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Posted On 05-23-2012 10:25 PM
Your Name: Maggie
Email Address: mthreadlATsbcglobal.net
Location: Chicago
How did you find our site?: Google
Comment: I just read your article "Poor Teaching For Poor children...in the name of reform." I cannot tell you how excited I am to read everything that I think is wrong in the delivery of education to Black children. I am a teacher who has been substituting in charter schools. All of the schools I work in are predominantly African American or Hispanic. The Hispanic schools fair a little better than do the Black schools. You are correct, the teachers teach from scripts. Students are not allowed or taught  to think, reason, rationalize, or form opinions about anything. It is so dishearting for me to see this and not be able to do anything about the injustice I feel is being done to poor Black and Hispanic children.  Yet many parents believe their children are receiving a superior education in these charter schools. So sad.  Thank you for reporting everything I feel about how charter school are actually hurting and not educating Black and Hispanic children. I lack the ability to do this important issue justice. Please add me to your email mailing list.

Posted On 05-08-2012 12:05 PM
Your Name: jim dooner
Email Address: doonerjim@yahoo.com
Location: great falls montana
How did you find our site?: google
Comment: hi, love your site.  please put me on your e-mail lists.  thank you!!

Posted On 04-28-2012 8:09 PM
Your Name: Mary
Location: South Carolina
How did you find our site?: Read
Comment: I would love to have a forum for parents raising their children by the principles in _Unconditional Parenting_. There are so many times something happens with my one year old and I wonder what Alfie would recommend, or what other parents with similar viewpoints suggest.

Posted On 04-23-2012 12:17 PM
Your Name: Guest
Comment: Parents are opting their children out of standardized tests:

http://www.nytimes.com/schoolbook/2012/04/16/with-test-week-here-parents-consider-the-option-of-opting-out/

Posted On 04-20-2012 8:07 PM
Your Name: Petes
Comment: I think Kohn's readers would be interested the following:

1) A video about Finland's success with an education system that doesn't "strive for excellence" and isn't focused on competition or testing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlOfZL_J5fo


2) State exam for 8th graders has section that stumps everybody (including teachers):

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/talking-pineapple-question-state-exam-stumps-article-1.1064657?localLinksEnabled=false

Posted On 04-18-2012 4:06 PM
Your Name: Jonne
Email Address: jjep76@hotmail.com
How did you find our site?: Internet, youtube
Comment: Just listened The Case against competition and Liked it =)

Wanted to share the PARADISE OR OBLIVION (By Jacque Fresco, the Venus Project) from youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KphWsnhZ4Ag

I think mr. Kohn had many similar points as Jacque Fresco, look him up as well :)

Posted On 03-29-2012 8:54 AM
Your Name: Josie-lynn
Email Address: jpatalon0724@gmail.com
Organization: University of Michigan
Location: Ann Arbor
How did you find our site?: Research
Comment: I am a student at the University of Michigan and I came across Mr. Kohn's work "The case Against Compeition" while writing an essay about how compeition is changing students values of education. The work has proved a great resource for my assignment. I ended up this site while I was researching the author.

 

Since then I have looked over the other written works and as a university student with a younger brother just entering the educational system, I can not help but feel that many of these conjectures are correct.

Thank you very much.


Posted On 03-21-2012 1:45 PM
Your Name: Heather Shaw-Murphy
Email Address: heathershawmurphy@yahoo.com
Location: United States
How did you find our site?: Roseville Community School
Comment: I was one of those "standard" parents with an exceptional child who did not fit the public school system mold in our area. After 2 years in the California IEP nightmare, I began my search for something outside of my own comfort box, but something that makes sense to my son. I found Roseville Community School in Roseville California and met a wonderful women by the name of Mary Jo Flemming. After meeting with Mary Jo and then her meeting my son, I found a place of confidence that I needed to shed all of my preconceptions about how children "should" learn and realize that critical thinking, freedom of expression, communication, learning through "doing" was vital to our children's growth. Not just in the educational system, but raising good people. I am so thankful for my meeting with Mary Jo because she is inspired by your philosophy and incorporates it into her classroom every day. My son is happy. He is not angry when he comes home from school. He has actual self esteem that is pure. I was brought up by hippies who embraced your passion but got lost along the corporate way. Now I am back!!!!! Thank you for all of your dedication. Heather Shaw-Murphy

Posted On 03-21-2012 1:18 AM
Your Name: Matthew Leacy
Email Address: Matthew.leacy@live.com.au
Location: Coolum, Queensland, Australia
How did you find our site?: Researching negitive impacts of homework for presetation
Comment: This site has provided me with some invaluable sources of information on this topic, such as the articles and the interviews. The critical viewpoints and mythbusting attitude of the work is almost inspirational to me as a pre-service teacher. I look forward to seeing what comes next.

Posted On 03-07-2012 9:57 AM
Your Name: Jordan Hamilton
Email Address: sillyenglishknight@yahoo.com
Location: Utah
How did you find our site?: Researching for an argumentitive essay
Comment:

I simply wanted to inform you of how much this site has helped me. I am organizing an anti-homework paper (ironically, it is homework), and this site has given me very meaningful and strong insights. I am impressed by the amount of thought and work that goes in to each of your articles, and I have found myself enjoying them greatly. Please continue your work, and know that you are much appreciated.

 

 


Posted On 02-21-2012 8:01 PM
Your Name: Carrie-Ann Smith
Email Address: camsmith@utas.edu.au
Location: Hobart
Comment: I have started reading unconditional parenting as recommended by a freind. I agree with many aspects however i wonder how paractical your ideas are when it comes to maintaining boundries. I remember being a child and the frustration of not having things explained to me or given choices but i also remember the relief of having someone around that maintained boundries through threat of consequences/punishment or what ever and h boundaryow this gave me space to be a child.I remember pushing an issue too far and how relieved i felt when my father laid down the limits. I can see that you are very convinced of your own opinions and i think you also judge parents harshly but i will keep reading anyway.

Posted On 02-19-2012 1:44 PM
Your Name: Beth Wallace
Email Address: pomfrita@yahoo.com
Location: Bow, WA
How did you find our site?: a facebook post
Comment: Reading these comments, I hear the sense of isolation people feel, the crazy feeling of "knowing in your gut" that things are seriously amiss in education but feeling like the only person who has this insight. Sixteen years ago our family stepped into the unknown, becoming unschoolers in order to avoid feeding our kids into the machinery of an industrial school system. We met with a lot of resistance from friends and family. Teacher friends termed our decision elitist, antidemocratic, racist, selfish. In fact, we were a farm family trying to become more aware of nature, the seasons, the ecosystem, and the place of agriculture in bringing about a better world. Your book "Punished by Rewards" was one of the texts that inspired and affirmed us. Our older son is now a doctoral candidate in chemistry at Johns Hopkins, and our younger son is a physics major at Reed College. More importantly, they are healthy, curious, kind human beings with open minds. I couldn't wish for more.

Posted On 02-12-2012 7:22 PM
Your Name: Pete
Comment: "We've all tried to be on top of the world somehow because we have all been losers".

This song is like everything Alfie Kohn says about competition (and "striving for excellence" type environments) distilled to emotions:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0-HLG7Dxec
Losers
- The Belle Brigade

This is not an ad I have no relation to the band it's just a great song with a lot of the same message Kohn speaks about. (He should play it at his speeches about competition :)

Posted On 02-11-2012 12:50 AM
Your Name: Kelly Lovell
Email Address: leafmelone@hotmail.com
Organization: V.O.G.W.O.P.
Location: University Of Texas
How did you find our site?: just surfed on
Comment: I am a biology major doing an internship with vogwop and planning a career with that organization. Thanks so much for your site. I have a passion for saving trees and for combating global warming. Your site is a valuable reference.

Posted On 02-10-2012 10:07 AM
Your Name: Barbara Harlow
Email Address: bj9557@gmail.com
Organization: Fort Hays State University
Location: Lewiston, Maine
How did you find our site?: Google
Comment: I am a 57 year old woman who went back to college to become a school teacher. My family is now grown and living on their own. I have a deep passion for teaching. I am not simply saying I love to teach, It is deep in my heart. I am writing this to you because I am in agreement with your philosophy concerning homework, grades and partnering with students to involve everybody in the teaching process. I have battled with every teacher my children had about sending so much homework home they didn't have time for family. I would sit with them every night and help them (not do it for them) from kindergarten through 12th grade. Either they get what is being taught or they don't. It is our job as teachers to educate these children. Parents are supposed to be part of a teacher's support system, not the back up teacher.  Until I came across your books while doing my research, I did not realize someone felt exactly as I do. I, like you, think the grading system is terrible. Well I will not ramble on any longer, I do tend to get passionate about this very subject. I am going to get many of your books and study them. I will set up my classroom using your suggestions and I will do my best to implement your teaching style. God bless you and Thank you for taking the time to read this. Barb Harlow 



Posted On 01-28-2012 4:11 PM
Your Name: Gerald Stephens
Email Address: gstephens@hoover.k12.al.us
Organization: Bumpus Middle School
Location: Birmingham, AL
How did you find our site?: Attended Alfie Kohn presentation
Comment: Mr. Kohn, wonderful presentation today in Birmingham, AL. New doors of thought and practice now opened to me. To anyone looking on, I unreservedly recommend Alfie Kohn as a presenter.

Posted On 01-25-2012 12:38 PM
Your Name: Nicola Currie
Email Address: nmcurrie@hotmail.com
Organization: University
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
How did you find our site?: By reading Punished By Rewards
Comment: I am a primary teaching student who has just finished reading Punished by Rewards. I feel a bit like I did the day I found out Santa wasn't real. Not entirely surprised or upset, but quite empty nonetheless. It makes sense, Mr Kohn, your ideas on punishing by rewards and I am very, very grateful for reading your book. But I am changed and I have to spend the next wee while working out what that change will mean practically. I look forward to the thought process and the journey! Thank you!

Posted On 01-20-2012 10:07 AM
Your Name: Richard Sloan
Email Address: rasloan@me.com
Location: Lincolnwood, IL
How did you find our site?: teachers.net
Comment: I just read your piece on political correctness. Thank you for writing it. You are certainly correct in labeling the "PC" epithet as a means of demeaning and discouraging questions about the social/political order. One of the problems that has plagued political and social discourse in this country for as long as I can remember (and no doubt, longer still,) is that we often avoid debate at the level of substance, preferring instead to engage in a war of bumper sticker slogans. The conservatives have always been quicker and better at labeling issues in a way that aids their side in these "debates," as can be seen in "pro-life" and "moral majority." After you come up with a label like that, what else do you need to say? And how do you make your principled argument against the substance of "pro-life" heard in the storm of emotional response to the label? [...]  The debate about public education is, if possible, even more distressing. Words like "accountability" and "value added," to name just two, are thrown around with abandon, but nobody in the corporate ed reform camp, from Arne Duncan on down, ever stops to ponder what these business school terms mean in the world of education. [...] The narrowing of k-12 curricula in response to the pressure to win the NCLB game is causing our schools to produce a generation of people who have learned very little outside of the math and language arts instruction that is largely focused on how to game the tests. They haven't learned the signal skill of a good education -- how to ask questions. [...]

[edited for length]

Posted On 01-16-2012 3:23 AM
Your Name: Dr Florentina Taylor
Organization: Department of Education, University of York, UK
How did you find our site?: literature searches on pupil motivation
Comment: Just got another one of your books in the post and felt an irresistible urge to THANK YOU for everything you have written. The world is a better place, and there is still hope for the younger generation, because of people like you.

Posted On 01-15-2012 7:14 AM
Your Name: steve hein
Email Address: eqi.org at gmx.com
Organization: eqi.org
Comment: i have created a page on alfie

www.eqi.org/kohn.htm

many of our ideas are very similar, so if u like alfie's ideas, you might like mine


Posted On 01-14-2012 3:45 PM
Your Name: Tracy
Email Address: tracy@shanahoe.com
Location: Sydney, Australia
How did you find our site?: Searching for information on non-competitive play
Comment: I cannot find the words to express how relieved I am to find a site like this and to read so many comments from people who can see the benefit of removing competition from the lives of our children. I am a mother of three young children and have studied and worked in education. For years i have had this uncomfortable feeling about the way we teach our children and the way we encourage them to play and interact. I have felt like I am pushing against a mountain. I was starting to feel like I was the only person who thought the current system is flawed and, to my mind, insanity. I started to avoid parties because I could not bear another round of musical chairs and sad little faces. Thank you Alfie Kohn.

Posted On 01-14-2012 2:33 PM
Your Name: Chelsea
Email Address: chelseawainright@hotmail.com
Location: Ontario, Canada
How did you find our site?: google
Comment: Great site. I came across it on Google. I have a 7-year-old son and every night he is in tears over his homework and my husband and I are ready to pull our hair out. We live in a neighbourhood where many parents are obsessed with standardized testing scores and the teachers have followed suit. My son's teacher tells me that according to the Ontario Ministry of Education, they are allowed to assign 20 minutes of homework per night for 7 year olds but it's never 20 minutes. It takes time for us to explain the lesson, provide guidance and then ensure that it gets done. My son's teacher assigns it every single night including Friday and it's due the next day. If it's not done, she puts a circle around it in red marker to "chastise" the parents. I've asked her about the value and she always just hides behind academic gobbledygook and says that she's "within the ministry guidelines" which is just so depressing and soul-sucking. There's nothing I can do about it but I loved reading your articles on homework as they made me feel a bit better about my instincts that it was worthless.

Posted On 01-14-2012 8:09 AM
Your Name: Brandy
Email Address: brandyantor@hotmail.com
Organization: stay at home mom
Location: USA
How did you find our site?: Unconditional Parenting book
Comment: While searching for books with answers to my discipline issues, I came across the attractive title UNCONDITIONAL PARENTING.  The title grabbed my attention and seemed consistent with my mission.  From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for writing this book and articulating what I only could feel on a visceral, gut level.  The last few months of my son "being four" have been fraught with negativity, hurt feelings and exhaustion on both our accounts.  Though I have adopted an attachment parenting approach, I somehow wasn't prepared for him growing up a bit; so taken off-guard was I that I began reacting.  So much of how I handled conflicts with my son sickened me, but I did it anyway because I had never heard otherwise.  I get a lot of well-meaning advice from people who truly care enough to tell me that I'm doing things "wrong", and somehow I began to believe them.  As a rebel at heart, I felt defeat and conformity were going to do me in and I would just be like every other mom.  It occured to me that the disciplinary measures, the time-outs with a confused hug afterward, the spankings, the consistency approach, that was all a part of being a mom and nobody liked it but it was a maturity thing and sometimes you just do things you don't want to do as a grown up with kids.  I cannot express enough how your book has allowed me to take a deep breath once again.  My next thought is "WHY THE H-E-double bendy straw IS THIS NOT IN EVERY PARENTING MAGAZINE AND EVERY DOCTORS OFFICE PAMPHLET IN THE FREE WORLD???".  I happened upon it by chance or divine intervention and will always feel relief that it happened before I completely lost my sense of rebellion.  What can I do to help other parents get this information?  It isn't for the faint of heart or the rigid by any means, only for those with an awareness that things could be better.

 


Posted On 01-14-2012 12:00 AM
Your Name: Carol Walker
Email Address: carolwalker@onelittleschool.com
Organization: The Little School
Location: San Diego
How did you find our site?: bookmarks :)
Comment: I heard you speak last night at USD; just wanted to say thank you. You said it all so simply and yet passionately; I hope EVERYONE heard you. Happy to see so many public schoolteachers attending, and parents as well. I do what I can in my tiny bit of the world, but you made me realize I need to advocate even more...and it IS overwhelming!

Thank you for the work you do on behalf of children and the world. Still can't figure out how you condensed all that information in to a couple of humorous hours...Good Job!!!(hahaha)


Posted On 01-12-2012 9:24 AM
Your Name: Diana
Comment: I am reading your book, The Schools Our Children Deserve. I wholeheartedly agree!!!! I am homeschooling my girls, because I cannot stomach the way they treat education in the public schools and cannot afford to send them to private school. I found out about all you are saying the hard way. For some dumb reason, I had the notion that schools were supposed to teach kids. Wow was I wrong! All they seemed to do was judge my kids on what I was teaching them at home. I was tired of being the tyrant, making my kids do meaningless work and forcing them to endure "factory-style education." [...] Why is it you don't poke at liberals for their part in these "no child left behind" sort of failures? You keep poking at far right extremists, but liberals are just as guilty, if not more-so for the mess we are in. [...] Thank you for your book. It took me too long to pick it up and read it. I have owned it for 10 years. I've been too busy trying to facilitate learning (or create an environment for learning) for my kids I guess. God bless!

[edited for length]

 

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