects of how to do this on a daily basis when confronted with difficult situations, so I searched on Yahoo! groups for a parenting support group.  I will post it here, since so many other parents have signed your guestbook looking for just such a thing:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/UnconditionalParenting/
I know nothing about this group yet other than what I read on the info page, as I have just submitted a request to join.  But it looks like a good place to start to find the support of other parents who have been inspired by the book.

Thanks for writing such a wonderful book!  I am curious to read your other books about schools and try to find an alternative to mainstream education for my daughter when she reaches that age.

Barrie

Posted On 07-31-2007 7:17 PM
Your Name: Lydia Weiss
Email Address: lwmnt@aol.com
Location: Los Angeles
How did you find our site?: Through an article
Comment: I just finished reading two articles for my Educational Psychology class. One was written by O'Neill and Tell, and it was an interview with you. The other was your article on Rethinking Homework. I was so impressed with both. I began teaching later in life, and I always felt that the majority of homework was a waste of time. My students (all female, high school) seem to be actively engaged in the classroom, and to me that is most important. Giving hours of homework proves nothing, and in many cases students just copy each others.
Hopefully, the attitude toward standardizing education, will also change. In my school we believe that every student can learn, not all on the same day, not all in the same way.

Posted On 07-17-2007 6:41 AM
Your Name: Alexandra Barnes
Organization: My home - full-time mother
Location: UK
How did you find our site?: Unconditional Parenting book
Comment: Thanks for an interesting read that puts some of my own concerns into words and backs them up with solid research.  I plan to home educate my 2 boys, when they reach school age, partly because of the ever increasing pressures of testing, league tables, homework and so on in our schools.

Posted On 07-15-2007 7:38 AM
Your Name: Jose Martinez
Email Address: jose.martinez@ugdsb.on.ca
Organization: Upper Grand District School Board
Location: Fergus, Ontario
How did you find our site?: I have read numerous Alfie books and articles
Comment: I am a third year high school teacher and am tired of the cellphone complaints of fellow teachers in Ontario.  In the July 14th, 2007 Toronto Star, Louise Brown stated that the Canadian Teacher's Federation is trying "to hammer out a national policy for the use of cellphones in school and how to punish students who use technology to hurt someone else's feelings - whether teacher or student."

In fact, in my school they are trying to come up with an all out ban on cellphones.  There are numerous problems with this type of ban.  The obvious one is, what do you do when someone does have a cellphone in class? 

1) Take it from them.  2) Detention.  3) Suspension after numerous offenses.

I think what teachers should do is have a discussion with students and let them know that they should power off when they enter the classroom.  When one does go off, you should discuss the use of cell phones in class and why it is or isn't appropriate.

Something else certain teachers are missing is also obvious.  Why are students using their cell phone in class anyway?  Clearly the class is no longer interesting.  Clearly the activities are not motivating the class to learn.  So many educators are quick to blame technology, such as cell phones and students.  Some of the blame must fall on educators.  A student engaged in your classroom is not going to be on their cell phone.  If they do use their cell phone, do not take it, that will make things worse. 

What do other people think?  Does a strict policy work?

Jose

Posted On 07-10-2007 7:57 PM
Your Name: Deborah Wolf
Email Address: deborahwolf3@yahoo.com
Organization: The Nurtury School
Location: Sherman Oaks, Ca
How did you find our site?: know of Alfie's ideas
Comment: Thank you for writing and speaking on how we (society/educators/legislators) are dumming down the next generation

 

Please let me know when you will be speaking close to the Los Angeles area


Posted On 07-05-2007 11:17 AM
Your Name: Steve Byers
Email Address: smbyers7@comcast.net
Organization: Consultant
Location: Olympia, WA
How did you find our site?: Long time reader of Alfie's work and spreader of the word
Comment: I just read an essay by Tal Ben-Shahar, a professor at Harvard (see his web page at www.talbenshahar.com). The particular essay is "Self-esteem and the Making of Independent Thinkers". I mention this essay to suggest that visitors to Alfie's web page might really appreciate it (and the other essays available), to introduce Tal to a wider audience, and to inquire whether Alfie has ever worked with Tal or whether they know each other in some context.

 

Regards,

Steve Byers


Posted On 07-03-2007 1:51 PM
Your Name: Jen
Email Address: summrbrz@verizon.net
Location: Sarasota, Florida
How did you find our site?: The book, \
Comment:
 I've seen many of the consequences of traditional discipline in raising my  13 and nearly 15 year old boys during the past several years. During that time the consequences of my parenting style have become more and more obvious and have left me distressed at not being able to find an alternative to the traditional methods, those I was raised with. I was recently introduced to Unconditional Parenting and was very excited about the possibilities. Though the concept makes sense to me, it's been a little difficult to completely grasp. I'm having  difficulty wrapping my brain around some of the methods used and those which are suggested should not be used, for different reasons, but one is the ages of my children. I feel terribly sad about the decisions I've made regarding my children, the way I've parented them, the results, but  going back is not an option. My hope is that it isn't too late for at least a little damage control.
 
Is there a  web group for people who have read the book, who have adopted this method of parenting and who might be able to offer support and possibly answer questions?
 
Thank you, Mr. Kohn, for trying to make the world a better place for our children -- for all of us.

Posted On 07-03-2007 5:58 AM
Your Name: Julie Howorth
Location: UK
How did you find our site?: On the back of the book
Comment: I have just started reading "Unconditional Parenting" and am so excited by its potential.  I have been trying so hard to figure out why my sons' self esteem is so fluctuating as I have tried so hard to do things differently to my own parents, who were very controlling and authoritarian.  It is hard not to feel sad when I read it and realise that the praise that I thought would build them up may actually be eroding their sense of well being.  But it is never too late and at least now I have a sense of what to work on.  Thank you.  Next I am going to read the books relating to education as this is another subject I feel passionate about.  I'm so glad I stumbled across Alfie.

Posted On 06-29-2007 12:56 PM
Your Name: Mark
Email Address: marksalata@mac.com
Organization: www.mininggems.org
Location: Boston, MA
How did you find our site?: search engine
Comment: Dear Mr. Kohn, Your work aligns well with mine in inquiry-based teaching and learning (see www.mininggems.org) and there is an organization in Colombia that has many materials (in English as well as Spanish) that would match your work. It is FUNDAEC (see http://www.fundaec.org/en/). I am currently working with a group and reading through "Intellectual Preparation for Social Action". It can be found at this website...http://www.devlp.com/ Keep up the good work.

Posted On 06-24-2007 12:52 PM
Your Name: Joel Kahn
Email Address: jj2kk4@yahoo.com
Organization: Currently Unemployed
Location: Bolivar, Missouri
How did you find our site?: I read Kohn's book _The Case Against Standardized Testing_
Comment: Here are a couple of relevant quotes:

"We've been spoon-fed baby food at school when we hungered for steak. . . .The bits of meat that you did let slip through were pre-chewed and tasteless.  We've been dominated by sadists, or
ignored by the apathetic.  The few that had something to teach found us willing pupils, but those few are like drops of water in the desert."

"The school system is a deaf, dumb, blind juggernaut that doesn’t generate its own values but imports them from the developers of curriculum and the schools of education. You can talk to the teacher, you can talk to the principal, you can talk to the board of
education, but there’s no one person, anywhere, who will
say to you, 'I am responsible for this mess.'"

I have a list of web sites that may be of interest to people who are trying to *really* educate students.  Drop me an email if you are interested:  jj2kk4@yahoo.com

Joel

Posted On 06-23-2007 10:57 AM
Your Name: Craig Melancon
Email Address: funnyguts@gmail.com
Organization: Two months away from starting college
Location: Indianapolis, IN
How did you find our site?: By reading many of Mr. Kohn's books
Comment:     Hi there! I've been reading Mr. Kohn's books since last October, and have been learning from them since. I started with a copy of What Does It Mean To Be Well Educated?, and found myself agreeing with just about everything presented. I have read a few more of his books (I didn't get a chance to finish my library's copy of No Contest, though) and throughout my senior year of high school noticed more and more how most everything that had happened in school was damaging more than it was helping.
    Due to Mr. Kohn's books as well as an excellent psychology teacher (who did his best to teach students well in a public school gone mad), I have decided to change my career choice (from video game designer) and double major in psychology and education in college. Eventually, I hope to create my own school system, and have it implemented by a public system, which will hopefully prove the effectiveness of a constructivist, open ended education to the world. (I'm young, let me dream.)
    Thank you, Mr. Kohn, for showing me how to help change education (and hopefully, the world will follow suit).
   

Posted On 06-15-2007 11:04 PM
Your Name: William Peterson
Email Address: willmpet@comcast.net
Organization: self
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
How did you find our site?: I've looked through "Punished by Rewards"
Comment: I just watched a Television program on our Annenberg channel and a discussion about standardized tests.  The problem is still there.  I had two bright and motivated children and I saw few problems.  However I saw one teacher who literally taught according to what would be on the test.  My son is very bright and intuitive, and one time the teacher was giving him tough times about showing his work.  One question was to solve 3x = 6.
My son could not understand why he couldn't just say, "Well, x =2".  This was a problem for him but the teacher made him feel like he was screwed up though he knew the subject well.
I would like to think we are not doing that to many of our young people.

I've just put four books on hold at the library - I think they will be helpful as I try to help business owners who know what they're doing but are constantly being told they are doing it wrong.

Posted On 06-07-2007 7:36 AM
Your Name: Cyndi
Email Address: cynderella1@bellsouth.net
Organization: St. Tammany Parish Schools
Location: New Orleans Northshore
How did you find our site?: The Homework Myth references
Comment: I feel so validated in my "often-considered unique" style of teaching. For 15 years, I have worried that I wasn't strict enough or consistent enough or giving enough homework. It has made feel so proud to read your books and articles. Now if we could just get the rest of the world to agree!

 

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