This book is a collection of published essays on education by Alfie Kohn since 2005. For his education audience that makes up the majority of his enthusiastic readership, it's a very attractive collection. The essays arguably take on the biggest issues facing school reform today by questioning very fundamental premises about what motivates learning and what the real goals of education are. The title essay, "Feel-Bad Education: The Cult of Rigor and the Loss of Joy" is typical in the way it cuts through the layers of bureaucratic language surrounding education to get to the heart of the enterprise. Kohn is unapologetically partisan, but inviting and accessible. His critiques are sharp, smart, and multi-dimensional. Kohn argues that traditional approaches to praise and punishment, testing and ranking, undermine real learning and genuine creation of strong-minded, independent thinkers. In this book he takes on the destructive effects of those who think they are defending "rigour", where progressive efforts to reform schools should go, and the motivational psychology of teaching and parenting.
Mind-opening writing on what kids need from school, from one of education’s most outspoken voices Almost no writer on schools asks us to question our fundamental assumptions about education and motivation as boldly as Alfie Kohn. The Washington Post says that “teachers and parents who encounter Kohn and his thoughts come away transfixed, ready to change their schools.” And Time magazine has called him “perhaps the country’s most outspoken critic of education’s fixation on grades [and] test scores.” Here is challenging and entertaining writing on where we should go in American education, in Alfie Kohn’s unmistakable voice. He argues in the title essay with those who think that high standards mean joylessness in the classroom. He reflects thoughtfully on the question “Why Self-Discipline Is Overrated.” And in an essay for the New York Times, which generated enormous response, he warns against the dangers of both punishing and praising children for what they do instead of parenting “unconditionally.” Whether he’s talking about school policy or the psychology of motivation, Kohn gives us wonderfully provocative—and utterly serious—food for thought. This new book will be greeted with enthusiasm by his many readers, and by teachers and parents seeking a refreshing perspective on today’s debates about kids and schools.
Author: Alfie Kohn
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Release Date: 2007-04-03
So why do we continue to administer this modern cod liver oil-or even demand a larger dose? Kohn’s incisive analysis reveals how a set of misconceptions about learning and a misguided focus on competitiveness has left our kids with less free time, and our families with more conflict. Pointing to stories of parents who have fought back-and schools that have proved educational excellence is possible without homework-Kohn demonstrates how we can rethink what happens during and after school in order to rescue our families and our children’s love of learning.
Author: John Owens
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.
Release Date: 2013-08-06
An explosive new look at the pressures on today's teachers and the pitfalls of school reform, Confessions of a Bad Teacher presents a passionate appeal to save public schools, before it's too late. When John Owens left a lucrative job to teach English at a public school in New York City's South Bronx, he thought he could do some good. Faced with a flood of struggling students, Owens devised ingenious ways to engage every last one. But as his students began to thrive under his tutelage, Owens found himself increasingly mired in a broken educational system, driven by broken statistics, finances, and administrations undermining their own support system-the teachers. The situation has gotten to the point where the phrase "Bad Teacher" is almost interchangeable with "Teacher." And Owens found himself labeled just that when the methods he saw inspiring his students didn't meet the reform mandates. With firsthand accounts from teachers across the country and tips for improving public schools, Confessions of a Bad Teacher is an eye-opening call-to-action to embrace our best educators and create real reform for our children's futures.
What is most remarkable about the assortment of discipline programs on the market today is the number of fundamental assumptions they seem to share. Some may advocate the use of carrots rather than sticks; some may refer to punishments as "logical consequences." But virtually all take for granted that the teacher must be in control of the classroom, and that what we need are strategies to get students to comply with the adult's expectations. Alfie Kohn challenged these widely accepted premises, and with them the very idea of classroom "management," when the original edition of Beyond Discipline was published in 1996. Since then, his path-breaking book has invited hundreds of thousands of educators to question the assumption that problems in the classroom are always the fault of students who don't do what they're told; instead, it may be necessary to reconsider what it is that they've been told to do--or to learn. Kohn shows how a fundamentally cynical view of children underlies the belief that we must tell them exactly how we expect them to behave and then offer "positive reinforcement" when they obey. Just as memorizing someone else's right answers fails to promote students' intellectual development, so does complying with someone else's expectations for how to act fail to help students develop socially or morally. Kohn contrasts the idea of discipline, in which things are done to students to control their behavior, with an approach in which we work with students to create caring communities where decisions are made together. Beyond Discipline has earned the status of an education classic, a vital alternative to all the traditional manuals that consist of techniques for imposing control. For this 10th anniversary edition, Kohn adds a new afterword that expands on the book's central themes and responds to questions from readers. Packed with stories from real classrooms around the country, seasoned with humor and grounded in a vision as practical as it is optimistic, Beyond Discipline shows how students are most likely to flourish in schools that have moved toward collaborative problem solving--and beyond discipline.
Author: Daniel T. Willingham
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2012-06-20
Clear, easy principles to spot what's nonsense and what's reliable Each year, teachers, administrators, and parents face a barrage of new education software, games, workbooks, and professional development programs purporting to be "based on the latest research." While some of these products are rooted in solid science, the research behind many others is grossly exaggerated. This new book, written by a top thought leader, helps everyday teachers, administrators, and family members—who don't have years of statistics courses under their belts—separate the wheat from the chaff and determine which new educational approaches are scientifically supported and worth adopting. Author's first book, Why Don't Students Like School?, catapulted him to superstar status in the field of education Willingham's work has been hailed as "brilliant analysis" by The Wall Street Journal and "a triumph" by The Washington Post Author blogs for The Washington Post and Brittanica.com, and writes a column for American Educator In this insightful book, thought leader and bestselling author Dan Willingham offers an easy, reliable way to discern which programs are scientifically supported and which are the equivalent of "educational snake oil."
Author: Phil Beadle
Publisher: Crown House Publishing
Release Date: 2011-06-25
Phil Beadle has been described as The scourge of education policy makers and A prolific writer of articles challenging the status quo in education. Bad Education is an anthology of his best columns. Written in his trademark, simple, luminous and down-to-earth style, this collection is a wry look at more or less every element of educational change over the last five years.
The inspiration for a television comedy from Executive Producer Amy Poehler, I Feel Bad is out now on NBC. “Auslander’s idiosyncratic drawing style, with loopy lines that appear to unravel as though they’re loosely crocheted, is anxiety personified… [I Feel Bad] belongs to the brand of humor whose main gag is that mothers are human… [Auslander] goes dark and specific, transcending the theme.” —Anya Ulinich, The New York Times Book Review Roz Chast meets Allie Brosh in this hilarious, unfiltered, and beautifully illustrated look at the infinite number of reasons the author experiences guilt, shame, regret and self-reproach in her daily life, and that maybe—just maybe—some of us can relate to as well. In a series of 100 illustrations with accompanying text, Orli Auslander has captured a mood and emotional ambivalence that will be all too familiar for readers: trying to be the best wife, mother, and friend she can be, while simultaneously feeling shitty about virtually everything she does. Confronting her daily experience with dark humor and brilliant and brutal honesty, she shows us how being an overindulgent mother makes her feel as terrible as the times when she can't stand the sight of her kids; how saying yes to the wrong experiences and no to the right requests is equally bad; how her Jewish heritage complicates her relationships with her overly religious family and irreligious children; and how having a vagina is the ultimate inescapable struggle. With a distinctive, textured ink drawing style which brings to mind a female Robert Crumb and a neurotic Edward Gorey, I Feel Bad is a book that readers will buy for themselves and for a best friend, and where every reader will find the precise moment that Auslander voiced their own deepest anxiety in her poignant and hilarious illustrations.
Author: Christina Hoff Sommers
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2015-09-01
An updated and revised edition of the controversial classic--now more relevant than ever--argues that boys are the ones languishing socially and academically, resulting in staggering social and economic costs. Girls and women were once second-class citizens in the nation's schools. Americans responded w ith concerted efforts to give girls and women the attention and assistance that was long overdue. Now, after two major waves of feminism and decades of policy reform, women have made massive strides in education. Today they outperform men in nearly every measure of social, academic, and vocational well-being. Christina Hoff Sommers contends that it's time to take a hard look at present-day realities and recognize that boys need help. Called "provocative and controversial . . . impassioned and articulate" ("The Christian Science M"onitor), this edition of "The War Against Boys" offers a new preface and six radically revised chapters, plus updates on the current status of boys throughout the book. Sommers argues that the problem of male underachievement is persistent and worsening. Among the new topics Sommers tackles: how the war against boys is harming our economic future, and how boy-averse trends such as the decline of recess and zero-tolerance disciplinary policies have turned our schools into hostile environments for boys. As our schools become more feelings-centered, risk-averse, competition-free, and sedentary, they move further and further from the characteristic needs of boys. She offers realistic, achievable solutions to these problems that include boy-friendly pedagogy, character and vocational education, and the choice of single-sex classrooms. "The War Against Boys" is an incisive, rigorous, and heartfelt argument in favor of recognizing and confronting a new reality: boys are languishing in education and the price of continued neglect is economically and socially prohibitive.
Alfie Kohn’s landmark challenge to carrot-and-stick psychology, featuring updated reflections and research in a major new afterword by the author Our basic strategy for raising children, teaching students, and managing workers can be summed up in six words: Do this and you’ll get that. We dangle goodies (from candy bars to sales commissions) in front of people in the same way that we train the family pet. Since its publication in 1993, this groundbreaking book has persuaded countless parents, teachers, and managers that attempts to manipulate people with incentives may seem to work in the short run, but they ultimately fail and even do lasting harm. Drawing from hundreds of studies, Kohn demonstrates that we actually do inferior work when we are enticed with money, grades, or other incentives—and are apt to lose interest in whatever we were bribed to do. Promising goodies to children for good behavior, meanwhile, can never produce anything more than temporary obedience. Even praise can become a verbal bribe that gets kids hooked on our approval. Rewards and punishments are two sides of the same coin—and the coin doesn’t buy much. What is needed, Kohn explains, is an alternative to both ways of controlling people. Hence, he offers practical strategies for parents, teachers, and managers to replace carrots and sticks. Seasoned with humor and familiar examples, Punished by Rewards presents an argument that is unsettling to hear but impossible to dismiss.
"Merging real stories with theory, research, and practice, a prominent scholar offers a new approach to teaching and learning for every stakeholder in urban education. Drawing on his own experience of feeling undervalued and invisible in science classrooms as a young man of color, Christopher Emdin offers a new lens on and approach to teaching in urban schools. Putting forth his theory of Reality Pedagogy, Emdin provides practical tools to unleash the brilliance and eagerness of youth and educators alike--both of whom have been typecast and stymied by outdated modes of thinking about urban education. With this fresh and engaging new pedagogical vision, Emdin demonstrates the importance of creating a family structure and building communities within the classroom, using culturally relevant strategies like hip-hop music and call-and-response, and connecting the experiences of urban youth to indigenous populations globally"--