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Posted On 06-06-2007 1:31 PM
Your Name: dee
How did you find our site?: google
Comment: Re:  the pizza hut "reading incentive" ---another teacher at my school gave me a big envelope with all the info and coupons for a small pizza; with a big smile on her face she thought she was doing something great for all the kids at our school.   I had never heard of it, but took a look at it.  With great amusement mixed with disgust, I threw everything away except for the coupons which I happily passed out to all the kids, telling them they each get a free pizza cuz they're such great kids!  They loved it, I loved it!  Don't let corporations tell you how to run your classroom!

Posted On 06-06-2007 1:20 PM
Your Name: Liz
Email Address: lilacs_n_cats@yahoo.com
Location: medford MA
How did you find our site?: google
Comment: I hope I will live long enough to see some of  Kohn's ideas become commonplace.  They are so OBVIOUS, but most of us have been so brainwashed by parents, teachers, religious "leaders" etc etc that we can't see what is as plain as the nose on our faces.  I have mostly given up arguing with closed-minded, conservative, authoritarian types; it just takes too much of my energy and I don't think I can make a dent.  I would rather associate with progressive thinking individuals.   Any freethinkers in medford who would like to communicate?  I used to be a teacher, then a sub,  but gave it up as I couldn't bear to be part of a system that murders children's imagination and creativity and gives them hours of boredom from mon-fri, with a few more hours of boredom known as homework.  Was it Nietsche who said, "The secret of a joyful life is to live dangerously."

Posted On 06-03-2007 3:21 PM
Your Name: Sydney
Email Address: sbailygould@verizon.net
Organization: none
Location: Amesbury, MA
How did you find our site?: from reading AK's books
Comment: Just wanted to say that I thoroughly enjoyed The Schools Our Children Deserve, but since we don't have those in our town, I'll be homeschooling both our children, ages 8 and 10, next year.  Am currently reading Unconditional Parenting (as well as tons of books on homeschooling), but am finding AK's advice difficult to implement on a day to day basis.  I am trying to have a paradigm shift and drag my husband along. It is harder than I thought, but oddly, I find it easier when I hear my husband speaking disrespectfully to the children.  Then, I can take the high road. Still, we have a ways to go.

Posted On 05-31-2007 10:15 AM
Your Name: michelle massie
Email Address: m.mass@gmail.com
Organization: ex school librarian
Location: laguna beach california
How did you find our site?: nclb issues and kohn book fan
Comment: In early 90's I came up against the homework in elementary school with 2 sons, the Newport Mesa School District called me up to the Principal to discuss the issue of why my then 6 year old and my 5 year old told their teacher that their mother refused to let them do their "homework". The Principal was going to refer me to the Orange County District Board for discipline!!! I told him (the principal ) that when both my sons could read thoroughly, write proficiently and understand what was being asked of them, they could then participte with all their self esteem and intelligence intact...He cautioned me that I was raising delinquients! I said we will see, my eldest is at Yale and currently on an internship in NYC at a hedgefund/financial institute and my other Nationally recognized son is being given tons of scholarships to include the Irvine Company of the O.C.   All this from an early refusal to participate in the abuse of my own sons ability to do for themselves when the brain was ready! I so support your views on NCLB what a disgrace that we remain locked into these kind of archaic rules and prejudices towards all children...I was on welfare at the time of all of this heavy handed attitude from the district! I cannot imagine what other parents do when given the pressure that I was subjected to... So what does this say for educators??? Ah lots of educating to do to bring us around to REALITY...sad for a nation that has so much funding but not enough clarity and wisdom to follow through on its excellent research into the young mind and its imagination. So much paucity of belief and follow through, in this climate of fear and rules!

Posted On 05-20-2007 12:57 PM
Your Name: D Lipper
Location: Switzerland
Comment: Your book "Unconitional Parenting" has changed my life, and the lives of my children. I only wish I had come across your work four years earlier. I have 2 children (4 and 2), and spent most of the past 4 years being totally frustrated by conventional disciplining methods. Every time I punished my children or tried to bribe them with the promise of rewards, I felt frustrated, helpless and sad. Speaking to other moms or even trained parenting guides was pointless - they always offered similar advice that centered around using punishments and rewards.

When I first started reading  "Unconditional Parenting", I was  horrified to reflect on  how I had been treating my children - I knew all along that my methods were far from satisfactory, but to see it printed in black and white gave me a real fright. At the same time I was also deeply relieved to discover  that there are other methods of parenting. It was so good to let go of the feeling that I have to control my children constantly and force them to behave in a certain way. The worst was when I took them with me to do the shopping. If they didn't follow along meekly behind me, I noticed people giving me disapproving looks. It often put me under such pressure that I would punish my children just to show the onlookers that I was doing something about the "out-of-control-situation". Well, I now know better and can ignore the looks. I am not saying that I let my children race around the store and tear everything down, but I also don't try to control their every move.

At the zoo today, I heard how parents kept using typical phrases like:  "I don't care what you want! If I tell you to come here then you better do it and quickly." (mother to approx 4 year old)  or  "If you wave that stick around, I am going to have to take it away from you" (father to approx 2 year old). It was so depressing, and all I can say is THANK YOU for helping me to no longer be one of those parents!

I have so much more fun with my children now, and they are far more inclined to listen to me now then they used to be. And if they don't listen, I no longer freak out about it thinking I have to keep them under total control. What does that say about how I grew up?!

A big Thank You!

Posted On 05-17-2007 4:07 PM
Your Name: Roni
Email Address: rndhooper@verizon.net
Location: Camarillo, CA
How did you find our site?: books
Comment: I see lots of praise for Alfie Kohn on the guestbook, and I am a big fan as well.  At the same time, I am STRUGGLING.  I have two small children (5 and 3), and my efforts to follow Alfie Kohn's advice have left me exhausted and feeling resentful.  Somehow absolutely everything in my home has become up for discussion.  I respect my children and I try to always see their point of view.  I ask for their input on decisions and they have a lot of power.  The problem is, I don't seem to have much power at all. 

 

Example:  My 5-year-old daughter wanted to go swimming.  I told her that it sure would be fun to go swimming, but it was very cold outside.  I asked if she could come up with something else fun to do.  Instead she just whined and cried and told me that it's NOT too cold.  We went back and forth and round and round until I was worn down and I took them swimming.  The kids had fun and I froze to death.  This is pretty much how things go almost all day every day.  I'm getting to the point where I dread getting up in the morning.

Is there a chat room or something where there is some support?  All the parents I know tell me to "show the kids who's boss" and tell them, "because I said so!"  Counselors aren't much help because the conventional wisdom is behaviorism when it comes to parenting.  Help!


Posted On 05-10-2007 11:09 PM
Your Name: Heather Crawford
Email Address: crawfordh@ismanila.com
Organization: International School Manila
Location: Philippines
How did you find our site?: from jacket of book (Homework Myth)
Comment: I'm a high school English teacher and I have to admit I do assign homework.  However I was delighted a few weeks ago when I reminded my class that the upcoming weekend was designated as a "No Homework Weekend" (we have them 4x a year) and one student immediately said "Hooray!  No homework!  We'll have time to read our book!"  Others echoed her sentiment -- reading is pleasurable, thus it is not "homework".  Which shows a hopeful attitude towards reading, but a dismal truth about the nature of homework.

 

I'd be very interested to know if anybody is familiar with the relatively new no-homework policy in Ecuador.  This seemed a radical move to me and I'd like to know how it is working out thus far.


Posted On 05-05-2007 5:28 PM
Your Name: Ron
Email Address: greencottage@cox.net
Organization: public elementary school
Location: central CA
Comment: I've read several of Mr. Kohn's books and have heard him speak a few times. He certainly stirred up my anti-standardized testing sentiment, which of course is closely tied to anti-NCLBism.

I'm constantly watching for articles or information to share with colleagues and parents that might help influence them to resist "the test."

In the recent past I read an article of interest, and now I can't find it again. The article said something like this:  100 years ago, a high school graduate knew 90% of what s/he would need to know during their lifetime. Today, a high school graduate knows 10% of what s/he needs to know during their lifetime. The numbers and dates may be wrong, but that's generally what the article said. That concept suggests to me that teaching students how to learn is more important than teaching discreet bits of information.

Does anyone there know where that article might be found?

Posted On 05-04-2007 12:26 PM
Your Name: Kyla Ryman
Email Address: bug138@yahoo.com
Organization: parent and ex-reading specialist
Location: NYC
How did you find our site?: you came up in conversation
Comment: I have two children, was trained at Bank Street College of Education, am interested in starting/being involved in an organic forms of education or creating reform- the pressure for NYC parents is making for insane schools- I believe in you and what you are thinking about- what is the ideal school? does it exist? I think it needs to be created at the community level and that there are endless possibilities within that context- people are not thinking outside the box- can I work for you? I need to work with people who are fighting the good fight- Where is that? Kyla

Posted On 05-02-2007 4:05 PM
Your Name: Noreen Lazariuk
Email Address: cassidyn@optonline.net
Organization: Mountain Lakes High School
Location: New Jersey
How did you find our site?: Alfie Kohn's books
Comment: I have been doing research for a graduate class and read some of your articles.   I have read three of your books and have become outspoken against standardized tests and NCLB.

Posted On 04-26-2007 11:39 AM
Your Name: Sandra Villarroel
Email Address: sandravillarroelpereira@yahoo.com
Organization: none
Location: CHILE
How did you find our site?: YA chilean magazine
Comment: I just read an article in a magazine from CHILE and let me tell you that you are totally right.
I remember when I was a child I was pretty lazy and even this can sound weird but I NEVER EVER MADE ANY HOMEWORK. I use to make excuses for my behavior so the teachers wouldn´t say anything about, and believe me that I did it since the 3° grade until the end.

I really believe the homework KILLS the imagination of the children, because instead of using that time to play and develop other skills they ar stuck in fron of a piece of paper that limits their creativity.

Thank you for your investigations!! YOU ARE SO RIGHT!!!!

Posted On 04-23-2007 5:12 PM
Your Name: Bill Fisher
Email Address: FishDawg14@yahoo.com
Organization: Bluffton University
Location: Bluffton, Oh
How did you find our site?: Googled
Comment: I would like to hear a way to assess our students.  Without homework or testing their is no way to record any type of progress a student is making.  I agree that there should not be a "teaching of the test" but testing and actual work is the only practical way to show a students progress.  If you are teaching my class and are basing my performance on participation and attendance, then I am showing up every day, smiling and nodding my head in front of you to appear as if I understand and then daydream about girls and sports!  Meanwhile getting credit for the class, pass/fail, or however you plan on "assessing" me.

Posted On 04-22-2007 3:38 PM
Your Name: Wesley Krawczyk
Email Address: mariopython3@sbcglobal.net
Location: San Diego, California, USA
How did you find our site?: Google
Comment:     I'm currently in high school and in the 11th grade. I've been searching for loopholes against the idea of homework. When I searched on Google, I found this web page. I noticed plenty of outstanding facts about our society and homework that will surely win a debate. I even have a copy of "The Truth About Homework" printed and taped on to my closet door. In my honest opinion, I believe that if you ran for President of the United States, you would certainly receive my vote.

    That just leaves a question: How would the world progress without homework? Just imagine, a world without homework (or at least without excessive homework): It would certainly benefit the education systems of the world, would it? There would be much less drop-outs, crimes, murders, suicides and poverty. There would also be much more positive relationships with families and the schools will have plenty of students with passing grades and decent education. Basically, the world's self-esteem would go much higher if the world had forgotten about homework. That's my view, but what about you?

Posted On 04-20-2007 6:13 PM
Your Name: Rahula Janowski
Email Address: sadie.sabot@gmail.com
Organization: none applicable
Location: San Francisco
How did you find our site?: web search
Comment: hey, I'm a big fan of, in particular, unconditional parenting. My child will be entering kindergarten next year so i'm starting to pay more attention to schooling issues. i was wondering if AK has written anything about charter schools...I'm considering a charter for my kid, it's not for profit and it's a project based, arts oriented school....but I have issues with charters overall, considering them part of the vast right wing plot to destroy public schooling...so would love to read AK's take on, not specific charter schools, but the whole phenomenon.

Posted On 04-18-2007 5:15 PM
Your Name: Patricia Bodiford
Email Address: bodifordp@earthlink.net
Organization: Wakulla High/Flagler College
Location: Crawfordville, Florida
How did you find our site?: Google
Comment: As a student at Flagler College, my group and I have to create a presentation based on you (Alfie Kohn)  and your beliefs and theories about classroom management.  I am currently researching about you and the many things you do.  I do agree a lot with how you feel about the reward system.  The reason for this is that children always want more and bigger things for a reward.  It has been a pleasure being able to research and learn more about you.

Posted On 04-15-2007 2:41 PM
Your Name: Debbie Jacobs
Email Address: JNoise113@aol.com
Organization: preschool director&highschool board of education member
Location: McHenry, Illinoise
How did you find our site?: attended seminar at UW Whitewater
Comment: Wow!  Did you make me think!  We talked about your thoughts all the way home!  I cant wait t to open your book and start it!  As an early childhood educator, lets rock the system now!   Wouldnt it be wonderful for the powers that be in Washington listen to this and leave NCLB really BEHIND!  Thank you for your thought provoking seminar!!!

Posted On 04-12-2007 8:32 AM
Your Name: Dan Butterworth
Email Address: dbbutter2007@yahoo.com
Organization: St. Marys Middle School
Location: St. Marys, Georgia
How did you find our site?: Reasearch Google
Comment: Just a quick note to say that I enjoy your material greatly.  I am reading one of your older books, but am looking forward to reading your new book.

Posted On 04-08-2007 8:11 PM
Your Name: Susan
Organization: Saskatoon Public Schools
Location: Saskatoon
How did you find our site?: Google search
Comment: I am in a book club that has just begun reading "The Homework Myth".  It was a club started as a Professional Development initiative in my school division.  We will be reading the book over the next month together.  I have just finished Chapter One and I am happy in confirming my anti-homwork bias.  I have some questions that I am tossing around about this subject on my blog http://sfens.wordpress.com.  Guests are welcome.

Posted On 04-07-2007 3:45 PM
Your Name: Al Topher
Email Address: gbengatopher@yahoo.com
Location: Florida
How did you find our site?: From ''Punished by Rewards''
Comment: I am hanging out with intellectual rebels lately - first Peter Scholtes, now Alfie Kohn! And Mr Kohn may yet get me fired!

 

I manage HR processes for a multinational corporation and I've always been uncomfortable with how performance management and reward currently work. My HR texts have been practically useless as they have only make cases to support how things are done in our corporations. Then I ran into Mr Kohn and it's been Eureka! for me.

Thanks Mr Kohn for the masterful way you've dealt with reward/performance mgt. My heart tells me you're very correct in your analyses but it may take my brain some time to unlearn all the junk I've been living on and adjust to this new diet.


Posted On 04-06-2007 2:50 PM
Your Name: Rebecca Smith
Email Address: zonkerette@earthlink.net
Location: Medford, MA
How did you find our site?: Google
Comment: For those of you who are upset by the criticism of the Pizza Hut Book It program, here's a different type of reading incentive program to consider:  "Feed to Read" (see link below) Sure, it may still incorporate a type of reward, but at least it's more philanthropic in nature.

http://www.readtofeed.org/for_teachers_leaders_and_parents/default.asp

Posted On 04-04-2007 2:45 PM
Your Name: Ashley F.
Email Address: afk5464@saintjoe.edu
Location: St. Joseph's College
How did you find our site?: Listening to him speak last night!!!!
Comment: Just wanted to say that you were absolutely sensational last night, when you spoke at St. Joseph's College.  You really touched many of us at the core, it was utterly amazing!  Today, in our education class we had so much to discuss and it was really interesting to see how we all walked away with such a remarkable experience.  Now we really want to be those teachers that rebel and take a stand, to change education for the better!!!  Thank you for making the trip, it was greatly appreciated!!!  I would love to hear you speak again!

 

A future teacher, Ashley Farney


Posted On 04-04-2007 12:46 PM
Your Name: Jenna R.
Email Address: jrk5603@saintjoe.edu
Location: Rensselaer, Indiana
How did you find our site?: listening to Mr. Kohn's active speech
Comment: I love your passion for changing the way things are; it is contagious!  I attended your speech at Saint Joseph's College, and I was utterly amazed.  I learned about you a while back after doing an action research project on extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation (I am against extrinsic motivation) and used several of your interviews, articles, and books to validate my distaste for the extrinsic motivation that is occurring in the schools.  Your talk about standards really hit home for me. I have always thought that standards were crippling students rather than helping them rise to their desired potentail. You were an inspiration and I genuinely hope that we can in some way make others see what is going on in our country.

I am going to be a student teacher next semester and I really want to learn more about how I can be the best supporter of learning for my students.I am sure that you get far too many e-mails for advice, but I am willing to wait as long as it takes so that I can do what is right for my future students :) What do you suggest?  Are there any good books that I can read? Should I go as far as writing a letter to the Govenor about my beliefs? What do you think? I loved the quote that you made, "I truly believe that we will look back at the 21st century and say that it was the darkest era of America's education"... I agree! Please help direct me; I am intrinsically motivated about this and WANT to learn more! Thank you for having the courage to speak out and make a difference!

Posted On 04-04-2007 6:56 AM
Your Name: Becky Vaughn
Email Address: yuppie91483@yahoo.com
Location: LaPorte, IN
Comment: I would like to say that, Mr. Kohn, you are an inspiration to me.  I saw you just last night in Rennselear, IN (although I have seen your work on DVD in Elementary Education classess.)  I have always felt that I was so different from everyone else because of my radical outlook on life.  Now I realize that life is only lived by people like us.  We are the ones who can actually say that "we are the boss of our own brains" (a term I try to teach kids I work with at an after-school program).  The moto I live by has always been "Think for yourself; Question authoriy."  I have vowed to help children get passed the brain-washing that has possessed people into believing that the government is all-knowing.  I have been in college for five years, after switching colleges and majors, and have two years remaining before I will receive my Bachelors.  And while I am still learning what makes an effective teacher, I would also like to learn more on ways to subvert the system without compromising jobs in the future.  Do you have any suggestions on resources or any of your books in particular that can help me in this area?

Posted On 04-04-2007 5:36 AM
Your Name: Anne Bailey
Email Address: MrssBinNC@aol.com
Organization: ECU, student
Location: Greenville, North Carolina
How did you find our site?: a class I'm taking
Comment: I am a licensure only, elementary education student taking classes at East Carolina University.  In other words, I have a four year degree already and have returned to school to obtain my teaching certification.

 

I think that Mr. Kohn is right on target in his assertions that accountability is just an excuse for people with no ties to education to gain more control of what occurs in the classroom.  Please take your knowledge and data to Capital Hill to straighten out this whole NCLB circus act before it's too late!

This statement is my personal opinion and is not the view of East Carolina University in Greenville, NC.


Posted On 04-03-2007 6:53 AM
Your Name: Michelle Tamburini
Email Address: michelle_tamburini@yahoo.com
Organization: High School Spanish
Location: El Dorado, KS
How did you find our site?: by accidental web search
Comment: I am applauding myself for finding this website and its contents. I look forward to reading everything I can by Alfie Kohn. I am interested in topics such as student apathy, parental involvment in a negative way, how to set the bar higher, grading, and an interesting one that I haven't seen addressed anywhere yet but with which I have personal experience that would shock any teacher...the ease with which parents are ready to sue teachers these days. I am currently embroiled in a lawsuit, myself. Interesting stuff, everyone. I'd like to hear from anyone who has had experience with this.

 

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