What Isn’t Working? Alfie Kohn | American School Board Journal, April 2011, 35-37
Alfie Kohn knows intelligent people will respectfully disagree on many educational issue, but he can’t understand how we regularly betray what we know is best practice. “If we all agree that a given principle is true, then why in the world do our schools still function as if they weren’t?”
He presents and elaborates on ten examples.
- Much of the material students are required to memorize is soon forgotten.
- Just knowing a lot of facts doesn’t mean you’re smart.
- Students are more likely to learn what they find interesting.
- Students are less interested in whatever they’re forced to do and more enthusiastic when they have some say.
- Just because doing x raises standardized test scores doesn’t mean x should be done.
- Students are more likely to succeed in a place where they feel known and cared about.
- We want children to develop in many ways, not just academically.
- Just because a lesson (or book, or class, or test) is harder doesn’t mean it’s better.
- Kids aren’t just short adults.
- Substance matters more than labels.