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Thursday, August 29, 2019

Education critic to give Oct. 3 talk

Progressive education proponent, author to speak at URI, Oct. 3

Image result for Alfie Kohn educationOne of the most highly regarded and controversial figures in education, Alfie Kohn, will lead the discussion of “The Schools Our Children Deserve,” Thursday, Oct. 3, at 6:30 p.m., at URI’s Swan Hall, 60 Upper College Road, Kingston Campus.

The event is free and open to the public.

Prior to the public lecture, a roundtable discussion will be held at the Higgins Welcome Center at 4 p.m., for educators and administrators from around the state to formulate questions and topics to be addressed at the lecture.

Time magazine described Kohn as “perhaps the country’s most outspoken critic of education’s fixation on grades and test scores.”

His ideas and theories have challenged traditional beliefs and called into question many of the practices that have been widely accepted for years.


“Many of today’s schools, with an overemphasis on worksheets, grades, rigid standards, and test-driven curricula, fail to allow students the autonomy and freedom they deserve to think critically and creatively, to collaborate with peers on project-based learning, to become problem solvers, and to thrive–both as students today and thoughtful, productive citizens of tomorrow,” said Susan Brand, URI professor of Education.

Kohn’s criticisms of competition and rewards have helped to shape the thinking of educators, parents and managers across the country and abroad.

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

Kohn has authored 14 books and numerous articles about topics in education, parenting and human behavior.

After teaching in high schools and colleges, Kohn now spends his time writing and lecturing.

“We look forward to discussing how Mr. Kohn’s progressive ideals connect to our continuing and forthcoming initiatives with urban and urban ring schools, and what we can learn from his experiences as we move forward with supporting teachers and children across Rhode Island,” said Danielle Dennis, director of URI’s School of Education.

Kohn earned a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a master’s degree from the University of Chicago.

For more information, contact Susan Brand, URI professor of Education, at (401) 874-2426; susant@uri.edu or Diane Kern, URI professor of Education, at (401) 874-9490; dkern@uri.edu.

The event is co-sponsored by URI’s School of Education annual Robert and Augusta Annual Finkelstein Lecture Series, the Exeter-West Greenwich Regional School District, and the National Education Association-Rhode Island (NEA-RI) in collaboration with the South Kingstown School District and the URI chapter of Kappa Delta Pi International Education Honor Society.