Rethinking Homework Surveys

Rethinking Homework Surveys It’s not uncommon for schools to distribute surveys to parents in an effort to learn more about families’ experiences with homework.  While it might be even more helpful to ask the students themselves, it’s always commendable when someone wants to check out how a policy is affecting those on the receiving end.  Unfortunately, what’s most striking about … Read More

Do Tests Help Students Learn or Was a New Study Misreported? (##)

January 28, 2011 Do Tests Really Help Students Learn or Was a New Study Misreported? By Alfie Kohn The relationship between educational policies and educational research is both fascinating and disturbing. Sometimes policy makers, including those who piously invoke the idea of “data-driven” practice, pursue initiatives that they favor regardless of the fact that there is no empirical support for … Read More

“Ready to Learn” = Easier to Educate (##)

November 18, 2010 “Ready to Learn” = Easier to Educate By Alfie Kohn The phrase “ready to learn,” frequently applied to young children, is rather odd when you stop to think about it, because the implication is that some kids aren’t. Have you ever met a child who wasn’t ready to learn — or, for that matter, already learning like … Read More

How to Create Nonreaders (#)

  ENGLISH JOURNAL Fall 2010 — vol. 100, no. 1 How to Create Nonreaders Reflections on Motivation, Learning, and Sharing Power By Alfie Kohn Autonomy-supportive teachers seek a student’s initiative…whereas controlling teachers seek a student’s compliance.                                                                                                        — J. Reeve, E. Bolt, & Y. Cai Not that you asked, but my favorite Spanish proverb, attributed to the poet Juan Ramón … Read More

Por Qué Está Sobrevalorada La Autodisciplina

PHI DELTA KAPPAN Noviembre 2008 Por qué está sobrevalorada la autodisciplina La (inquietante) teoría y práctica del control desde dentro Por Alfie Kohn Si hay un rasgo del carácter por cuyos beneficios hayan abogado tanto los educadores tradicionales como los progresistas, bien pudiera ser la autodisciplina. Casi todo el mundo quiere que los estudiantes hagan caso omiso de sus impulsos … Read More

What Works Better than Traditional Math Instruction

From Chapter 9: “Getting the 3 R’s Right” in The Schools Our Children Deserve (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999) What Works Better than Traditional Math Instruction Why the Basics Just Don’t Add Up By Alfie Kohn The still-dominant Old School model begins with the assumption that kids primarily need to learn “math facts”:  the ability to say “42” as soon as they hear … 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