Alfie Kohn writes and speaks widely about education, parenting, and human behavior. He is the American author of 14 books, including PUNISHED BY REWARDS, THE SCHOOLS OUR CHILDREN DESERVE, BEYOND DISCIPLINE, UNCONDITIONAL PARENTING, THE HOMEWORK MYTH, THE MYTH OF THE SPOILED CHILD, and, most recently, SCHOOLING BEYOND MEASURE. Kohn's criticisms of rewards and competition have helped to shape the thinking of educators – as well as parents and managers – across the globe. Time magazine described him as the country’s “most outspoken critic of education’s fixation on grades and test scores.” He has been featured on numerous TV programs, including two appearances on “Oprah.” Kohn lives (actually) in Boston and (virtually) at www.alfiekohn.org.
Take aways: Interesting proposal of making the student participate in his/her own grading. For sure the most important learning in life comes from self introspection, as teachers we should definitely make sure this is happening. At the same time, an external competition with peers is stimulating, brings us out of our comfort zone and we can learn from each other. As in competitive sports, entrepreneurship and everything else in life, the main focus should not be in crushing each other, but to be inspired to be a better and happier person in everything we do.
Take aways: I am very glad to have participated in both the conference and the seminar. Alfie Kohn gave us food for thought. I am very interested in reading about the topics we have discussed this day.
Something called my attention. Instead of using his time to talk and let the questions to the end like usual, he interacted with us all the time. Exactly the way we are supposed to do in class. I am used to work with student centered classes. However, grades and tests were always part of the routine.
Seminars like this one we attended are extremely important to our formation not only as professors and teachers, but also as citizens. They help us be more critical and reflect upon our own practice. Besides that, as a mother of three including an autistic girl, I learned tips I can apply at home. Low grades, the feeling of being incapable and low self esteem were part of our routine along 18 years. We must support positive changings. We must support research and studies.
Thank you so much.