Saturday, May 7, 2011

Race to Nowhere: Panel Discussion in Atlanta

Here is my favorite clip from Alfie Kohn while on a discussion panel about The Race to Nowhere:

It drives me nuts when I see schools offer stress coping strategies - we'll give you a hand parents and kids at putting up with the stuff we are forcing your kids to do that has no justification. In other words, it's like a factory that's pumping pollutants into the air but is happy to distribute respirators to the neighbours. We need to shut off the pollution at it's source. 
One example is homework.  
A second example is AP courses which represent typically the worst form of instruction but accelerated. Lecture driven. Why would we assume AP courses are ideal? Because we assume that if it is harder it must be better. And in fact many of these course are lecture driven, textbook based, and oriented ultimately not to help kids think like scientists or historians but merely getting a four or a five on an exam. So even good AP teachers are teaching badly. That's why some of the best high schools, public and private in the country, have eliminated all AP courses and replaced them with rich engaging courses. For more on that see

Race to Nowhere: Atlanta Panel Discussion from Vicki Abeles on Vimeo.

1 comment:

  1. Joe,

    I read your blog daily and enjoy your commitment to improving education. I really needed the reminder from Alfie about what I believe in. Everyone should hear his message, with your help, they might!


Follow by Email