Alfie Kohn Famous Quotes & Sayings

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Top 100 Alfie Kohn Quotes

#1. Few parents have the courage and independence to care more for their children's happiness than for their success. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#2. Unconditional parents want to know how to do something other than threaten and punish. They don't see their relationship with their children as adversarial, so their goal is to avoid battles, not win them. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#3. When you stand by and let bad things happen, your child experiences the twin disappointments that something went wrong and you did not seem to care enough about her to lift a finger to help prevent the mishap. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#4. Students should not only be trained to live in a democracy when they grow up; they should have the chance to live in one today. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#5. I realized that this is what many people in our society seem to want most from children: not that they are caring or creative or curious, but simply that they are well behaved. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#6. In outstanding classrooms, teachers do more listening than talking, and students do more talking than listening. Terrific teachers often have teeth marks on their tongues. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#7. When test scores go up, we should worry, because of how poor a measure they are of what matters, and what you typically sacrifice in a desperate effort to raise scores. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#8. Independence is useful, but caring attitudes and behaviors shrivel up in a culture where each person is responsible only for himself. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#9. What provokes particular outrage and ridicule is the idea that children might feel good about themselves in the absence of impressive accomplishments, even though, as I'll show, studies find that unconditional self-esteem is a key component of psychological health. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#10. The troubling truth is that rewards and punishments are not opposites at all; they are two sides of the same coin. And it is a coin that does not buy very much. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#11. When we do things that are controlling, whether intentional or not, we are not going to get those long-term outcomes. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#12. When was the last time you spent the entire day with only 42 year olds? - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#13. Like any other tool for facilitating the completion of a questionable task, rewards offer a "how" answer to what is really a "why" question. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#14. Sometimes we have to put our foot down, ... but before we deliberately make children unhappy in order to get them to get into the car, or to do their homework or whatever, we need to weigh whether what we're doing to make it happen is worth the possible strain on our relationship with them. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#15. We ought to love children, as my friend Deborah says, 'for no good reason.' Furthermore, what counts is not that we believe we love them unconditionally, but that they feel loved in that way. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#16. Unconditional parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#17. The Legacy of Behaviorism: Do this and you'll get that. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#18. The use of powerful systematic reward procedures to promote increased engagement in target activities may also produce concomitant decreases in task engagement, in situations where neither tangible nor social extrinsic rewards are perceived to be available.7 - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#19. Many of our elected officials have virtually handed the keys to our schools over to corporate interests. Presidential commissions on education are commonly chaired by the executives of large companies. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#20. Children aren't helped to become caring members of a community, or ethical decision-makers, or critical thinkers, so much as they're simply trained to follow directions. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#21. Besides, what best prepares children to deal with the challenges of the "real world" is to experience success and joy. People don't get better at coping with unhappiness because they were deliberately made unhappy when they were young. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#22. All rewards have the same effect," one writer declares. "They dilute the pure joy that comes from success itself. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#23. If unconditional love and genuine enthusiasm are present, praise isn't necessary. If they're absent, praise won't help. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#24. Do rewards motivate people? Absolutely. They motivate people to get rewards. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#25. Obviously, things work best when parents and teachers are helping kids to become good people - and, better yet, when they're actively supporting one another's efforts. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#26. As it happens, most studies have found that unexpected rewards are much less destructive than the rewards people are told about beforehand and are deliberately trying to obtain. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#27. To feel controlled is to lose interest. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#28. Educational success should be measured by how strong your desire is to keep learning. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#29. Control is an unavoidable feature of human relationships; all that actually varies is the subtlety of the system of reinforcement. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#30. My advice is to make a point of apologizing to your child about something at least twice a month. Why twice a month? I don't know. It sounds about right to me. (Almost all the specific advice in parenting books is similarly arbitrary. At least I admit it.) - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#31. What matters is not just how motivated someone is but the source and nature of that motivation.13 - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#32. When unconditional love and genuine enthusiasm are always present, "Good job!" isn't necessary; when they're absent, "Good job!" won't help. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#33. Punishments erode relationships and moral growth. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#34. Maximum difficulty isn't the same as optimal difficulty. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#35. The overwhelming number of teachers ... are unable to name or describe a theory of learning that underlies what they do. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#36. Social psychology has found the more you reward people for doing something, the more they tend to lose interest in whatever they had to do to get the reward. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#37. Similarly, parents who want to teach the importance of honesty make it a practice never to lie to their children, even when it would be easier just to claim that there are no cookies left rather than to explain why they can't have another one. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#38. Empowered kids are in the best position to deal constructively with disempowering circumstances. And we, as parents, are in the best position to empower them - as long as we're willing to limit our use of power over them. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#39. How well you do things should be incidental, not integral, to the way you regard yourself. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#40. Grades dilute the pleasure that a student experiences on successfully completing a task. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#41. The way kids learn to make good decisions is by making decisions, not by following directions. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#42. What can we surmise about the likelihood of someone's being caring and generous, loving and helpful, just from knowing that they are a believer? Virtually nothing, say psychologists, sociologists, and others who have studied that question for decade - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#43. You have to give them unconditional love. They need to know that even if they screw up, you love them. You don't want them to grow up and resent you or, even worse, parent the way you parented them. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#44. People will typically be more enthusiastic where they feel a sense of belonging and see themselves as part of a community than they will in a workplace in which each person is left to his own devices - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#45. Assessments should compare the performance of students to a set of expectations, never to the performance of other students. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#46. A preoccupation with achievement is not only different from, but often detrimental to, a focus on learning. Thoughts and emotions while performing an action are more important in determining subsequent engagement than the actual outcome of that action. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#47. However we think about these [long-term] goals, we ought to think about them a lot. They ought to be our touchstone, if only to keep us from being sucked into the quicksand of daily life. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#48. The race to win turns us all into losers. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#49. Learning is something students do, NOT something done to students. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#50. Being a team player should not imply a demand for simple obedience and conformity. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#51. The more we want our children to be (1) lifelong learners, genuinely excited about words and numbers and ideas, (2) avoid sticking with what's easy and safe, and (3) become sophisticated thinkers, the more we should do everything possible to help them forget about grades. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#52. By contrast, training and goal-setting programs had a far greater impact on productivity than did anything involving payment.32 - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#53. But as I mastered the material, homework ceased to be necessary. A no homework policy is a challenge to me," he adds. "I am forced to create lessons that are so good no further drilling is required when the lessons are completed. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#54. Whoever said there's no such thing as a stupid question never looked carefully at a standardized test. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#55. Grades are a subjective rating masquerading as an objective evaluation. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#56. Think of your goal as giving your child a kind of inoculation, providing him with the unconditional love, respect, trust, and sense of perspective that will serve to immunize him against the most destructive effects of an overcontrolling environment or an unreasonable authority figure. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#57. In education, parody is obsolete. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#58. a grade can be regarded only as an inadequate report of an inaccurate judgment by a biased and variable judge of the extent to which a student has attained an undefined level of mastery of an unknown proportion of an indefinite amount of material. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#59. John Dewey reminded us that the value of what students do 'resides in its connection with a stimulation of greater thoughtfulness, not in the greater strain it imposes. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#60. For the anthropomorphic view of the rat, American psychology substituted a rattomorphic view of man. - Arthur Koestler, The Act of Creation - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#61. Sometimes the alternative to black and white isn't gray; it's, say, orange. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#62. The research is clear: getting children to focus on their performance can interfere with their ability to remember things about the challenging tasks they just worked on.67 - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#63. Trying to be number one and trying to do a task well are two different things. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#64. Nothing is more important to us when we're young than how our parents feel about us. Uncertainty about that, or terror about being abandoned, can leave its mark even after we're grown. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#65. Those who know they're valued irrespective of their accomplishments often end up accomplishing quite a lot. It's the experience of being accepted without conditions that helps people develop a healthy confidence in themselves, a belief that it's safe to take risks and try new things. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#66. Standardized testing has swelled and mutated, like a creature in one of those old horror movies, to the point that it now threatens to swallow our schools whole. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#67. The late W. Edwards Deming, guru of Quality management, once declared, 'The most important things we need to manage can't be measured.' If that's true of what we need to manage, it should be even more obvious that it's true of what we need to teach. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#68. If rewards do not work, what does? I recommend that employers pay workers well and fairly and then do everything possible to help them forget about money. A preoccupation with money distracts everyone - employers and employees - from the issues that really matter. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#69. The most significant factor in an individual's ability to remain in good health may be a sense of control over the events of life, one psychologist has remarked. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#70. Saying you taught it but the student didn't learn it is like saying you sold it but the customer didn't buy it. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#71. But my point is not just that the psychological theory is inadequate; it is that the practice is unproductive. If we do not address the ultimate cause of a problem, the problem will not get solved. This is not to say - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#72. To be well-educated is to have the desire as well as the means to make sure that learning never ends. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#73. We have so much to cover and so little time to cover it. Howard Gardner refers to curriculum coverage as the single greatest enemy of understanding. Think instead about ideas to be discovered. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#74. If children feel safe, they can take risks, ask questions, make mistakes, learn to trust, share their feelings, and grow. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#75. Children, after all, are not just adults-in-the-making. They are people whose current needs and rights and experiences must be taken seriously. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#76. Trying to do well and trying to beat others are two different things. Excellence and victory are conceptually distinct ... and are experienced differently. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#77. four accounts of how praise may impede performance: it signals low ability, makes people feel pressured, invites a low-risk strategy to avoid failure, and reduces interest in the task itself. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#78. To control students is to force them to accommodate to a preestablished curriculum. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#79. Children don't just need to be loved; they need to know that nothing they do will change the fact that they're loved. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#80. We learn most readily, most naturally, most effectively, when we start with the big picture - precisely when the basics don't come first. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#81. Contrary to what you think, your company will be a lot more productive if you refuse to tolerate competition among your employees. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#82. If, like Charles Silberman, we think school "should prepare people not just to earn a living but to live a life - a creative, humane, and sensitive life,"22 then children's attitudes toward learning are at least as important as how well they perform at any given task. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#83. Punishments and rewards are two sides of the same coin and that coin doesn't buy you much. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#84. The research suggests that praise may have [a negative, unintended] effect, directing attention away from the task [at hand] and toward your reaction. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#85. There are different kinds of motivation, and the kind matters more than the amount. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#86. Most of us would protest that of course we love our children without any strings attached. But what counts is how things look from the perspective of the children - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#87. After all, if we want a child to grow into a genuinely compassionate person, then it's not enough to know whether he just did something helpful. We'd want to know why. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#88. We tell them how good they are and they light up, eager to please, and try to please us some more. These are the children we should really worry about. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#89. Don't let anyone tell you that standardized tests are not accurate measures. The truth of the matter is they offer a remarkably precise method for gauging the size of the houses near the school where the test was administered. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#90. the question is not whether more flies can be caught with honey than with vinegar, but why the flies are being caught in either case - and how this feels to the fly. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#91. The point isn't just whether children know what to expect; it's whether what they've come to expect makes sense. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#92. We can't value only what is easy to measure; measurable outcomes may be the least important results of learning. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#93. Punishment and reward proceed from basically the same psychological model, one that conceives of motivation as nothing more than the manipulation of behavior. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#94. If a child is off-task ... mayb e the problem is not the child ... maybe it's the task. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#95. Rewards usually improve performance only at extremely simple - indeed, mindless - tasks, and even then they improve only quantitative performance. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#96. How we feel about our kids isn't as important as how they experience those feelings and how they regard the way we treat them. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#97. Very few things are as dangerous as a bunch of incentive-driven individuals trying to play it safe. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#98. Nostalgia is only amnesia turned around, said the poet Adrienne Rich. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#99. Educators remind us that what counts in a classroom is not what the teacher teaches; it's what the learner learns. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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#100. The value of a book about dealing with children is inversely proportional to the number of times it contains the word behavior. - Author: Alfie Kohn
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