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Books by Alfie Kohn

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THE MYTH OF THE SPOILED CHILD:

Challenging the Conventional Wisdom About Children and Parenting

(Da Capo Books, 2014)

A critical analysis of widely shared assumptions about “overindulged” kids, “helicopter” parents, self-esteem, and self-discipline that exposes the deeply conservative ideology behind complaints that children receive trophies, praise, and A’s too easily.

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FEEL-BAD EDUCATION:

...And Other Contrarian Essays on Children and Schooling

(Beacon Press, 2011)

A collection of articles that were originally published between 2004 and 2010, dealing with topics ranging from cheating to national standards to Supernanny.

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THE HOMEWORK MYTH:

Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing

(Da Capo Books, 2006)

A debunking of common defenses of homework – that it promotes higher achievement, “reinforces” learning, and teaches study skills – followed by half a dozen explanations for why we continue to administer this modern cod liver oil to children in the absence of proven benefits.

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UNCONDITIONAL PARENTING:

Moving from Rewards and Punishments
to Love and Reason

(Atria Books, 2005) 

Begins with the question “What do children need – and how can we meet those needs?” rather than “How can we get kids to do whatever we tell them?”  Helps parents to move from techniques that emphasize control (and conditional acceptance) to an approach designed to help kids grow into good people.

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WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE WELL EDUCATED?

And More Essays on Standards, Grading, and Other Follies

(Beacon Press, 2004)

A collection of articles that were originally published between 1999 and 2003, dealing with topics ranging from the purposes of schooling to the SAT to the implications of Sept. 11.
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THE CASE AGAINST STANDARDIZED TESTING:

Raising the Scores, Ruining the Schools
(Heinemann, 2000)

A short, accessible, Q & A-style book on tests and what we can do about them, expanding on information in the Schools book described below.

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The Schools our Children Deserve Book Cover

THE SCHOOLS OUR CHILDREN DESERVE:

Moving Beyond Traditional Classrooms and "Tougher Standards"
(Houghton Mifflin, 1999)

Challenges widespread assumptions about back-to-basics and "bunch o' facts" teaching, as well as the current test-driven accountability movement.

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WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A CLASSROOM
. . . And Other Essays

(Jossey-Bass, 1998)

A collection of articles that were originally published between 1989 and 1998, dealing with topics ranging from character education to caring classrooms to the effects of watching TV.

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Beyond Dicipline book cover

BEYOND DISCIPLINE:

From Compliance to Community
(Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1996/2006)

A modest attempt to overthrow the entire field of classroom management, which explores alternatives to coercing children into complying with teachers' expectations. 10th-anniversary edition includes a lengthy new Afterword.

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Punished by Rewards Book Cover

PUNISHED BY REWARDS:

The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise, and Other Bribes
(Houghton Mifflin, 1993/1999)

Makes the case against using rewards with students, children, and employees; lengthy chapters offer alternatives to traditional carrot-and-stick practices at school, at home, and at work.

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THE BRIGHTER SIDE OF HUMAN NATURE:

Altruism and Empathy in Everyday Life
(Basic Books, 1990)

Draws from hundreds of studies to argue that selfishness and aggression are no more "natural" than caring and generosity.

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YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY….:

The Truth About Popular Beliefs
(HarperCollins, 1990)

A collection of short essays debunking the conventional wisdom about food, sex, behavior, and other topics.

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No Contest Book Cover

NO CONTEST:

The Case Against Competition
(Houghton Mifflin, 1986/1992)

Argues that competition is counterproductive in all areas of human life - work, school, play, and family - undermining achievement, damaging self-esteem, and poisoning relationships.

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[edited by Kohn]
EDUCATION, INC.:

Turning Learning into a Business
(Heinemann, 2002)

A collection of essays by various authors critical of corporate involvement in schools, including such topics as advertising to children and efforts to privatize education.

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