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Posted On 09-25-2010 12:30 AM
Your Name: Sam
Email Address:
Comment: As an elementary school teacher, I would love my pay to be based on a test that I administer to my own students.

Posted On 09-22-2010 11:05 AM
Your Name: susan
Location: chicago
Comment: Hi, Great job on WPR. thanks for tweeting the audio. Is there a place you post your upcoming talks/writing? You have a huge following and I hope you find a vehicle (media/pr) to get your (our) views heard. I often share your info, along with Diane Ratvich, Daniel Willingham and several others.  I would like to know who you like to follow for sharing ideas.

Posted On 09-16-2010 11:23 AM
Your Name: Lee Smith
Email Address:
Organization: DeQueen-Mena Educational Service Cooperative
Location: Gillham, Arkansas
How did you find our site?: Committed Sardine
Comment: I read your August 25th article in Education Week about using students as data. I've felt this way since I was in high school taking the ACT - a test that determined so much of what was in store for my future. (I thought then that it was ridiculous, but just spent $300 on a program that is supposed to increase my daughter's ACT score by 4-points, guaranteed. Crazy.) Anyway, I became a teacher of agriculture in 1996 and have since been looking for that critical mass of educators seeking to bring down the racketeers who have created this testing monster. I find your thoughts to be reassuring as I add you to the list of like-minded individuals with a larger venue than my own. Thanks!

Posted On 09-03-2010 1:12 PM
Your Name: Michael Stein
Email Address:
Location: Muskego, WI
How did you find our site?: WPR Program
Comment: Thank you very much for appearing on WPR on 09/02/10.  We fundamentally need to change the way education is done in this country.  I found your ideas on the subject exceptional and cannot wait to read your books and articles.


I have recently been reading a couple of books by Rafe Esquith, the extraordinary teacher from Los Angeles.  Your two approaches to education dovetail together.  One of the issues he cites as a problem with the standardized testing are teachers who cheat the system so that their students look exceptional when they are anything but.  The next year the students have a teach who is honest about the students taking the tests and when the students do poorly, the school blames the new teacher for going backward.

Public education is the great equalizer in democracy.  People from all walks of life have the opportunity to succeed and pursure their versions of happiness because of the opportunity that public education provides.  You are completely correct when you say that the first role of the teacher and the school system is to identify how each lesson is going to promote the love for learning.  If students develop a love of learning, the rest will take care of itself, as they will ravenously seek learning experiences. We have been making learning less fun over the past thirty years.  The second thing that needs to be taught when teaching lessons is why is it important to learn that particular lesson.  I do not recall a single instance in grade school, high school, or college when a teach said this is why we are learning this and why it is important for you to know it.

The other great point you made is that each school should make its own decisions and not be forced to comply with other standards...  Please keep championing education and changing our educational experience.

[edited for length]

Posted On 09-03-2010 12:46 PM
Your Name: Terri R.
Email Address:
Location: Kenosha, WI
How did you find our site?: WPR - Ideas Network
Comment: I listened to your guest appearance on WPR yesterday and was shaking my head "yes" during the majority of the program. Everything you said rang true for me and affirmed my hesitation with allowing my child to enter a public school headed by a program like "no child left behind" or "race to the top" as an administration's main directive. I was wondering though, a caller asked briefly about the Montessori education experience, and having an 18 months old myself, I am intrigued with enrolling my child in the following school year. You mentioned that you agreed fundamentally with the learning approach, but that you had some reservations. Can you elaborate or recommend some articles that document student's experiences and thoughts about this type of education?

Posted On 09-03-2010 8:50 AM
Your Name: Don
Email Address:
Location: Sheboygan, WI
How did you find our site?: Wisconsin Public Radio


I listened to the first portion of your appearance on the Ben Merin program of WPR yesterday.  I am very much in favor of your idea of schools helping students learn creativity and life long learning.  My concern would be, why can't a student learn both creativity and the 3Rs?  Most teachers are ill prepared and not interested in teaching to both.  It requires a lot of work.  If teaching to the test was setting a standard that was very high, I might agree with you, but I believe that the bar is actually pretty low.  I would hate to think that a student would graduate without at least this base level of knowledge.

Posted On 08-26-2010 12:24 PM
Your Name: Amy Valens
Email Address:
Location: Forest Knolls CA
How did you find our site?: frequent visitor
Comment: The article in Education Week is on its way to my Congressperson, Lynn Woolsey, just in case her education experts missed it!  I hope others will do the same.  It is so important that our policy makers understand the differences you point out, and don't  legislate another round of meaningless data collection connected to "products" that demean teachers and demoralize students!

Posted On 08-16-2010 3:09 PM
Your Name: Philip Catuogno
Email Address:
Organization: Taylor I.S.D.
Location: Taylor, Texas
How did you find our site?: Google
Comment: Whenever I bring up any of your ideas Mr. Kohn, I'm quickly pelted with looks of amazement, confusion to downright disgust. I am seen as a radical. I will keep the faith.

Posted On 08-11-2010 5:42 PM
Your Name: Johanna
Email Address:
Organization: High School Special Ed
Location: Arkansas
How did you find our site?: a good friend
Comment: I have read some of your views recently and in the past. I agree with many things you have to say and hope to use some of your ideas in my first year of teaching.

Posted On 08-03-2010 7:39 PM
Your Name: Anita
Email Address:
Location: Bethlehem, PA
How did you find our site?: Reading Dr. Kohn's books
Comment: Thank you Dr. Kohn for your voice in today's crazy world of education. Do you know about a school or schools that follow your advice to some extent? I can't find anything in my area, and homeschooling is not an option for me at this time. I just don't like what I see in the schools here, whether public or private.


Also, I agree with another post that kids in Europe seem much more pleasant and disciplined than American kids. I am a Montessori teacher and I have wondered about that difference for years, but haven't been able to find much information. Any help would be appreciated.

Posted On 07-28-2010 12:42 PM
Your Name: Jeri Marie Hallberg Harmon
Email Address:
Organization: von Schiller Home School
Location: El Paso, Texas
How did you find our site?: Responsive, authentic
Comment: ... Responsive teachers attend to their students entirely, respond authentically, and clearly explain in respectful manners why a child/student is being asked to do what they are being asked to do.  Not until I was in Junior college did I hear or understand the words RATIONALE and OBJECTIVE.
  I believe even the youngest students can understand why we do what we do.
  Patient listening, meeting the needs of the students, extending apologies are forms of modeling behavior which fosters community...
[posting edited for length]

Posted On 07-19-2010 10:45 AM
Your Name: Sandy
How did you find our site?: Wash Post Chat
Comment: Have you ever looked at cross-cultural difference in children's behaviour?  I have a lot of younger cousins in France and now they have children too.  They all just seem overall much more pleasant, well-mannered and helpful than american kids in general.  And generally when I watch families in Europe they seem that way.  Is this just my imagination?  I normally can't stand being around my friends kids here in the states but I enjoy it in Europe. 

Posted On 07-18-2010 7:16 PM
Your Name: Bruce Banner
Email Address:
Organization: unemployed math/sci teacher
Location: austin, tx
How did you find our site?: i've known about it for years
Comment: in the context of "punished by rewards" this article in today's nytimes:

the title says it all: "How a Reward Led to a Tragedy at the Beach"

best wishes to all for a better future for education, educators and, of course, our students

Posted On 07-15-2010 3:52 AM
Your Name: P.D. Anglea
Email Address:
Organization: Unemployed Teacher/Counselor
Location: Knoxville, Georgia
How did you find our site?: NY Times-Room for Debate:The Wrong Focus
Comment: I stumbled across this article while browsing the net and exploring articles regarding teaching. The brief discourse resonated with my thoughts. I attempted to earn certification as a Special Education Teacher the past two years though an alternative certification program in Georgia. I am now unemployed, disappointed, frustrated, and more motivated to teach. After spending two years in a modern public high school I understand what true educators are up against. I wonder how many "Educators" truly understand the purpose of education.

Posted On 07-09-2010 9:01 PM
Your Name: Jesús Sánchez
Email Address:
Organization: WCCUSD,Richmond,CA
Location: San Francisco,CA
How did you find our site?: Through Counterspin
Comment: THANK YOU for bringing some solid, scientific reasoning into the Education debate. It seems that only extremely conservative voices like the Gates Foundation,etc,,and the corporate media are heard constantly all over. I've been a teacher for 21 years in an inner city school. I DO KNOW that merit pay, charter[=corporate] schools,teaching to the test,and other so called reforms are going to ruin true learning, but my union busting district and education board gutted my contract,lowered my salary,and cut my health benefits. Experienced teachers like me are looked upon with suspicion because we're rebellious to change. HELP!

Posted On 07-08-2010 12:43 PM
Your Name: Marisa
Email Address:
How did you find our site?: From bio in books
Comment: You have changed my view of parenting by 180 degrees, thank you.  I want to keep this brief, so I won't go into details, but thank you for making me a saner, kinder, more effective mother. 

I do have one criticism, however, or maybe just a question.  In Unconditional Parenting, you talk about how a child's school life is often at odds with this approach, and you recommend talking and working with teachers to open their eyes, selecting a different school, or just accepting this and doing the best you can at home.  One option that was conspicuously absent was homeschooling.  In fact, disagreement with how learning takes place in the classroom is a major reason the majority of homeschoolers do what they do.  I don't know how you feel about homeschooling (it has a very bad rep due to a small percentage of parents who do crazy things), but feel it should've at least been mentioned as an option, even if you don't personally endorse it (I'd be very curious to know why you dislike it, if that is indeed the case - I really respect your opinion and research).

So, thanks again, Mr. Kohn.  I'm trying to get my husband, as well as other mothers, on your bandwagon.  I think the world will be a much better place if people take your approach to heart.

Posted On 07-05-2010 6:41 PM
Your Name: patrick mc manus
Email Address:
Location: seattle
How did you find our site?: counterspin
Comment: I'm writing a one man play on Albert Einstein's young life. His life experience was a perfect example of "negative learning" . Thanks so much for your voice ! Patrick

Posted On 07-05-2010 10:47 AM
Your Name: Erin
Comment: i just read your artical atrocious advice from "supernanny" and i have to disagree with many statements.  i am not a supernanny super fan, however, my girlfriend is.  i have seen a few episodes and know that jo has inquired from a few fathers what kind of childhood they have had and if they wish to repeat it.  the schedules have often differed for age group and household and the fact that you say jo is only interested in the adult having control over the child is atrocious.  she has talked to the child about there feelings and worried about their welfare in every episode i've seen.  i know my girlfriend has been a more effective mom by learning a few of jo's "techniques."  her children are calmer and happier.  i am surprised that a man who claims to be so accomplished and educated on the subject wouldn't be more open minded to the fact that if just one abusive or grossly dysfunctional family that watches over 3 hours of television a night or simply can't afford your guru books may change one little behavior,  this would be a great thing.  please try to make your articals a bit more objective and less judgemental.  people of science would be appalled at you "technique."  by the way,  are familiar with the old addage, "though who doth protest too much...?"

Posted On 07-04-2010 6:43 PM
Your Name: Anony
Comment: You are awesome. Sadly, I still haven't gotten my mom to read Unconditional Parenting (I believe she thinks you're a lunatic of some sort). You were totally right when you claimed that parents who use love withdrawal/conditional affection have a generally negative view on human nature. Apparently my tendency to rebel stems from the fact that I am 14. It's really maddening when I have to listen to teachers/parents bully students/children using raised voices, harsh tones, and accusations based on assumptions.
 I  highly recommend you write a book for children on how to deal with difficult parents/teachers.

Posted On 07-04-2010 3:59 PM
Your Name: FedUpMom
Email Address:
Organization: Coalition for Kid-Friendly Schools
Comment: Please check out my new blog, the Coalition for Kid-Friendly Schools.

Posted On 07-02-2010 7:54 PM
Your Name: Brooke Matson
Email Address:
Organization: M.E.A.D. Alternative High School
Location: Spokane, WA
How did you find our site?: self
Comment: I heard you today on NPR, and was reminded of reading your books in my education master's degree program. I was wondering your thoughts on teacher organization for pushing back against standardized testing, teacher scoring, and race-to-the-top programs. Many teachers nowadays don't trust the union like they used to, but I feel that teachers (often being too docile or too overwhelmed) simply feel they cannot push back against the political system mandating their practice. Like doctors, we are professionals, and shouldn't allow people who are not educators to dictate our practice, no more than politicians should tell doctors how to treat patients, or lawyers how to read the law. What organization efforts are there for unifying teachers around this political cause? How can we stand up and take back our profession from corporations and politicians?

Posted On 06-28-2010 11:21 PM
Your Name: David
Email Address:
Location: Australia
How did you find our site?: google
Comment: My wife and I have raised the use of rewards with our children's primary (elementary) school. For one of our children its gotten so bad at school, where the class has rewards 'coming out its ears' there are so many (a sticker for anything, some days are 'double sticker days', play with toys day, star of the day, certificates for doing anything...but with a teacher who is the greatest undemocratic controller ever!) that at home he wants to know what the reward is for almost anything we ask...


And, while last year he talked about what he did during the day at school (his school 'work') now he just gives us the tally of rewards he's getting: the class seems obsessed with this 'game'.

Posted On 06-28-2010 7:13 AM
Your Name: Corrie Campbell
Location: Eatontown, NJ
Comment: For all those interested,


Here is a TED talk on motivation, which falls in line w/ Alfie's talks...enjoy.  (18:40)

Posted On 06-26-2010 8:03 AM
Your Name: Ariel
Email Address:
Location: NY
Comment: There is an article in the New York Times health section today, discussing a new study from the University of Michigan that "found that college students today are 40 percent less empathetic than those of 30 years ago, with the numbers plunging primarily after 2000." And yet all the other parents I know cling fiercely to the system of rewards and punishments that led to this. My husband and I feel completely out of the mainstream these days. At my son's daycare end of year performance this week (bad enough that they felt the need to put toddlers through a dog and pony show that none of them understood!), I heard one mother tell her two year old that if he didn't participate in the whole program and sing all the songs, she would take his trains away. I wanted to cry for that poor child.

Posted On 06-19-2010 4:17 PM
Your Name: Bruno Cubas
Email Address:
Location: Peru
How did you find our site?: google
Comment: Competition, teaching to the test, coercion, oppression. How are we as a society to function if we continue like this? I applaud your work and think we like-minded souls should bring our remedies together and create the critical mass that's needed to make real reform happen...


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