"Alfie Kohn has a knack for bursting the bubbles that surround justabout every school topic imaginable, from putting kids intouniforms to make them behave better to raising kids' self-esteem byrewarding them with stickers and pizza for reading books and doinghomework. This collection of previously published essays reminds usthat many schools have veered off course in their day-to-daybusiness. And it's a primer that, if taken seriously, can putschools back on the right track."
--Educational LeadershipThrough his writings and speeches, AlfieKohn has been stirring up controversy for years, demonstrating howthe conventional wisdom about education often isn't supported bythe available research, and illuminating gaps between our long-termgoals for students and what actually goes on in schools. Now Whatto Look for in a Classroom brings together his most populararticles from Educational Leadership, Phi Delta Kappan, andEducation Week--and also from The Atlantic Monthly, the BostonGlobe, and other publications.
From self-esteem to school uniforms, from grade inflation tocharacter education, Kohn raises a series of provocative questionsabout the status quo in this collection of incisive essays. Hechallenges us to reconsider some of our most basic assumptionsabout children and education. Can good values really beinstilled
in students? What, if anything, lies behind the label of attentiondeficit disorder? Are there solid data to support our skepticismabout watching TV? Might such allegedly enlightened practices asauthentic assessment,
and Total Quality education
turn out to be detrimental? Whether he is explaining whycooperative learning can be so threatening or why detracking is sofiercely opposed, Kohn offers a fresh, informed, and frequentlydisconcerting perspective on the major issues in education.
In the And, his critical examination of current practice iscomplemented by a vision of what schooling ought to be. Kohn arguesfor giving children more opportunity to participate in their ownschooling, for transforming classrooms into caring communities, andfor providing the kind of education that taps and nourisheschildren's curiosity. Through all these essays, Kohn calls us backto our own ideals, showing us how we can be more effective athelping students to become good learners and good people.