Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Conversation with Alfie Kohn

Alfie Kohn is a well-known author and speaker, who speaks widely on human behavior, education, and parenting. The latest of his eleven books are THE HOMEWORK MYTH: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing (2006) and UNCONDITIONAL PARENTING: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason (2005). Of his earlier titles, the best known are PUNISHED BY REWARDS: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise, and Other Bribes (1993), NO CONTEST: The Case Against Competition (1986), and THE SCHOOLS OUR CHILDREN DESERVE: Moving Beyond Traditional Classrooms and "Tougher Standards" (1999). My personal favorite is What Does It Mean To Be Well-Educated?

Kohn has been described in Time magazine as "perhaps the country's most outspoken critic of education's fixation on grades [and] test scores." His criticisms of competition and rewards have helped to shape the thinking of educators -- as well as parents and managers -- across the country and abroad. Kohn has been featured on hundreds of TV and radio programs, including the "Today" show and two appearances on "Oprah"; he has been profiled in the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, while his work has been described and debated in many other leading publications.

In my conversation with Alfie, we discuss positive reinforcement, and standardized testing. What do you think? Should we opt our kids out of the standardized testing? How do we change a system while being ingrained in it? How do we balance "going with the flow" and putting our foot down and deciding to say no? I'm not sure I know what the right answer is, but I do know that Alfie starts the conversations we all need to having at home, and with schools across the Country.

Click here to Download Show #44- Conversation with Alfie Kohn


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