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Posted On 04-26-2011 5:38 AM
Your Name: Will Gawin
Email Address: wgawin@live.com
Organization: Sycamore Community Schools (public)
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio USA
How did you find our site?: Google
Comment: As a student I would highly agree with your conclusions... In the words of my friend "its so true"

Posted On 04-20-2011 7:44 PM
Your Name: Tatyana Z.
Email Address: Tbzaytseva@gmail.com
Organization: Aestas Templum Summer Enrichment Program
Location: Medford/ Ashland, Oregon
How did you find our site?: AERO
Comment: First of all, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for putting in so much effort to explain the reality of the public school system.  I am currently an employee of the public school system as a "special education" assistant. It is highly disappointing every day, to see children get treated disrespectfully, and coerced into little drilling drones. So much of what you have written in your articles and books has moved me.

I also, especially want to thank K. McNair from Jackson, Mississippi, who [signed] your guestbook. To me, McNair's attitude and knowledge of children is a perfect example of why our education system is a complete failure. Often at times, I get into much disagreement with the officials at my job for protecting kids from people like McNair. It is a frightening world where people who have no understanding of,  compassion or empathy for children are teaching and taking care of them.

On a brighter note, I came upon your books and articles through the AERO website and absolutely admire your ability to express these truths about education.
In fact, I loved your work so much, I am currently featuring it on my program website at aestastemplum.org (if that's ok with you). My favorite article is "what to look for in a classroom", a wonderful comparison of elements in learning and non-learning environments.

I certainly hope that children will get the freedom to joyfully learn and express themselves in public schools... perhaps a voucher system would be a push in the right direction...

I also hope that public school teachers, school boards and administrators will step outside of themselves and see their world as unhealthy and debilitating and deeply in need for a change of perspective. That is a stretch of a wish, but I am glad there are so many people out there helping it come closer to fruition.

Posted On 04-18-2011 11:30 PM
Your Name: Juanita Rosales
Email Address: rjuanita24@yahoo.com
Location: Riverside CA
How did you find our site?: research
Comment: I have made a decision to write a letter to my son's principal, that he will not participate in the STAR testing this year. She recognized the students in his class for their proficiency from last year's individual scores and because my son scored basic he was not recognized with the rest of his class. I am considering taking him out of the school entirely. How can the prinicipal expect children to succeed in school without any recognition, proficient or not.

 


Posted On 04-14-2011 1:32 PM
Your Name: rcfeder
Email Address: rcfeder@mac.com
Location: suburban Philadelphia
How did you find our site?: Google search
Comment: My daughter and her friends wrote a song as a plea for "No More Homework" -- entitled "Mr. Obama" -- in their hope that their President would hear and understand their plea for more time to make music and for other things kids like to do.  While I am a biased parent (of the bass player), and think the song is a wonderful anthem for kids everywhere, the unique thing about this is how the girls' school embraced the song.  Their music teacher encouraged them to make a video of their song, and brought in their other teachers and many students from their elementary school.  I thought you and your readers might appreciate the message these girls have and how they got a whole school behind them!   You can find the video on YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxjTDZyBJn4.  Enjoy!

Posted On 04-09-2011 10:38 AM
Your Name: K. McNair
Email Address: kmcnair@gmail.com
Organization: not disclosed
Location: Jackson, Mississippi
How did you find our site?: required reading for college
Comment: I'm sorry, but I don't agree with all this "democratic teaching and parenting style" propoganda that Alfie Kohn has been promoting since the 1970's.  I'm an old fashioned Mississippi born African-American woman and I'm from a very traditional about my parenting style.  I'm also a very traditional preschool teacher.  When it comes to teaching, it's all very simple; I'm the teacher, the kids are the students, and the kids are supposed to listen when I'm teaching.  I teach and the kids are supposed to pay attention and learn. Period.  Simple.  And that's that.  Some of these kids are a real handful and they try their best to defy me.  That's fine. If a child don't want to learn, then he don't got to stay.  He can go ahead and get out of my classroom.  They is plenty of other little kids who are on the waiting list to be in this school.

I like to use Lee and Marlene Canter's Assertive Discipline methods in my preschool classroom.  The methods are simple and they work.  The kids can learn or they can get on out of my classroom.  I got better things to do with my time than fighting these kids to get them to learn.


Posted On 04-08-2011 8:21 PM
Your Name: Helena Freisberg
Email Address: hfreisberg@jpc.qld.edu.au
How did you find our site?: google by author
Comment: I am reading several of Alfie Kohn's books at the moment with great interest. Where I think in some topics he is spot-on, I also feel he goes too far assuming that all praise is manipulative. Are smiles to a child also manipulating the child to please us? Do we try to manipulate our children by saying "I love you" and giving them a hug? I cannot help but feel that showing our appreciation on something a child does well spontaneously and with joy is just that, a moment of happines shared with the child, some human warmth transmitted to the child and not a desire to manipulate, whether conscious or unconscious. So much of what we do we want to do to please others... is that not a desirable human trait? Is it wrong to let children see that they please us when they do things we consider "good" I think the issue cannot be generalised,

Posted On 03-28-2011 7:15 PM
Your Name: Thomas Blumenthal
Email Address: thomblumenthal@gmail.com
Organization: my home
Location: Johnson City, NY
How did you find our site?: enriching
Comment: I am going to print out a photo of you and put it on my desk at home, in order to remind me, as a college student-- that there is hope. There are role models out there for me. You are one of them. Tomorrow we go for our first ultra-sound. I hope to be the parent I never had-- and more. I hope to be able to teach my children how to approach life, work, and learning-- with great curiosity and interest- and passion. Your words, your thinking- will inform my efforts. Regards, Tom Blumenthal.

Posted On 03-28-2011 12:12 AM
Your Name: Alicia McFarland
Email Address: alicia.mcfarland@yahoo.com
Organization: Continuing Development Incorporated
Location: Simi Valley, California
How did you find our site?: Punished by Rewards book; Race to Nowhere movie; etc
Comment:

I have long been passionate about education and this was further development upon my enrolling and eventual degree in Child Development.  However this passion never crossed into the larger scale elementary system; that is until having children of my own. 

As my son became "age-appropriate" to enter school I decided it best to wait another year and said it was because Kindergarten was no longer Kindergarten but more like First Grade.  Sadly I did not think I could do much about this fact but was determined to protect my son from entering into this system at a point where failure was inevitable rather than probable. 

 As he entered 1st grade I struggled with his "failure" in school, lack of desire to do homework and the frequency with which he did not stay on "green” (aka: you had a bad day because you don’t behave).  This resulted in my meeting with the teacher and principal where a "point system" was encouraged.  As I argued my concern over extrinsic versus intrinsic motivators for my son I felt not only ignored but also like a child being patted on the head who just doesn't know how things really work.  I relented to his attending intervention and began to volunteer almost weekly for 1-2 hours in his class to see how behavior really held up as an influence toward his learning.  I will not take the time to note some of the many things you have probably heard before but more importantly, no doubt, are extremely aware of the actual causes of these affects.

During this time I have been pointed to the book Punished by Rewards and, thankfully, have also been pointed toward the movies: Waiting for Superman and Race to Nowhere.  I now realize I am an advocate who can do more than volunteer but pass on this knowledge to others; in particular those influencing my sons education.

I feel charged and thankful for this knowledge and relief that it has come prior to 2nd grade, when the standardized testing takes hold, but also as my daughter begins Kindergarten; her "career" in the education system.

Thank you for your work.  I believe we can all work to change the current system and improve our children's opportunities to truly learn but most importantly love to learn!


Posted On 03-26-2011 6:25 AM
Your Name: Bonnie Milam
Email Address: bonmilam@aol.com
Organization: Teacher, Loudoun County Public Schools
Location: Virginia
How did you find our site?: books, google, thinking
Comment: You, Alfie Kohn, are my new hero.  I love your books and am reading your essays--thank you for putting into words and backing up with research what I have felt for years about ADHD.  My husband and I raised three perfect children--mostly by God's grace--so reading your books has helped me realize our intuitive style.  Our son, who is also a teacher, told me to read The Homework Myth and our relationship with your work has grown from there. 

Posted On 03-13-2011 3:36 PM
Your Name: Janet
Email Address: JOllive@AlpineValleySchool.com
Organization: Alpine Valley School
Location: CO
How did you find our site?: book
Comment:  

My local paper covered the conference on teen bullying which also mentioned a senator who has legislation to be added to the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind. The current idea is to give federal dollars to schools with programs that reward positive behavior. This seems to be exactly what your book Punished by Rewards warns against.


Posted On 03-12-2011 3:10 PM
Your Name: Carol L. McCoy
Email Address: carol.mccoy@mac.com
Organization: Zoe's Granny
Location: Cincinnati, OH
How did you find our site?: From workshop today
Comment: I went to the Montessori workshop today mostly to help myself become better informed and also to be a better "Montessori Granny." I attended many P.E.T. workshops when my own children were young. I have learned so many more things today about good and beneficial interaction to use with my 6 yr, 5yr and 2-1/2 yr old grandchildren I'm going to have to use it for a while to see how it fits me. Also, it was nice to hear that even you slip down the slippery slope sometimes.  I hope that all my grandchildren will have the benefit to attend good Montessori schools.

Posted On 03-07-2011 12:24 PM
Your Name: Corina Rotaru
Email Address: rotarucor@yahoo.com
Organization: "Emil Racovita" Highschool
Location: Galati - Romania
How did you find our site?: I participate to the project "Teaching and Learning from an International Perspective " with International Baccalaureate Organization
Comment: I don't  fink  that: No grades+ No homework = Better leaning. I study the problem. It's very interesting.

Posted On 03-06-2011 7:17 PM
Your Name: Rachel D Millin
Email Address: Rmillin2252@Yahoo.com
Organization: Springfield Public Schools
Location: Mass
How did you find our site?: Web Search about testing
Comment:

Posted On 03-05-2011 7:18 AM
Your Name: Alessandra
Email Address: ales.ag@tiscali.it
Location: GB
How did you find our site?: book Unconditional Parenting
Comment: Thanks for your book, it opened my eyes!

Posted On 03-04-2011 12:25 PM
Your Name: Tony Hayes
Email Address: hi.tonyhayes@gmail.com
Organization: DPCDSB
Location: Caledon, Canada
How did you find our site?: I follow Alfie on Twitter
Comment: Just this morning, a colleague complained that her daughter (who attends a different school) had too much homework and that she was concerned about the teacher's latest assignment:   A full project over the upcoming Spring Break.   Her daughter is in Juniour Kindergarten!   I am sending her the link to this article!

Posted On 03-02-2011 8:31 AM
Your Name: David Monahan
Email Address: dmonahan3824@gmail.com
Organization: Bright Local Schools
Location: Mowrystown, Ohio
How did you find our site?: Fan of Your Books
Comment:

Posted On 02-25-2011 8:32 AM
Your Name: Kent MacNeill
Email Address: oectae@vianet.ca
Organization: OECTA
Location: Sheraton on the Falls, Niagara Falls
How did you find our site?: Alfie Kohn mentioned it during his talk
Comment: Thank you for your eloquent presentation on what we all feel as teachers - standardised tests don't work, let us teach and get rid of these incessant tests! Keep the message going.

Posted On 02-24-2011 8:41 AM
Your Name: Bruce Forsyth
Email Address: b.forsyth75@gmail.com
Organization: TDSB
Location: Toronto, Ontario
How did you find our site?: heard about A.K. on the radio (AM 680)
Comment: I am thrilled to hear about someone drawing a distinction between education and schooling. Education is the most valuable, important pursuit there is, and schooling is essentially useless. Equating success with a number is, unfortunately, the misguided direction we have been going for far too long... not sure how to fix it, but I think we have a big problem and we should all start by recognizing it.

I teach secondary school in the TDSB and I am optimistic in the sense that I think with vision we can adapt the traditional learning setting to something more effective. I would love to be involved in the development of some real alternatives. Check out my gifted class' collaborative online learning environment (something I think all schools should encourage students to develop): http://eng1d602.wikispaces.com/


Posted On 02-23-2011 11:56 AM
Your Name: Leslie
How did you find our site?: thru a book
Comment: I am reading "Uncondtional Parenting" and I am so thankful for books like this. It puts into words what I have felt in my heart and helps gives me guidelines for raising my 2 year old and baby on the way. I have found that since having children, my relationships with my friends has suffered because I see them raising their own children in such a hateful, negative way, and the sad thing is that they don't even realize it or see things that way.

I referenced part of your book in an email with a friend this week, and he promptly responded that the books he prefers to read refer to children as "almost like pets" that are "100% selfish" so it's up to their parents to discipline and teach them how to act. He had no problem accepting that information. Scary.  I was at a loss for words.

Thank you Mr Kohn for your book and for your insightful and mindful parenting books.


Posted On 02-20-2011 8:39 AM
Your Name: Deirdre Sheridan
Email Address: deirdres2010@gmail.com
Location: Ireland
How did you find our site?: A friend mailed the book to me as I was asked to present a talk on parenting your toddler
Comment: On quiet reflection, having perused your book I have come to the conclusion that I am not in any position to talk to anyone about anything!!! Lol! I know less now than I knew before, feeling very humbled and just wondering is there anywhere that i can trade my 5 for newer models so that i can do a do-over :). Thoroughly enjoying the book (but not the process), now it means that I have to re-adjust myself whereas before i could claim that i didn't know any better.....The world needs different perspectives, so thank you for putting pen to paper so to speak. D.

Posted On 02-17-2011 6:10 AM
Your Name: Marty Wolff
Email Address: ibrmdw@yahoo.com
Organization: Marty Wolff Business Solutions
Location: NE PA
How did you find our site?: research
Comment: I loved "Punished by Rewards". Have talked about it often with clients. I want to stay connected to Alfie's work.

Posted On 02-10-2011 10:12 AM
Your Name: Christine
Email Address: christinedemichele@gmail.com
Organization: Teacher's College, Columbia University - Music and Music Education
Location: New York, NY
How did you find our site?: Google!
Comment: I just finished reading "Beyond Bribes and Threats."  After cringing at some of the  parental/educator behavior that I've held in question, I was so pleased to hear your voice. I found your arguments fresh and productive, elevated in their openness to creativity and problem solving, and wonderfully supportive of Autotelic learning. I look forward to reading more of your work! Many thanks again!

Posted On 02-01-2011 5:57 PM
Your Name: Clare
Email Address: clare33@hotmail.com
Location: CT
How did you find our site?: Via Transformative Parenting, via Attachment Parenting Int\'l
Comment: Fantastic call earlier today facilitated by Transformative Parenting.  Really enjoyed your thoughts and the fact that it's landed me on your site which I'm now exploring.

Would love to see a speaking seminar closer to CT (I understand you're from the Boston area).

Thanks for taking the time to speak with everyone today. 


Posted On 01-31-2011 5:25 AM
Your Name: Barb Smith
Email Address: barbara_smith@rogers.com
Organization: F1 - Innovations for Education
Location: Toronto and Detroit
How did you find our site?: read the blogs often
Comment: I just finished reading your article "How to create nonreader " and your words are true to form! For years I have asked about the research that grounds the "Drop Everything and Read" (DEAR) bandwagon. I've asked my staff to come to a staff meeting with a book they like to read - and said we'll open the meeting with a DEAR session. This, unsurprisingly, lasted about 30 seconds before chatter and snickering burst out. I asked them why this could be so, it supposedly works with kids? Well, it doesn't; they are simply far better at masking compliant behavior, or they just go through the motions. If we want kids to read for the love of it, then we have to understand that reading is a private practice or a listening practice. I'm currently working with a new charter school in Detroit, The Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, and we are not going to pull curriculum off the shelf, especially the kind that states "the learner will complete a novel study". The students need to read to be able to write and speak with more precision and vitality, so our goal is go way beyond what's on the shelf because these kids are worth it. Your article, like your books, is the kind of 'break the mold' message that will help us push through the learning barriers. Thank you for your words. Keep them coming! Barb Smith (who was thrilled to host you at the Sterling Hall School in Toronto a few years ago!)

Posted On 01-26-2011 10:48 AM
Your Name: Theresa Butler
Email Address: tberrybutler@aol.com
Location: United States
How did you find our site?: long time awareness
Comment: I couldn't help but think about you, Mr. Kohn, when I heard the President's speech last night. Pres. Obama really was emphatic about the importance of good teaching and...HOMEWORK. Usually he is current in his thinking. Otherwise, not a bad speech.

 

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