The Schools Our Children Deserve: Moving Beyond Traditional Classrooms and

The Schools Our Children Deserve: Moving Beyond Traditional Classrooms and "Tougher Standards" / Edition 1

by Alfie Kohn
     
 

Two forces now dominate the theory and practice of American education. The first, using the language of "tougher standards" and "accountability," is a heavy-handed, top-down, test-driven version of school reform which assumes that harder is always better. The second is an aggressive traditionalism that has resulted in treating today's students like their… See more details below

Overview

Two forces now dominate the theory and practice of American education. The first, using the language of "tougher standards" and "accountability," is a heavy-handed, top-down, test-driven version of school reform which assumes that harder is always better. The second is an aggressive traditionalism that has resulted in treating today's students like their counterparts were treated in years gone by -- as passive receptacles into which facts and skills are poured. Both doctrines are accepted on faith by politicians, parents, and pundits -- and both come in for sharp scrutiny by Alfie Kohn, the author of paradigm-shattering books on competition and rewards.
Drawing on a wealth of research, Kohn argues that the demand for tougher standards reflects a lack of understanding about how and why children actually learn. When we encourage students to become obsessed with how well they're doing in school, they often lose interest in what they're doing, and ultimately they think less deeply. Worse, when we use standardized tests to measure how well they're doing, we squeeze the intellectual life out of classrooms and turn them into test-prep centers.
Better Schools Than We Had is Alfie Kohn's most timely and powerful work. Written for a general audience of parents and all those concerned with education reform, the book offers an ambitious yet practical vision of what should replace the "bunch o' facts" model in our children's classrooms. It is guaranteed to change the way readers think about school.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780395940396
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
09/28/1999
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.81(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

1Forward ... into the Past1
Pt. 1Tougher Standards Versus Better Education
2Getting Motivation Wrong: The Costs of Overemphasizing Achievement25
3Getting Teaching and Learning Wrong: Traditional Education and Its Victims47
4Getting Evaluation Wrong: The Case Against Standardized Testing73
5Getting School Reform Wrong: The Arrogance of Top-Down Coercion93
6Getting Improvement Wrong: Confusing Harder with Better101
Pt. 2For the Love of Learning
7Starting from Scratch115
8Education at Its Best131
9Getting the 3 R's Right159
10The Way Out183
App. AThe Hard Evidence209
App. BWhat to Look For in a Classroom235
Notes238
References303
Acknowledgments333
Index334

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