Alfie Kohn

Education, Human Behavior and Parenting Speaker and Author

Alfie Kohn writes and speaks widely on human behavior, education, and parenting. The latest of his twelve books are FEEL-BAD EDUCATION...and Other Contrarian Essays on Children and Schooling (2011), THE HOMEWORK MYTH: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing (2006) and UNCONDITIONAL PARENTING: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason (2005). Of his earlier titles, the best known are PUNISHED BY REWARDS: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise, and Other Bribes (1993), NO CONTEST: The Case Against Competition (1986), and THE SCHOOLS OUR CHILDREN DESERVE: Moving Beyond Traditional Classrooms and "Tougher Standards" (1999). 

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 Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, German, Italian, Swedish, Dutch, Bulgarian, Portuguese, Arabic, Hebrew, Thai, and Malaysian. 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 Atlantic Monthly, Parents, and Psychology Today. 

His many articles on education include a dozen widely reprinted essays in Phi Delta Kappan from 1991 to 2008. Among them: "Choices for Children: Why and How to Let Students Decide," "How Not to Teach Values: A Critical Look at Character Education," "Test Today, Privatize Tomorrow," and "Why Self-Discipline is Overrated." Kohn, the father of two children, lives (actually) in the Boston area.  To book education speaker Alfie Kohn call Executive Speakers Bureau 901-754-9404.

See Below for Full Bio

  • Speaking Topics:

    Education, Parenting / Family, Youth

  • Travels From:

    Massachusetts

  • Price:

    $7,500 - $10,000

    Notes on Fees

  • Videos
  • Full Bio
  • Speech Topics
  • Books
  • Testimonials
  • News

Alfie Kohn

Alfie Kohn writes and speaks widely on human behavior, education, and parenting. The latest of his twelve books are FEEL-BAD EDUCATION...and Other Contrarian Essays on Children and Schooling (2011), THE HOMEWORK MYTH: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing (2006) and UNCONDITIONAL PARENTING: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason (2005). Of his earlier titles, the best known are PUNISHED BY REWARDS: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise, and Other Bribes (1993), NO CONTEST: The Case Against Competition (1986), and THE SCHOOLS OUR CHILDREN DESERVE: Moving Beyond Traditional Classrooms and "Tougher Standards" (1999). 

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 Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, German, Italian, Swedish, Dutch, Bulgarian, Portuguese, Arabic, Hebrew, Thai, and Malaysian. 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 Atlantic Monthly, Parents, and Psychology Today. 

His many articles on education include a dozen widely reprinted essays in Phi Delta Kappan from 1991 to 2008. Among them: "Choices for Children: Why and How to Let Students Decide," "How Not to Teach Values: A Critical Look at Character Education," "Test Today, Privatize Tomorrow," and "Why Self-Discipline is Overrated." Kohn, the father of two children, lives (actually) in the Boston area.  To book education speaker Alfie Kohn call Executive Speakers Bureau 901-754-9404.

Talks for Educators

  • THE DEADLY EFFECTS OF "TOUGHER STANDARDS": Challenging High-Stakes Testing and Other Impediments to Learning
  • PERFORMANCE VS. LEARNING: The Costs of Overemphasizing Achievement
  • OVERHAULING THE TRANSMISSION MODEL
  • ON BRIBING STUDENTS TO LEARN: Second Thoughts About A's, Praise, Stickers, and Contests
  • CHOICES FOR CHILDREN: From Coercion to Community
  • FROM DEGRADING TO DE-GRADING: Basic Questions About Assessment
  • THE CASE AGAINST COMPETITION
  • TEACHING CHILDREN TO CARE
  • THE (PROGRESSIVE) SCHOOLS OUR CHILDREN DESERVE
  • CHALLENGING STUDENTS . . . AND HOW TO HAVE MORE OF THEM
  • THE HOMEWORK MYTH

Please note that this list is not exhaustive. Alfie Kohn also speaks about issues of particular concern to specific groups, such as those in the field of special education, Montessori teachers, college instructors, mentor teachers, reading specialists, school psychologists, and health educators -- as well as those concerned with multiage learning, multicultural education, authentic assessment, character education, teacher compensation, retention in grade, and other issues. 

Longer Workshops for Educators

  • MOTIVATION FROM THE INSIDE OUT: Rethinking Rewards, Assessment, and Learning
  • THE DEADLY EFFECTS OF "TOUGHER STANDARDS"
  • BEYOND BRIBES AND THREATS: Realistic Alternatives to Controlling Students’ Behavior 

Talks for Parents

  • UNCONDITIONAL PARENTING: Beyond Bribes and Threats
  • RAISING REBELS: Helping Kids to Challenge the Status Quo
  • PUSHED TOO HARD: Parenting in an Achievement-Crazy Culture

Other possible lectures involve adaptations of the presentations for educators listed above -- for example, what parents need to know about . . .

  • homework: why there's no benefit to making kids work what amounts to a second shift, and what we can do to reclaim family time
  • motivation to learn: why grades and other rewards prove counterproductive
  • progressive education: why it makes more sense than traditional instruction
  • competition: why all our children ultimately lose in the race to win - at home, at school, and at play.
No Testimonials Found For this Speaker!
No News Found For this Speaker!
X

FIND A SPEAKER

TESTIMONIALS

Testimonials
  • "Everyone loved Bob and he was so nice on site. Thank you for all you did. The process was so easy and we will definitely work with you again next yea...
    NBC
  • We could not have done it without you.  Thank you for the outstanding suggestions.  The speakers were by far the best we have ever had.
    FedEx
  • We truly appreciate the excellent support and attention to detail we have received from Executive Speakers Bureau.  They have provided us with so...
    IBM
  • Everything went really well and we really enjoyed having Jack Uldrich as our speaker!  He was entertaining and funny and provided great examples....
    Novo Nordisk
  • "Your tenacity and persistence in staying in touch with us is a model example of good salesmanship and partnering.  I will be using you as an exa...
    Schneider Electric
  • "WOW, is all I have to say and thank you!  Our event was a huge success and you never steer me wrong, both David Cottrell and Ryan Estis were exc...
    ICMI
  • I want to thank you for all of your assistance you and Jenny were wonderful. If it had not been for you sending me suggestions I would not have found ...
    West Virginia Tourism
  • “Thank you guys it was a pleasure working with you.... You made the whole process easy. Thanks again”
    CableNation
  • "My entire team has enjoyed the experience of working with you and ESB more than words can express. Everything was handled in a professional and timel...
    Cregger Company
  • "I LOVE this list that you sent me! I emailed several different places on Tuesday an...
    CoreLogic
  • "As I mentioned before, your engagement model was incredibly easy to work with, and I know we came to you on short notice!  I would highly recomm...
    Capitol One
  • "Richard, Your ability to put me in front of just the right group again and again, is nothing short of amazing. You work your tail off, you sweat the ...
    Alan Hobson
  • "Thanks to you and Jo for all your efforts.  Connie Podesta and Roger Dow were great!"   
    National Apartment Association
  • "My mind was very much at ease knowing that Jack Uldrich was so well prepped.  I will definitely use your agency again."  
    EAIE
  • Angela, you & your team have my endorsement for making Memphis events successful. People should use you to plan their next event.
  • Mr. Schelp you are a Rock Star! Thank you!!!  Deal #7 is done and more to come!
  • "I appreciate your recommendations.  In addition, you are always a pleasure to work with and understand the pains of an over worked meeting plann...
    Milliman
  • "We not only went 3 for 3 but I'd say they were all home runs! Thanks for your help on the speakers. It was a key and very positive component of our c...
    Chem-Dry
  • The Nebraska Hospital Association along with numerous other state hospital associations have enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Executive Speak...
    The Nebraska Hospital Association
  • The event was EASY Cake! and it went over very very well.  Thank you so much for the help and organization, it made my life very easy. 
    Boys & Girls Club
  • "Let me just say again, what a pleasure it is to work with you and ESB. You really make it harder for others to reach the bar."
    ASTD
  • "The group that I work with to obtain all of my keynote speakers is Executive Speakers Bureau and I can tell you that I don’t like working with ...
    Indiana Youth Institute
  • Our bank has held an annual business and economic conference for the past 9 years.  We have worked with Executive Speakers every year and I have ...
    First Midwest Bank
  • You ladies really are the BEST!  After this event I am going to be on the hunt for keynote speakers in May.  I really want to work with you ...
    ICMI
  • "You made my job so much easier! You are the only bureau I will use."     
    Sigma Systems
  • "I want to thank you for helping with our Principals Day event. Marshall Goldsmith was excellent. Not only is Marshall the consummate professional, be...
    Burns & McDonnell
  • Thank you to both of you for everything surrounding Mr. Will as our special guest. I suspect, soon, I will be in touch regarding our next event. 
    Oxford Financial
  • "Thank you so much for all your help in putting this together on such short notice. I will definitely use your services again in the future."
    Applied Materials
  • I’ve used the services of a number of speakers bureaus in the past. However, my current experience working with the Executive Speakers Bureau ha...
    Intel
  • Bridgeworks was awesome!!! Great feedback from all!! Thanks for all of your collaboration and positive we'll use you in the future.  
    Johnson & Johnson
  • Thanks to you, Jo and the rest of your team.  You are the BEST.  Knowing you are behind a speaker allows us the luxury of concentrating on o...
    Ohio Hospital Association
  • "We loved our speakers. Thanks to you and your team for your outstanding service and thank you for your patience!"

    National Association of the Blind
  • As always, you deliver excellent service. Thanks!
    Camden National Bank
  • "I will be sure that all involved know what a wonderful resource you have been. The universe smiled on me when I discovered Executive Speakers and you...
    Ocala Eye
  • Thanks to Richard and Jo for all the coordination. Another homerun from Executive Speakers Bureau!  
    Wisconsin Hospital Association
  • "I wanted to share with you feedback of my experience in working with Executive Speakers Bureau.. Very responsive and detail oriented.  When I wa...
    Amdocs
  • "OMG Richard! As always you make me look like a rock star. Every single speaker we selected hit it out of the park. Thank you again. Can't even say wh...
    Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Assn.
Need Suggestions? Have Questions?

Need Suggestions? Have Questions?

Call us to discuss how we can help find the right speaker for your organization.

Get Ideas in 2 Hours or Less

Please fill in information below

Executive Speakers Bureau consistently receives praises about our speed and efficiency. From the beginning of your event planning, our extensive online speaker database and resourceful staff allow us to quickly equip you with the best speaker for your event.

Need a last minute speaker? No worries. Our speed and efficiency help us give you ideas for speakers in two hours or less.


Privacy by SafeSubscribeSM