"The Schools Our Children Deserve" - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 17 Old 01-29-2007, 12:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I met Alfie Kohn today. :

He was in Charlotte, NC discussing his book "The Schools Our Children Deserve" http://www.amazon.com/Schools-Our-Children-Deserve-Traditional/dp/0395940397 His presentation was exciting, insightful and very progressive and controversial. The parents and teachers were stunned at some of his ideas (backed up by research) about the detriments of homework to depth of learning, and the negative effect of grades on intrinsic motivation to learn. And the non-correlation of homework to test scores until high school. It was fascinating.

I was delighted to have the opportunity to chat with him afterwards regarding ideal learning environments and unconditional parenting. Yipee!! He is quite a dynamic, engaging, down-to-earth and researched speaker. I highly recommend seeing him if you have a chance. His ideas will knock your socks off. Here is his web site. There is a link for his speaking schedule. It was $15 and worth at least twice that!! He talked without a break for 3 hours straight and I could have listened to him for days!! http://www.alfiekohn.org/index.html

The main focus of his talk was on how learning is enhanced in an environment with purpose and context rather than regurgitating facts and "right" answers. And about the negative role of rewards (grades) related to retaining and understanding information. I haven't read this book, but it sounds enlightening.


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#2 of 17 Old 01-29-2007, 01:35 AM
 
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So cool!

I keep hoping I'll run into him playing in the park with his kids when I'm in his hometown (just about monthly...) No luck so far. :

Glad you had so much fun!
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#3 of 17 Old 01-29-2007, 01:58 AM
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Moved to Learning at School and merged with duplicate thread already there... and I own the book, and it is a good one!

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#4 of 17 Old 01-29-2007, 03:16 AM
 
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How exciting!! The school my DD attends says that their goal is to make the school one Alfie Kohn would love. They are all about that book there.

Mama to three sweet girls (a dramatic, chatty 10yo, a bouncy, dynamo of a 7yo, and a delightful, whimsical 3.5yo)
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#5 of 17 Old 01-29-2007, 11:01 AM
 
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I am reading that book right now!

I met Alfie this past fall! He was speaking to early childhood educators on unconditional "teaching" and it was not well received, but I loved it!!!!

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#6 of 17 Old 01-29-2007, 12:15 PM
 
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Sounds like an interesting book. I just sent the link to my DH, who is studying to become a teacher.

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#7 of 17 Old 01-29-2007, 02:49 PM
 
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aaaah pat you lucky you. i did have a chance to meet him at the homeschoolers conference last year but i had no $$$s to go for it.

thanks for posting about the book. i didnt have a clue he had a new one out.

it will be an interesting read since i have been really researching edu in finland.

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#8 of 17 Old 01-29-2007, 03:06 PM
 
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Thanks so much for providing the link. He will be near me in March and I want to go see him!
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#9 of 17 Old 01-29-2007, 04:22 PM
 
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Here's an MP3 of him discussing the book. Most excellent:

http://www.altruists.org/static/file...%20Kohn%29.mp3
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#10 of 17 Old 01-29-2007, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassiopeia View Post
Here's an MP3 of him discussing the book. Most excellent:

http://www.altruists.org/static/file...%20Kohn%29.mp3
Wow! Thanks for the link!!

Pat

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#11 of 17 Old 01-30-2007, 12:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by meemee View Post
it will be an interesting read since i have been really researching edu in finland.
Curious Finn has to ask, why?

I was reading the link and it got me curious regards to homework. I know in USA school starts when children turn 5, right?

At what age do children start to get homework? And how much children get homework?
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#12 of 17 Old 01-30-2007, 12:59 PM
 
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Kia,

My daughter got homework in kindergarten!

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#13 of 17 Old 01-30-2007, 01:01 PM
 
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At what age do children start to get homework? And how much children get homework?
For ds, it started the first week of school and he's in kindergarten. Gradually they've upped the amount of homework from 3 activities a week that took less than 5 min. apiece. Now my ds is starting weekly spelling and dictation tests. He's expected to read every night (not a problem because we already do this for FUN!), study his spelling words by having my administer practice tests nightly, and do any other homework activity that's sent home including additional reading assignments and other miscellaneous homework. He's 5! BTW - these are the school's expectations, not mine. I figure that if I did everything that the school expects, he'd be spending about 45 min. every night doing homework not including the reading which would bring it up to over an hour. He's to spend 20 min. each night reading, per school expectaions. We already do this for longer because we like reading.

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#14 of 17 Old 01-30-2007, 02:04 PM
 
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My daughter is in kindergarten and they're sending home worksheets five nights a week (plus they want you to read to them, which we would do anyway so that's fine). It's ridiculous!
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#15 of 17 Old 01-31-2007, 09:22 AM
 
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:

How awful to give homework to so young. Now Kohn's remarks make total sense.

Here school starts when you are 7 years old. And first year is pretty much homework free unless it's something fun.
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#16 of 17 Old 01-31-2007, 11:01 AM
 
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Is this book geared toward educators or parents? Would you recommend it to someone who is not an educator, but just a parent? THanks!
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#17 of 17 Old 01-31-2007, 04:38 PM
 
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Intersting from a educators perspective. I am a teacher of 2 years and feel things need to change. I like what Kohn has to say.
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