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Posted On 01-12-2012 12:03 AM
Your Name: Lora Head
Email Address:
Organization: Colegio Americano de Torreon
Location: Torreon, Coahuila, MX
How did you find our site?: I've been reading Kohn's work for a while now...and naturally, googled him
Comment: Ran across this article today in a Facebook post and am curious on Kohn's take on this commentary. I've drastically changed my grade 12 English course in part because of the realizations I've made in reading _Feel Bad Education_ and _What Does it Mean to be Well Educated_ . Lately I feel like I'm constantly looking for the loopholes that will allow me to provide real learning in my classroom, while still meeting the demands of an increasingly exigent administration. Thanks to Kohn's work, I find there is still energy after 20 years of teaching well, but not THAT well, to search for and use those loop holes. Thanks for the continued inspiration. (My students have enjoyed reading his work, too, and the reading has given them a new found freedom with at least one instructor, in a positive way. I couldn't be more tickled to be talking to them about education. Today, one student said to us (me and his classmates), "This reading has been good because the only thing we've done for the last 14 years is education, but no one ever really talks to us about it." Thanks again. LD

Posted On 12-31-2011 4:46 AM
Your Name: Eileen W.
Email Address:
Organization: retired educator
Location: Massachusetts
How did you find our site?: google after seeing you on tv
Comment: Hurrah for the work you do. I sure hope Massachusetts gets rid of MCAS. It is expensive, time wasting, and definitely harmful. Years ago, former Governor Weld suggested denying driviers license to students who would fail standardized test. Thank God no one has implemented that idiotic idea. One of the perks of retirement for me is not having to witness kids who are good workers and very capable law-abiding drivers leave high school because of MCAS. Meanwhile, Massachusetts can claim that scores are going up. USA has the potential to have good schools. But they have to get out of the testing frenzy. Let colleges and employers test before accepting or hiring. Meanwhile, let the teachers teach.

Posted On 12-30-2011 3:19 AM
Your Name: Mark J. Lovas
Email Address:
Organization: unemployed
Location: currently El Paso, Texas--but I hate it here
How did you find our site?: reference to book on competition in Ben Ze\'Ev Emotion Book
Comment: Man! I don't have time to read your stuff. But I used to be a high school teacher in Eastern Europe in a so-called "American "International School. And just a brief glance at what you are saying sounds like a description of everything that was wrong with the school: Overemphasis upon rewards and punishments---at every possible level. A truly offensive and insensitive and intrusive overall culture that disrespected both teachers and students. It sounds to me that, broadly speaking, you are moving in the right direction! Maybe someday, I'll manage to read one of your books. But, in the meantime, I'll just stop and say: Bravo!

Posted On 12-28-2011 9:36 PM
Your Name: Mukmak
Email Address:
Location: Boston
How did you find our site?: read
Comment: Hello, I was wondering if I could find an answer here to a question that I had on structural competition. It is one thing to say that is is harmful, and one can also say that it is not necessary for humanity. However, there are some situations where I do not see an easy way to avoid it. I am thinking of competition for college slots and jobs. In both these cases, there are a limited number of positions available, and mutually exclusive goal attainment is present; in order for Joe to get a job, Bob must have worse credentials than Joe. Is there away to avoid this competitive situation? I have thought for a bit on this, and I see no easy answer.

Posted On 12-20-2011 5:27 AM
Your Name: Christina Emrick
Location: Minnesota
How did you find our site?: searched
Comment: Your books have been eye opening and very valuable to me and my family. Thank You Alfie Kohn.

Posted On 12-01-2011 12:01 AM
Your Name: Pamela Beere Briggs
Email Address:
Location: Los Angeles
How did you find our site?: The Homework Myth
Comment: I just referred to my copy of "The Homework Myth" for the umpteenth time, not just to look up a golden morsel of information, but for a steady dose of affirmation. This book helped give us the courage to "skip middle school" and home school our daughter for two years during 7th and 8th grade. During that time, we had no homework and no tests. Every evening there was time for reading, talking and playing. Not only did our daughter rediscover her love of learning, she is healthy and happy, and thriving in a traditional high school this year. I've written a book about our adventure which I hope will be published soon: TWO IN THE MIDDLE: Living, Loving & Learning in Middle School & Middle Age.

Posted On 11-29-2011 9:29 AM
Your Name: Judith Carlisle
Email Address:
Organization: Navy
Location: Virginia/DC/Maryland
How did you find our site?: googled it
Comment: Hope I get to hear you again when you come back to Virginia! Thanks for all you do.


Posted On 11-18-2011 7:16 PM
Your Name: James Sheldon
Email Address:
Organization: San Francisco State University
Location: San Francisco, CA
Comment: I'm working on creating a collaborative study group for Kohn's book Beyond Discipline through the free Peer-to-Peer University and wanted to invite anyone interested to join us: We'll be reading through the book chapter by chapter and sharing our thoughts.

Posted On 11-17-2011 12:44 PM
Your Name: A DeCiantis
Email Address:
Organization: stay-at-home mom
Location: Virginia
Comment: As a teacher, I had read several of your books/articles and once about ten years ago heard you speak in Rochester, NY. I have long respected your work. Now, as the parent of a preschooler and toddler, I am thrilled to have recently found "Unconditional Parenting". I've read my fair share of parenting books, but this one is the first that truly jives with my instincts as a parent. I so often hear of parents using time-out, sit-downs, etc. I've always felt uneasy about using time out with my own children-my gut seemed to tell me not to! Thank you for your research. This will be a book I come back to over and over.

Posted On 11-17-2011 12:00 PM
Your Name: Karen Fogle
Email Address:
Organization: Chrysalis School
Location: Woodinville, WA
How did you find our site?: I have read your books.
Comment: After reading your article in Indpendent Schools,2008, I've come to realize that our school is indeed a "progressive" school.We meet every descriptor in the article. We've never really called it a progressive school but everyone wants to know what kind of school we are. We are a school for children, one they want to come to. The experience here is different for every child. We have had 200-300 students a year K-12 for 30 years. Our students have been in the Olympics, have gone to top tier colleges or pursued the careers they were interested in. Our goal is to help young people meet their goals. It is highly individualized where traditional group classes are available but not required. Students are not at the school everyday. Thinking that young people have to be in school everyday keeps people from really looking at the possibilities. I'm always looking for ways to help parents transition from the traditional school experience. The kids do it in a heartbeat!

Posted On 11-16-2011 5:55 AM
Your Name: Melinda Abrams
Email Address:
Location: New Rochelle, NY
How did you find our site?: Washington Post article
Comment: Valarie Struass reprinted one of your recent articles/blogs in the Washington Post about the importance and value of play. As a parent of three public school children, two of whom are in elementary school, I had a specific set of questions. During inclement weather, the our children's elementary school options during recess are limited, and the majority of children watch movies on television screens or in the auditorium. Occasionally, other options are offered: coloring, games and (on a rotating basis), a visit to the school library. My question is about the missed opportunity/detrmintal effect of indoor recess that is not encouraging imaginative or free play but rather has children watch TV. Of course there are budget issues here, but putting the political and budget issues aside for a moment, are we missing important opportunities for the growth, development of the elementary school children by not offering more enriching and physical activities that might enhance their attention and learning in the afternoon (clearly I have a bias here)? What do you think of watching non-educational movies/videos during the elemenatry school day? Any books, data, studies you could recommend on this, or related, topics would be greatly appreciated.


Posted On 11-12-2011 12:44 PM
Your Name: Jeff Nichols
Email Address:
Organization: City University of New York
Location: New York City
How did you find our site?: recommended by Dorothy Siegel
Comment: Just discovered your work and this site. Already grateful! Public elementary education has been taken over by people who seem to think children are small adults and who are doing everything possible to alienate them from school, so every clear voice describing how they really think and feel is absolutely vital right now!

Posted On 11-12-2011 4:15 AM
Your Name: Jane Evans
Email Address:
Location: South west England, UK
How did you find our site?: google
Comment: I do parenting work with women who have experienced domestic violence and are traumatised as are their children.  I have incorporated many of the ideas Alfie promotes as it is the only approach to take in these circumstances.  Thank you for coming into my life when I was searching for evidence and backing for what I instinctively felt to be the right way to go.  It has revolutionised what I do and the lives of the chlldren I come into contact with. 


Is Alfie likely to come to the UK in the future as I would love to be able to meet him and discuss indepth the benefits of a non-confrontational approach like this for traumatised children (as well as all other chlldren on the planet!)?

Posted On 11-11-2011 7:56 PM
Your Name: Joshua M. Truman
Email Address:
Organization: Little Arrows Schools
Location: San Anselmo, CA 94960
How did you find our site?: Google'd after buying Unconditional Parenting

Posted On 10-30-2011 8:48 AM
Your Name: Pam Elwood
Email Address: pelwood
Organization: Kent State Student and EC Consultant
Location: Southwest Iowa
How did you find our site?: Searching for research on the value of letter grades for Adults as formative assessment
Comment: Interesting and motivating. I am interested in your research. I am a Early Childhood Consultant for an Area Education Agency and a student at Kent State in an online but highly synchronous PhD program in Early Childhood Special Education. So I am a constructivist learning about behaviorism. smile! Enjoy your thoughts and am looking for the "empirical evidence" behind them. Will continue to look through your materials. Thanks

Posted On 10-28-2011 1:16 AM
Email Address:
Location: Bronxville, New York
How did you find our site?: Your 1997 article
Comment: I've been searching for a realistic assessment of the wildly trendy move toward character education, which exists mostly as boilerplate repetition of the packaged "Character Counts" assertions, methods, and materials. Believe me, one must wade through a great deal of palaver before finding critiques such as yours. I am a teacher of many years' experience, and this new bandwagon was transparent to me at the outset, but thank you for your thoughtful and intelligent essay. Final comment: the students, whether Kindergarten, middle school, or adolescents, will rightly recognize thinly veiled platitudes when they meet them!

Posted On 10-21-2011 7:02 AM
Your Name: Jonas
Email Address:
How did you find our site?: Complete Liberty Podcast
Comment: Kohn defines competition (I'll call this kohn-competition) as win-lose interactions ( Economists define competition (I'll call this economist-competition) somewhat differently (

The implication of economist-competition, as I understand it, is that (in the ideal world) as many win-win interactions as possible happen, and one of the biggest issues that makes market fail is negative externalities, when one participant can impose costs on another in order to gain themselves, which I see as identical to (or at least an expression of) kohn-competition.

Compare this with democracy and the parliamentary political process: in the extreme, 50%+1 impose their will in a win-lose way on 50%-1.  Viewed that way, in a weird abuse of terms, competitive markets are the least competitive.

(Three other market failures, public goods, monopoly and positive externalities, are in essence the absence of possible win-win interactions rather than the presence of win-lose.  You might argue that Ford loses my money if I buy a Volvo on the assumption that it'll give me more win; my counter is "vice versa", Volvo loses my money if I don't give it to them, so someone has to lose; the fair thing to do is maximize the win-win-ness, which is consumers buying what they value the highest.)

I just thought I'd put it out there.  Feel free to mail me any comments.

Posted On 10-17-2011 7:57 PM
Your Name: Patrick
Email Address:
Organization: None
Location: Iowa - USA
How did you find our site?: Google
Comment: I found some good ideas and techniques in your book. It was a little like a management book for kids. Your overall philosophy will not work unless we were all living in a Marxist "utopia". This seems to be what you are yearning for. Nonetheless that I pressed on and got my $12 worth.

Posted On 10-16-2011 5:17 AM
Your Name: Cathy
Location: Sydney, Australia
How did you find our site?: I looked for it.
Comment: Corridor wit: Reporting on his day at school, my 13yo son told me he had to bite his tongue today. 'Why?' I asked. 'I was about to respond to the teacher who told my friend Don't be smart' he said, ' I don't get why you'd be a teacher if you don't want the kids to be smart' We shared a laugh at the sheer stupidity of the comment. Insightful kid, my son.

Posted On 10-15-2011 4:40 PM
Your Name: Nir Eliav
Email Address:
Organization: Harduf Waldorf School
Location: Israel
How did you find our site?: I read about you on the Edu. J. of Israel

Posted On 10-07-2011 11:02 PM
Your Name: Maia Benson
Email Address:
Organization: Mid West Community Bank
Location: Chicago
How did you find our site?: selected the unconditional parenting book off the shelve @ Near North Montessori
Comment: I have been obsessed for hours reading unconditional parenting and listening to the interview on parenting from the 2005 Wisconsin Radio.


I have been in family therapy with my partner where our theripist had recommended the book Children:the challenge by Rudolf Dreikurs. In search for more knowledge and general curiousity of what books our son"s school had in their library, I by chance selected unconditional parenting. My readings brought on a feeling that I was not alone in my resistance to knowing that something did not seem to resonate with my son being removed for a "bad choice". I had no knowlege to create words to communicate this to my Partner, our theripist or his school on my thoughts about working with instead of doing to. The gap between me and my partner on how to work with him is in many ways unresolvable currently. I had resistance from my partner instantly as I boasted with excitement of my discovery of Alfie Kohn. My delivery i am sure could have been more of a working with; however it was more of i know have the answers. It was an oppurtunity to share and teach rather than burn our current system down. I will slowly circle back and present my discovery of unconditional parenting to our son"s other Mom. Finally I have  some words and a ton more information why consequences and time outs have not seem like a solution to getting to the source of behavior that needed our support, not a time out for him to think of his self interest rather than consequences of our son's action to the other child.

Shortly after my discovery of the unconditional parenting book, I had mentioned to our theripist that this book resonated with me. The next session, our theripist wanted to know if I had a problem with Authority. I was not quite sure why he was asking. he explained that for one, he had asked that we read Rudolf Dreikus and use this as our tool.  My response was i was curious what our Son"s school had as resources. I was not questioning his authority, but simply sharing and gathering more information. After i  googled this evening the differences and similarities between Kohn and Dreikurs ,I find it ironic that by chance i was fortunate to have discovered Kohn.   

I am excited to know their are so many other parents interested in Alfie Kohn.

Posted On 09-26-2011 3:06 PM
Your Name: Bryan
Email Address:
Organization: The Zeitgeist Movement
Location: Edmonton
How did you find our site?: Youtube
Comment: Just heard a speech you did on Competition, and a clip on parenting as well.

Going through school I always thought there needed to be changes to the education system. As well, having my parents I realized(when I was older) there also needed to be more education for parenting.

I just agree with you on so many different levels, and I'm glad you have the evidence and have done the research. I will be directing many folks to you're website!

Posted On 09-20-2011 3:58 PM
Your Name: Paul
How did you find our site?: Google
Comment: My parents loved me unconditionally. I have always known that, and I know it now. They also punished me (gently) when appropriate, manipulated my actions and directions and choices, and positively reinforced me (gently) frequently. Thus, I believe that the take-home message in your recent NYT column ("When a parent's love...") is somewhat overstated, or otherwise misses the mark.

Posted On 08-31-2011 12:21 PM
Your Name: Kimberly Elkhatib
Email Address:
Location: San Bernardino, CA
How did you find our site?: read books
Comment: I absolutely love the work you've done Mr. Kohn.  I am reading The Homework Myth and I am bursting with frustration that I cannot find schools in my area that teach using social constructivist methods.  You referred to a wonderful school here in CA but some distance away from us that looks awesome (New City in Long Beach, CA)!  After looking it up on the Internet, I was in tears to see that someone formed a charter and executed these ideas 11 years ago!  Sadly, I am trying to work with a dual-immersion charter school my children attend, only to be told by one teacher that perhaps she can offer my son a trip to Chuck E. Cheese for doing his homework.  He's still not interested in doing it.  I think he actually feels insulted that such a proposition would be made.  He told me maybe I can share Homework Myth with his principal.  For now, I must endure the nightly battle of my husband trying to force him to complete something I don't believe in whatsoever.  Thank you for giving me some peace of mind in confirming what I know to be true--that our children deserve an active form of learning.  Just because "we've always done it that way," doesn't mean it's the way it should be done.  Our children learn to play video games or other interactive devices by doing it hands-on, without even an instruction manual, so why do we feel they need this with education.  It continues to baffle me. 

Like one other guest on your page said, "Keep pokin' 'em in the eyes, Mr. Kohn."  Love it.

Posted On 08-24-2011 12:37 PM
Your Name: Peter Schmidt
Email Address:
Organization: Educator
Comment: Does anyone know of where I can find critiques or reviews of Dr. Robert Marzano's work? Mr. Kohn seems to be the only credible scholar who has taken this task. I only ask because, as an educator, we are using a lot of Marzano's research, but I think some of it is, frankly, not that good. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!


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