The NWO Symposium is a popular professional development opportunity in the region for K-12 pre-service and in-service teachers, graduate students, school administrators and higher education faculty. This year’s symposium is featuring a keynote presentation by Alfie Kohn: Overhauling the Transmission Model: Teaching your students to be active meaning makers.
The traditional “bunch o’ facts” model of education applied to STEM subjects consists of filling students with information about decimals and variables, cells and minerals. The process typically relies on lectures, worksheets, grades, tests, and homework. But our challenge is to help students think like scientists and mathematicians so they can actively make sense of ideas — and, ideally, to take pleasure in doing so. In his keynote address, Alfie Kohn invites us to reflect on how we can bring about just such a shift in our classrooms.
Alfie Kohn writes and speaks widely on human behavior, education, and parenting. His twelve books include PUNISHED BY REWARDS (1993), THE SCHOOLS OUR CHILDREN DESERVE (1999), THE CASE AGAINST STANDARDIZED TESTING (2000), UNCONDITIONAL PARENTING (2005), THE HOMEWORK MYTH(2006), and, most recently, FEEL-BAD EDUCATION (2011).
Kohn has been described by Time magazine as “perhaps the country’s most outspoken critic of education’s fixation on grades [and] test scores.” His criticisms of competition and rewards have helped to shape the thinking of educators — as well as parents and managers — across the country and abroad. He has appeared on numerous TV and radio programs, including the “Today” show and two appearances on “Oprah.” He lectures widely at universities and to school faculties, parent groups, and corporations, as well as speaking at staff development seminars and keynoting national education conferences. Kohn’s articles include “Turning Children into Data” in Education Week; “Five Reasons to Stop Saying ‘Good Job!’” in Young Children; and “The Case Against Grades” in Educational Leadership.