Why Students Lose When Tougher Standards Win: A Conversation with Alfie Kohn

EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP September 1999 Why Students Lose When Tougher Standards Win A Conversation with Alfie Kohn If students are to help design their own learning experiences and if teachers are to be free to develop a curriculum on the basis of their students' needs, schools must buck the "Tougher Standards" movement, author Alfie Kohn says. John O'Neil and Carol Tell ... Read More

How Wisconsin Parents Worked to Roll Back High Stakes Testing

FairTest Examiner Summer 1999, pp. 10-11 How Wisconsin Parents Worked to Roll Back High Stakes Testing The following is a summary of an interview with Meredith Scrivner of Advocates for Education of Whitefish Bay, Inc., (AFE). Growing out of a successful community organizing effort to pass a school finance referendum, AFE became active at the local and state level on ... Read More

From Degrading to De-Grading

HIGH SCHOOL MAGAZINE March 1999 From Degrading to De-Grading By Alfie Kohn Pour lire cet article en français, cliquer ici. You can tell a lot about a teacher’s values and personality just by asking how he or she feels about giving grades.  Some defend the practice, claiming that grades are necessary to “motivate” students.  Many of these teachers actually seem to ... Read More

Addendum to “Suffer the Restless Children”

From What to Look for in a Classroom…and Other Essays (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1998) Addendum to “Suffer the Restless Children” By Alfie Kohn I wish I could say that the article you have just read is now only of historical interest.  Alas, in the decade since it was written, we have witnessed an even greater tendency to throw around the ADHD label, ... Read More

Only for My Kid: How Privileged Parents Undermine School Reform (*)

PHI DELTA KAPPAN April 1998 Only for My Kid How Privileged Parents Undermine School Reform By Alfie Kohn What the best and wisest parent wants for his own child, that must the community want for all of its children. Any other ideal for our schools is narrow and unlovely; acted upon, it destroys our democracy. -- John Dewey, School and Society Mike McClaren, ... Read More

Students Don’t “Work”–They Learn (*)

EDUCATION WEEK September 3, 1997   Students Don't "Work"--They Learn By Alfie Kohn September is a new beginning, a time for fresh starts. Consider, then, a resolution that you and your colleagues might make for this school year: From now on, we will stop referring to what students do in school as "work." Importing the nomenclature of the workplace is ... Read More

Punished by Rewards?: A Conversation with Alfie Kohn

EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP September 1995 Punished by Rewards? A Conversation with Alfie Kohn By Ron Brandt Both rewards and punishments, says Punished by Rewards author Alfie Kohn, are ways of manipulating behavior that destroy the potential for real learning. Instead, he advocates providing an engaging curriculum and a caring atmosphere "so kids can act on their natural desire to find out." The following ... Read More

Newt Gingrich’s Reading Plan (*)

EDUCATION WEEK April 19, 1995 Newt Gingrich’s Reading Plan By Alfie Kohn Our culture is marinated in behaviorism.  At work, at school, and at home, we take for granted that the way to get things done is to dangle goodies in front of people.  Thus, it seemed perfectly reasonable to observers across the political spectrum when House Speaker Newt Gingrich ... Read More

A Closer Look at Reading Incentive Programs

Excerpts from Punished by Rewards (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1993/1999) A Closer Look at Reading Incentive Programs By Alfie Kohn All those reading incentive campaigns inflicted on elementary school children across the country provide sobering evidence of just how many parents and educators are trapped by Skinnerian thinking.  They also illustrate the consequences of extrinsic motivators more generally.  Asked about the likely ... Read More

Turning Learning Into A Business: Concerns About ‘Quality Management’ at School (*)

EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP September 1993 Turning Learning Into A Business Concerns About "Quality Management" at School By Alfie Kohn Every few years a new idea captures the imagination of educators and suddenly seems to be everywhere at once.  The journals are filled with breathless accounts of its importance, a cadre of consultants materializes to offer workshops and trainings, and a new ... Read More