"in place of superficial facts, we emphasize deep understanding. In place of fragmentation, we seek to integrate; w... http://tl.gd/7m1dlm
"The educators (and parents) who do the most for children are those who honor, and work hard to find out, what chil... http://tl.gd/7m1gnr
This seems so blatantly obvious yet so seldom practiced in schools. It is also a long quote worth repeating:
"The educators (and parents) who do the most for children are those who honor, and work hard to find out, what children already know. They start where the student is and work from there. They try to figure out what students need and where their interests lie. Superb teachers strive constantly to imagine how things look from the child's point of view, what lies behind his questions and mistakes." Alfie KohnOddly, institutions and organizations dealing with children outside of school tend to do this quite well. Dance instructors, childrens' amusement parks, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, 4H Clubs, etc. And, to an large extent businesses that try to attract the attention of children tend to do most of these things better than schools but for a very different reason. Toy manufacturers, sugar cereal producers, video game companies, etc. all do a this extremely well but for their own ends, not for the child's best interests.
"the source of intellectual growth is conflict: conflict between an old belief and a new experience, conflict betwe... http://tl.gd/7m1ptk
This is another obvious statement that is so true it is hard to imagine it needs to be articulated. It is obvious because we all know this feeling and all know how we have grown out of those kinds of experiences.
"It takes a lot more skill to help children think for themselves than it does just to give them information." Alfie Kohn
Yes, but it is also a lot more rewarding than just giving out information (for the teacher and the student).
"Someone once said that a student who gives a wrong answer actually may be answering another question." Alfie Kohn
"It's as hard to be a real person in front of kids as it is to treat kids like people. That's why so many teachers,... http://tl.gd/7m2av7
I have rarely asked kids to call me Mr. Anderson. It makes me uncomfortable but I have worked in environments where my allowing students to call me Carl has made other staff uncomfortable. I have even found that telling kids they can call me by my first name makes some of them uncomfortable. It is always odd to hear kids with this schooled habitude of mind elect to call me Mr. Carl for their own ease. I always get a kick out of it and often will try to see how long it takes them to be comfortable just dropping the Mr. part.
"If parents insist on the familiar sight of a teacher in front of the class presenting a conventional lesson, it's ... http://tl.gd/7m2dqk
This is one big reason why Wasioja Valley School never made it past the school board. "It doesn't look much like school" rings in my ear constantly.
"Students have to be given tasks that require interpretation and involve uncertainty, the kind where you can't alwa... http://tl.gd/7m2jus
"To take children seriously is to value them for who they are right now rather than seeing them as adults-in-the-making." Alfie Kohn
"The trick is to start not with facts to be taught or disciplines to be mastered, but with questions to be answered." Alfie Kohn
Cue John Holt.
"Great teachers are always looking out for real-life opportunities to help students play with words, reason with nu... http://tl.gd/7mom46
"Perhaps no other principle in our society is at once so commonly endorsed and so rarely applied as the value of de... http://tl.gd/7movf3
"Children learn to make good decisions by making decisions, not by following directions." Alfie Kohn
We could turn this statement around and it is just as true. Teachers become great teachers by being allowed to make decisions in the classroom, not by following a set of directions or script.
"learning is most likely to be engaging and effective if it takes place in a classroom that feels like a caring community." Alfie Kohn