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Posted On 02-19-2009 9:30 PM
Your Name: Kristine Joelle Pantig
Email Address:
Location: Philippines
How did you find our site?: AK book: The Homework Myth
Comment:  I found "The Homework Myth" in a book sale. The title caught my eye and I bought it right away, somewhat skeptical about what this book had to say about homework.
  Having been a high school student myself (I'm in college now), I've always wondered what it is exactly schools, teachers and educators are trying to prove to us by endlessly piling us with the dullest busywork and drills. I felt that homework MUST have some sort of value to us, but I honestly did not see why it was worth doing in the first place and as a result, I do poorly in doing them or I don't do them at all. I felt stupid having to do assignments that I am not at all interested in and having to suffer for it by getting a bad grade. I just knew that I had other better things to do than killing myself over something so mindless and uninteresting. I've always been one to question authority. My mom and I would often question a lot about the education system and how it often promotes an anti-intellectual environment.

 Reading "The Homework Myth" brought so much clarity- not to mention relief- to me, because I knew that there are a lot of talented, well-rounded teens who just do not benefit from the traditional "one -size- fits- all" type of learning. I shared the book's information to my mom, who's the PTA president of my brother's montessori school.
She thought it was brilliant.

 I just would like to say thank you, Alfie Kohn, for your thought-provoking and mind-opening book.


Posted On 02-19-2009 2:11 PM
Your Name: Will Brooks
Email Address:
Location: Maine
How did you find our site?: researching educational transformation on the \
Comment: My belief is that there are two major deterrents to eduational transformation: the existing culture of schools (secondary level, in my case), and our failure to empower students to be responsible for their own learning, and teachers to make substantive changes in the culture of their classrooms.

My unique situation has allowed me to implement new ideas.  And I'm very fortunate in this respect.  I also have the perspective of having a teenager who is "unschooling", and soaks up knowledge like a sponge, motivated by his  personal desire to learn.  I bring this up because, in my mind, this is how we want our students to learn.

Thank you for listening.  And I would appreciate any comments.

Comments, thoughts, and opinions welcome

Posted On 02-19-2009 1:28 PM
Your Name: Randy
Comment: Enjoyed your article on 22nd Century Schools.  Thanks for being a voice of reason in the noise of educational reform.

Posted On 02-19-2009 6:47 AM
Your Name: Beth Warner
Email Address:
Location: Ontario
Comment: Just wanted to let you know that  I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation on Education last night in Oakville, Ontario.  I have read several of your articles on-line, and hearing you talk and answer questions 'live' was very enjoyable, inspiring and validating.  I am looking forward to reading cover to cover the books I purchased last night.  Thank you for your passion - it helps my job, of being the best parent  can be, a little easier.  I agree whole-heartedly with the rationale against rewards & punishments & praise, however I am struggling with the practical application in day-to-day life.  I look forward to continuing to find inspritation and strategies through your books, website, and seminars.

Posted On 02-15-2009 3:54 PM
Your Name: Elisa Waingort-Jiménez
Email Address:
Location: Calgary
How did you find our site?: I've known about this site for a long time
Comment: I attended your keynote at Teacher's Convention in Calgary. I not only enjoyed your talk (humor always helps) but what you said makes sense to me. I felt validated when you spoke of the need to get back to authentic learning in the classroom. Learning that is based on students' needs and interests and not on standardized testing. I know some of your ideas are seen as radical and some of us don't feel safe taking a stand for what we believe but I think that there is more than one way to take a stand. We need to do whatever is necessary to protect our children for as long as we are able. Thank you for your passion.

Posted On 02-13-2009 1:29 PM
Your Name: Alisha Brignall
Email Address:
Location: Calgary
How did you find our site?: Lecture
Comment: I saw you speak for the first time last night. I want preface by saying I had not read anything and came in with no preconceived notions of who you are or what you were going to be speaking on. (a friend had reccomended that I attend.)
I have to say that I left INSPIRED.
I entered university to become a teacher, and was so disheartened by the system, and by my peers who did not seem to care for the children, their learning or education at all. I decided to leave and pursue Psychology instead.
Your lecture last night gave me hope.
Thank you so much.

Posted On 02-10-2009 1:24 PM
Your Name: Melissa Parson
Email Address:
Location: Seattle Washington
How did you find our site?: google
Comment: I'm saddned greatly by the family who forced their teenage son to wear his bad grades on a poster board around his neck.  I just heard a "journalist" on FOX news commend the family for forcing their son to wear a poster board around his neck displaying his grades "Algebra E, English E, P.E. A, Science C. " THe Fox newsanchor said, "I give this family a lot of respect for doing this.  All you're trying to do is help your son." When the boys was asked , "Did you learn a lesson?" he answered, "I know I didn't want to be on a corner anymore." What do you make of this Alfie? I'm so appalled and consider this child abuse.


I think now is a good time to get on TV Alfie (Oprah are you listening?)  to discuss "The Homework Myth" and other immensely important subjects you have written and lectured on... We NEED YOU!!! Thoughts?

Posted On 02-10-2009 6:48 AM
Your Name: Jennifer
Email Address:
Location: England
Comment: When I gave birth to my beautiful daughter I was driven mad by the usual is she a good baby? questions. After discussing my feelings on the way children are labeled, a friend introduced me to Unconditional Parenting. This book just completely did it for me. Every part of it makes so much sence.


Now my daughter has started pre-school and is experiencing full on 'good girl, well done' exposure. She has started to say things like 'you're a good girl mummy' when I do things like eat my food. I left a copy of '5 reasons not to say good job' at my local pre-school and it was completely shunned. I just don't feel like keeping her in that kind of an environment. Also I am concerned with all of the are you going to do this because you're a big girl now kind of comments. I just think let her grow up in her own time and don't manipulate her into doing stuff.

WE NEED ALFIE KOHN HERE IN THE UK!!!  If there are any other mums from the UK out there then I would love it if you could get in touch.

Posted On 02-09-2009 3:48 AM
Your Name: Carolina Diaz
Email Address:
Organization: University of Florida
Location: Gainesville, FL
How did you find our site?: Through school, and journals
Comment: I will make it short and simple. Please, please, please, please find a way to talk to the new Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Better yet, the president, but Arne Duncan would do. NCLB is coming up of a vote soon and he has yet to sign away all the bailout money, or sign any other program. Please talk to him about what you know and make him listen about all the research you have gathered. Help the new administration see what is so clear but ignored. I think the whole country would appreciate it.

Posted On 02-06-2009 8:47 AM
Your Name: Amy Brown
Location: Toronto
Comment: I love Alfie Kohn's work and philosophy.  I just wish more people would read and implement his ideas rather than mindlessly doing what has always been done.

Here's an article about a university professor who was fired in part because he refused to give grades to his students: Crazy.

I have two small children and while I'm pretty sure I'll keep them in the public school system (because I believe in the public school system) I will be keeping a close eye on how they are taught, and I will agitate for change as it seems necessary.  All children deserve a good education, not just the children of people rich or educated enough to pay for private school or to home school.

Mr Kohn, thanks for your good work.

Posted On 02-05-2009 5:23 AM
Your Name: Michael Ring
Email Address:
Organization: Pikewerks Corp
Location: Madison, AL & Washington, DC
How did you find our site?: Google of Alfie Kohn
Comment: When we started our company, Pikewerks Corp, my wife, Sandra, and I used the book Punished by Rewards along with research I was doing as part of my Project Management Masters at George Washington University to help us structure our reward/benefit/compensation plan. As a high tech start up engaged in advanced research and development of computer security software products, we had to find a way to maximize intrinsic motivation such that we fostered the highest levels of innovation and creativity. The research and findings of Mr. Kohn are absolutely dead on and the more we have separated compensation from performance and focused on intrinsic motivation (much like Silicon Valley Companies have done for years) the more creative our solutions have become and the happier our employees are. We are now up to 28 employees and have developed some of the most cutting edge products in the market. I only hope our competition doesn't figure our the value of intrinsic motivation. Alfie, any plans to revisit the subject of compensation and rewards in the workplace (new book)?

Posted On 02-03-2009 12:52 PM
Your Name: Linda Verbeke
Email Address:
Organization: Lake Forest High School
Location: Lake Forest, Illinois
How did you find our site?: online
Comment: Our school system may have met the needs of the students several hundred years ago but today they are failing some of our brightest and most creative kids.  I am very excited to see someone working on finding a way for young people to actually learn and enjoy it instead of helping them beat the system without destroying themselves in the process.  As a retired Spanish teacher (34 years) I am really ready to help develop something that works.  Let's start over and create schools that make a difference.


Posted On 02-02-2009 11:30 AM
Your Name: Mrs. C
Email Address:
Organization: public school teacher
Location: CT
How did you find our site?: google search

I am a music teacher in an urban setting, and I am currently working on my masters degree.  I am taking a sociology course, and I was recently assigned to read two of your articles on why rewards and punishments don't work.  I am remaining somewhat anonymous in my posting here because everything that you said directly opposes what my school has been doing and what I have been directed to do; however, I fully and whole-heartedly agree with you.  You are my new hero.

Posted On 01-28-2009 8:43 PM
Your Name: M. Benson
Email Address:
Organization: University of Central Arkansas
Location: Arkansas
How did you find our site?: Wikipedia
Comment: I came to this site for resources and information for a project in my Learning and Development class and got so much more than I expected. Kohn's theories and suggestions really hit home for me. I am often find myself frustrated by the current education system and models. They are a relic of the industrial era that are not very effective if at all. He not only presents evidence against them but offers both principles and specific suggestions to help improve learning. I plan on reading his books and implementing his theories in the classroom when I become a teacher. For now, I hope to use this newfound knowledge to learn better myself.

Posted On 01-27-2009 11:09 PM
Your Name: Alexis Ahrens
Email Address:
Organization: Mother, Recovering Teacher
Location: San Diego, CA
How did you find our site?: I'm a fan of your books
Comment: Kudos and a huge thanks to you for your "Opposing Views" editorials on NCLB, testing, and the entire travesty of our current education system!  I so appreciate what you have to say, and I'm glad you're saying it.  Know that you aren't only speaking to an institutional brick wall - you are speaking sense to many of us who get it, and I, for one, appreciate you for so eloquently championing this cause for our children!  How can I help you spread the message?


Posted On 01-21-2009 11:36 AM
Email Address:
How did you find our site?: TEACHER SUGGESTION

Posted On 01-18-2009 11:03 AM
Your Name: Jen
Email Address:
Organization: Kindergarten Teacher
Location: Morganton, NC
How did you find our site?: Reading the book: Building Classroom Discipline, Charles, 2008
Comment: I have enjoyed reading your thoughts about classroom communities.

Posted On 01-16-2009 3:24 PM
Your Name: Dan Muldoon
Email Address:
Location: Omaha, NE
How did you find our site?: I "Googled" your name
Comment: My supervisor sent my team the e-mail below. The numbers refer to how many medical bills we processed. She bought Starbucks for the top “scorers.” The “losers” got public humiliation since her e-mail ranked us by name and was sent to all of us – rather than giving private feedback. I wish she had put (name) like I did when I forwarded it to you. Not a good way to start the day. Your books should be required reading in all schools until crap like this is stamped out!

Sent: Friday, January 16, 2009 9:04 AM
To: (name); (name); (name); (name); (name); (name); (name); Dan Muldoon
Subject: RE: Queue Position for 01/15/2009

Here are the numbers!!  (Name) & (Name) are getting Starbucks today – I’ll keep this going until I go broke so keep up the good work – lets see who gets Monday morning coffee!!!!

(name) 179, (name) 146, (name) 135, (name) 107, (name)  97, Dan 81


Posted On 01-04-2009 2:45 PM
Your Name: Barry Rapoport
Email Address:
Organization: National Council for Teachers of English
Location: Gary, Indiana
How did you find our site?: from "The Case Against Standardized Testing
Comment: Teach every child to think for themselves and to be concerned with human rights.  From these seeds our children can learn to teach others and we may all thrive beyond our wildest expectations. 


Posted On 12-17-2008 11:09 AM
Your Name: Adam Coyer
Email Address:
Location: Wisconsin
How did you find our site?: Came across it from your books.
Comment: As a teacher, I am finding myself torn about my profession. I am a first year teacher and I experience a lot that you highlighted in "The Schools our Children Deserve."  I really cannot handle the absurdities of this system, so I'm undecided between staying put and bucking the system or leaving before I pull out all my hair.


If you respond to these, how would I go about deciding my near future in this job? What would be the things I should look for before making such a decision?

Thanks again, and keep up the great work!

Posted On 12-17-2008 10:41 AM
Your Name: DDRM
Email Address:
Location: NY
How did you find our site?: concerned parent
Comment: I read your article on the Nation website and I didn't hear what you would propose.  If a child is not performing at grade level, what is your proposal, reward them by promoting them to a grade they will fail?  Is it because you don't want to hurt their feelings?  Come on!  I agree that children should do more than just prepare for standardized testing and they should be curious and interested in learning about the core academics so that we have students that know where Europe is.  I can't tell you how many times I've spoken to "so called" above average high school students that do not know where China is on the map!  So, the curriculum and accepting that students can't learn complex subjects is insulting to Americans.  I do believe educating a child involves teachers and support of parents.  Sadly, what I find lacking (especially in inner cities) is the lack of support from parents and staying involved.  In Chinese cultures, students are expected to study hard - sadly it's not the same expectation among many American parents (not all).  That is why you find scoring to be higher in the Chinese and Indian communities.  It's not that their brains are superior (they put the time in!).  We can't be babying our children after a while.  I send my children to parochial school for many reasons - but one of them is that kids walk in to class with the expectation to learn and listen.  I walk into public schools in my town (good school system too) and kids don't have that same respect for teachers as they do in the parochial school.  I, too, believe teachers are valuable and are teaching our future - but we do not throw money away to a teacher that should be let go simply because she has tenure.  Would you run a business that way?  Do you want your kids to be taught by a someone who is lacking in teaching ability?  I am not a an elitist (I work very hard and make a tremendous amount of sacrifices so that I can pay for parochial school).  I wish every family had the same ability to have a school environment where the child is respected and celebrated (which means that we don't sugarcoat our kids' performances).  I believe in school choice for inner city school families.  We shouldn't be intimidated by families that choose a private school over a public school.  They're not the enemy - they just want their tax dollars represented - not forced to choose a school because it may hurt the teachers union.  I want accountability.  I'm paying a ton of taxes and all we see is a lot of fat going to glorified social school workers.  Example, our high school has 7 asistance principles making over $150k each.  Incredible!  My parents came from Italy.  They were poor - yet by the time they reached 5th grade they knew algebra and had a better understanding of world history than our high school kids.  It wasn't because they were rich - it's a cultural and social change that is needed to mover our kids farther.

Posted On 12-16-2008 8:24 AM
Your Name: Kevin
Email Address:
Organization: Teacher
Location: NY
How did you find our site?: research
Comment: I too have thought about homeschooling my own children, but have held off because they really seem to enjoy the social interaction and the idea of school.  I have decided that my wife and I are going to fight the mindless assignment of homework and endless state test prep.  We should not have to home school to give our children the education they deserve.  My daughters do well and both of us teach (in a different district) so we feel we are one of the fortunate families.  I do not see how some families do it.  In  addition to homework, there are daily math practice drills, parents as reading partners, and after school activities such as dance and girl scouts.  Most parents tell us they just lie about the reading part, which is probably the most value to the child and the family.  To others who are fighting, all I can say is don't just accept the homework and the often lame reasons.  Our kids deserve more.

Posted On 12-13-2008 12:46 PM
Your Name: Danielle
Email Address:
How did you find our site?: From the book "Unconditional Parenting"
Comment: This book shocked me.  I really thought I was doing all the right things and found it so frustrating that none of it was working.  My 3 yr. old daughter, like a lot of children, is quite sensitive and when I used to try to put her in "time-out" or on the "naughty mat" she would look at me like I had just ripped her heart out.  "Be happy to me" she would sob.  I now realize that by doing these things I was withholding my love for her in her mind.  I am trying my best to always show her I still love her no matter what, but it is not always easy.   I find it especially difficult in front of others because they think we are babying her and letting her get away with everything.  We plan to keep going through with it thought because we are seeing results already! (I just read the book last month.)  I feel like this book entered our lives just when we needed it. 

Posted On 12-12-2008 12:16 PM
Your Name: Demian
How did you find our site?: known about it for a while
Comment: Thank you Alfie for speaking out about the current choices for Secretary of Education. 

Posted On 12-05-2008 2:31 PM
Your Name: Lynnette
Email Address:
Location: East of Dallas, TX
How did you find our site?: yahoo search for Alfie Kohn
Comment: On of the reasons I homeschooled my children was because of the homework the kids were saddled with.  When I had a full time job out of the house I really tried to not infringe on family time by bringing work home with me. Later I ran my own business out of the house and would shut it all down at 5pm only to discover that the kids were still doing homework.


It is crazy that school assignments take unitl 6pm (in 3rd grade!) to complete. I was resentful of the time the school was taking from our family because school time was not organized in such a way that the kids could complete their work in class. It made me angry that instead of going to the library on weekends to find books to read for enjoyment, they were assigned books on which to write subject reports. 
As an employer I don't expect employees to take work home with them, and I don't expect the school to burden my family with work that takes away from family time.  We never had television in our home so no time is wated there. We cook together, grow a garden, train the dogs (two deaf dogs trained to hand signals), sew a new outfit, take cookies to a shut-in, go to church youth activities, or the kids spend time playing make believe with thier siblings. The kids also learned games that used math and language sills.

 When we began homeschooling I realized how inept the school system truely was. Each of the 3 kids could do all of their work between the hours of 8am and 1pm and they excelled in the college courses they took during their high school years.

I'm looking at taking in foster and/or adopting children and they will have to attend public school.  I am very concerned that the kids who need most the time to process whatever trauma brought them into my care will be inundated with home work. I am glad I found this website. Perhaps I will have to request and IEP for the kids to get them out f all of that mess.
Thanks for sharing the informatin.


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