Schooling Beyond Measure (##)

EDUCATION WEEK September 19, 2012 Schooling Beyond Measure By Alfie Kohn [This is a slightly expanded version of the published article.] As we tend to value the results of education for their measurableness, so we tend to undervalue and at last ignore those results which are too intrinsically valuable to be measured. — Edmond G. A. Holmes, chief inspector of … Read More

“Well, Duh!” — 10 Obvious Truths That We Shouldn’t Be Ignoring

AMERICAN SCHOOL BOARD JOURNAL April 2011 “Well, Duh!” — Ten Obvious Truths That We Shouldn’t Be Ignoring By Alfie Kohn The field of education bubbles over with controversies. It’s not unusual for intelligent people of good will to disagree passionately about what should happen in schools. But there are certain precepts that aren’t debatable, that just about anyone would have … Read More

Ted Sizer and Jerry Bracey: An Appreciation

October 2009 Ted Sizer and Jerry Bracey An Appreciation By Alfie Kohn The field of education lost two great men in October. Ted Sizer and Jerry Bracey were distinguished by the issues that animated them and the way they pursued their respective interests, but each made such an enormous contribution that his death leaves us bereft. In person, Ted Sizer was good-humored … Read More

Beware of School “Reformers”

THE NATION December 29, 2008 Beware of School “Reformers” By Alfie Kohn  “If we taught babies to talk as most skills are taught in school, they would memorize lists of sounds in a predetermined order and practice them alone in a closet.” — Linda Darling-Hammond Political progressives are in short supply on the president-elect’s list of cabinet nominees.  When he … Read More

Rethinking Homework

PRINCIPAL January/February 2007 Rethinking Homework By Alfie Kohn [For a more detailed look at the issues discussed here — including a comprehensive list of citations to relevant research and a discussion of successful efforts to effect change– please see the book The Homework Myth.] After spending most of the day in school, children are typically given additional assignments to be completed … Read More

How Not to Get Into College: The Preoccupation with Preparation

INDEPENDENT SCHOOL Winter 2002-03 How Not to Get Into College The Preoccupation with Preparation By Alfie Kohn Education…is a process of living and not a preparation for future living.                                                                                 — John Dewey In 1981, while I was teaching at an independent school, this journal published my very first article about education. It was an ironic commentary, perhaps a tad … Read More

One-Size-Fits-All Education Doesn’t Work

BOSTON GLOBE June 10, 2001 One-Size-Fits-All Education Doesn’t Work By Alfie Kohn People who call for national education standards may have either of two ideas in mind. Both are intuitively appealing, but neither survives closer scrutiny. The first meaning of standards has to do with outcomes: Here’s how well we expect students to do. Of course, all students deserve a … Read More

What to Look for in a Classroom (*)

 EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP September 1996 What to Look for in a Classroom By Alfie Kohn An earlier version of this chart was published in the September 1996 issue of Educational Leadership, and reprinted as the title essay in the anthology What to Look for in a Classroom…And Other Essays. This revised version appeared as Appendix B of The Schools Our Children Deserve. Copyright … Read More