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Alfie Kohn

Alfie Kohn

Keynote Speaker: Author & Speaker on Human Behavior, Education, & Parenting; Outspoken Critic of Education's Fixation on Grades

Alfie Kohn Biography

Alfie Kohn writes and speaks widely on human behavior, education, and parenting. The most recent of his 14 books are "Schooling Beyond Measure…And Other Unorthodox Essays About Education," and "The Myth Of The Spoiled Child: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom About Children and Parenting."

Kohn has been described in 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. Kohn has been featured on hundreds of TV and radio programs, including the “Today” show and two appearances on “Oprah”; he has been profiled in the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, while his work has been described and debated in many other leading publications.

Kohn lectures widely at universities and to school faculties, parent groups, and corporations. In addition to speaking at staff development seminars and keynoting national education conferences on a regular basis, he conducts workshops for teachers and administrators on various topics. Among them: “Motivation from the Inside Out: Rethinking Rewards, Assessment, and Learning” and “Beyond Bribes and Threats: Realistic Alternatives to Controlling Students’ Behavior.” The latter corresponds to his book BEYOND DISCIPLINE: From Compliance to Community (ASCD, 1996), which he describes as “a modest attempt to overthrow the entire field of classroom management.”

Kohn’s various books have been translated into more than two dozen languages. He has also contributed to publications ranging from the Journal of Education to Ladies Home Journal, and from the Nation to the Harvard Business Review (“Why Incentive Plans Cannot Work”). His efforts to make research in human behavior accessible to a general audience have also been published in the New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, Parents, and Psychology Today.

Kohn, the father of two grown children and lives in the Boston area.

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Alfie Kohn Speaking Topics

Beyond Bribes and Threats: Realistic Alternatives to Controlling Students’ Behavior

Motivation from the Inside Out: Rethinking Rewards, Assessment, and Learning

Pushed Too Hard: Parenting in an Achievement-Crazy Culture

What does it mean to say we want our kids to be "successful"? In some neighborhoods, that word translates as making higher grades and test scores than other people's children – so they'll be accepted by elite colleges, so they'll get high-paying jobs, so they can... well, what? Erich Fromm once observed that "few parents have the courage to care more for their children's happiness than for their success." Indeed, research shows that affluent, high-achieving students are more likely to suffer from depression – and less likely to value learning for its own sake. Alfie Kohn invites us to rethink basic assumptions about competition, school achievement, and the relationship between how we're raising our kids and how we hope they'll turn out.

Unconditional Parenting: Beyond Bribes & Threats

Advice for raising children typically comes in two flavors: threats (known euphemistically as "consequences") and bribes ("positive reinforcement"). Either we make kids suffer to teach them a lesson, or we dangle goodies in front of them for doing as they're told. Rewards and punishments are two sides of the same coin, and unfortunately, neither can buy anything more than temporary obedience. Manipulating children's behavior – by means of time-outs, contrived praise, privileges offered, and privileges taken away – can never help them to reflect on the kind of people they want to be. Instead of encouraging kids to take responsibility for their actions, it makes them dependent on rewards and punishments. Rather than promoting generosity and compassion, it leads them to focus on the consequence to themselves of pleasing the adult.

This presentation, by Alfie Kohn, the author of Unconditional Parenting, will show why carrots and sticks are not only ineffective but actually counterproductive over the long haul. To raise children who are good learners and good people requires us to abandon strategies that do things to kids, in favor of an approach in which we work with them. And underlying those "working with" strategies is the message that children do not have to earn our approval, that we love them not for what they do but just for who they are.

The (Progressive) Schools Our Children Deserve

Our knowledge of how children learn – and how schools can help – has come a long way in the last few decades. Unfortunately, most schools have not: They're still more about memorizing facts and practicing isolated skills than understanding ideas from the inside out; they still exclude students from any meaningful decision-making role; and they still rely on grades, tests, homework, lectures, worksheets, competition, punishments, and rewards. Alfie Kohn explores the alternatives to each of these conventional practices, explaining why progressive education isn't just a realistic alternative but one that's far more likely to help kids become critical thinkers and lifelong learners.

Alfie Kohn Videos

Alfie Kohn - Symposium On Our Youngest Citizens
Alfie Kohn- A Case against Competition in Schools & Sports
Alfie Kohn - Teachers Make a Difference

How do I book Alfie Kohn to speak at my event?

Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Alfie Kohn for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Schedule button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Alfie Kohn, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Alfie Kohn or any other speaker of your choice.

How much does it cost to book Alfie Kohn for a speaking engagement?

Speaking fees for Alfie Kohn, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Alfie Kohn are Below $10,000 for live events and Below $10,000 for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Alfie Kohn, click the Check Schedule button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.

What topics does Alfie Kohn speak about?

Alfie Kohn is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics such as Business, Personal Growth, Authors, Family & Parenting, Healthcare, Inspirational, Disruptive Thinking, Writing, Big Think, Health, Nutrition, Science, Education, Literary, Motivational, Early Childhood Education, Marketing and Gaming.

Where does Alfie Kohn travel from?

Alfie Kohn generally travels from Boston, MA, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances.

Who is the agent for Alfie Kohn?

AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully secured keynote speakers like Alfie Kohn for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Schedule button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Alfie Kohn for your next private or corporate function.

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AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Alfie Kohn or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.

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Alfie Kohn is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics including Business, Personal Growth and Authors. The estimated speaking fee range to book Alfie Kohn for live events is Below $10,000, and for virtual events Below $10,000. Alfie Kohn generally travels from Boston, MA, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Erin Gruwell, Gever Tulley and Kanya Balakrishna. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Alfie Kohn for an upcoming event.

Alfie Kohn Speaking Topics

  • Beyond Bribes and Threats: Realistic Alternatives to Controlling Students’ Behavior

  • Motivation from the Inside Out: Rethinking Rewards, Assessment, and Learning

  • Pushed Too Hard: Parenting in an Achievement-Crazy Culture

    What does it mean to say we want our kids to be "successful"? In some neighborhoods, that word translates as making higher grades and test scores than other people's children – so they'll be accepted by elite colleges, so they'll get high-paying jobs, so they can... well, what? Erich Fromm once observed that "few parents have the courage to care more for their children's happiness than for their success." Indeed, research shows that affluent, high-achieving students are more likely to suffer from depression – and less likely to value learning for its own sake. Alfie Kohn invites us to rethink basic assumptions about competition, school achievement, and the relationship between how we're raising our kids and how we hope they'll turn out.

  • Unconditional Parenting: Beyond Bribes & Threats

    Advice for raising children typically comes in two flavors: threats (known euphemistically as "consequences") and bribes ("positive reinforcement"). Either we make kids suffer to teach them a lesson, or we dangle goodies in front of them for doing as they're told. Rewards and punishments are two sides of the same coin, and unfortunately, neither can buy anything more than temporary obedience. Manipulating children's behavior – by means of time-outs, contrived praise, privileges offered, and privileges taken away – can never help them to reflect on the kind of people they want to be. Instead of encouraging kids to take responsibility for their actions, it makes them dependent on rewards and punishments. Rather than promoting generosity and compassion, it leads them to focus on the consequence to themselves of pleasing the adult.

    This presentation, by Alfie Kohn, the author of Unconditional Parenting, will show why carrots and sticks are not only ineffective but actually counterproductive over the long haul. To raise children who are good learners and good people requires us to abandon strategies that do things to kids, in favor of an approach in which we work with them. And underlying those "working with" strategies is the message that children do not have to earn our approval, that we love them not for what they do but just for who they are.

  • The (Progressive) Schools Our Children Deserve

    Our knowledge of how children learn – and how schools can help – has come a long way in the last few decades. Unfortunately, most schools have not: They're still more about memorizing facts and practicing isolated skills than understanding ideas from the inside out; they still exclude students from any meaningful decision-making role; and they still rely on grades, tests, homework, lectures, worksheets, competition, punishments, and rewards. Alfie Kohn explores the alternatives to each of these conventional practices, explaining why progressive education isn't just a realistic alternative but one that's far more likely to help kids become critical thinkers and lifelong learners.

Alfie Kohn Videos

Alfie Kohn - Symposium On Our Youngest Citizens
Alfie Kohn- A Case against Competition in Schools & Sports
Alfie Kohn - Teachers Make a Difference
Why Grades Shouldn't Exist - Alfie Kohn
Alfie Kohn - THE SCHOOLS OUR CHILDREN DESERVE: Rescuing ...

Alfie Kohn News

  • Alfie Kohn

    Alfie Kohn writes and speaks widely on human behavior, education, and parenting. The author of eleven books and scores of articles, he lectures at education ...

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