Live in the present moment wisely and earnestly

Today, I chance upon
Title of youtube: Alfie Kohn – The (Alternative) Schools Our Kids Deserve – 2011 MAAP Conference


Who is Alfie Kohn?
Alfie Kohn (b. October 15, 1957) is an American author and lecturer who has explored a number of topics in education, parenting, and human behavior. He is considered a leading figure in progressive education and has also offered critiques of many traditional aspects of parenting, managing, and American society more generally, drawing in each case from social science research. (wikipedia)

My thoughts:
WOW! He is talking about stuff that has been going round my head!!! It is the SYSTEM – well, I understand that when we have to facilitate a large group of people, a system is required to be drawn up to execute stuff smoother. BUT in this current society (perhaps in societies of all times???), there is TOO MUCH FOCUS IN THE SYSTEM. Just like what we want to improve, we REFORM, and put out that plan, that approach and expect all middle managing people to just follow without questioning. IT IS PEOPLE, especially little people with the pure, growing mind and heart little souls that we are dealing with, it is a machinery reform, it is not a data processing re-download that we should consider ourselves need to be effective to get done, to change within months, and even 1-2 years, WE ARE TALKING AND DEALING WITH SOULS – it is the honest, loving interaction that we need, YET we put so much focus into a crafted approach. Okay, even if this has worked in anther country, there is other context that comes along! Context like the social background, the nature, the way of teaching, thinking etc are DIFFERENT! It is like taking a customised container that used to store that container’s stuff, and now shoving our stuff in and expect it to work greatly. IT WILL WORK, BUT the continuity, the smooth transition, and not just JERKING THE SOUL every now and then!

Then, again, WHAT IS THE PURPOSE? What is the TRUE NEED?

Once more, my mind race with questions, my being act with discomfort at a pace that physically I do not know what to do, and actually feel not equipped enough to do something physical about it. This bothers me – if only letting the mind, the heart know and feel, then a purpose should rise with actions?!!!!

Further associated thoughts:
WHAT DO I LOVE? Souls in the young body to be truly happy, to be knowing, when those in the old body seem out of my reach, so conditioned. And now, with the new added consideration, REMEMBER ME.
The Balancing act takes place again.

Next, haven’t and may not be researching into this, but there is/are school/schools that do not grade. I guess small size is required?
Hodgkins Elementary School Creates Environment With No Grades, No Grade Levels

At a Denver area elementary school, students are organized into classes in an unconventional manner — they are arranged by what they know, not their age or mandatory grade level.

All Hodgkins Elementary School students learn at their own pace and are grouped together for specific lessons based on their skills in that area, CNN reports.

The school has no grades or grade levels.

Is this a good model? Share your opinion in the comments section below.

The youtube is filled with a CNN news about the school:

Back to Alfie Kohn,he even believes Reward is not good, to put this simply.


Punished by Rewards

The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s, Praise, and Other Bribes

(Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1993 / 1999)

1999 edition features a new Afterword by the author

From the Book Flap:

Our basic strategy for raising children, teaching students, and managing workers can be summarized in six words: Do this and you’ll get that. We dangle goodies (from candy bars to sales commissions) in front of people in much the same way that we train the family pet.

In this groundbreaking book, Alfie Kohn shows that while manipulating people with incentives seems to work in the short run, it is a strategy that ultimately fails and even does lasting harm.  Our workplaces and classrooms will continue to decline, he argues, until we begin to question our reliance on a theory of motivation derived from laboratory animals.

Drawing from hundreds of studies, Kohn demonstrates that people actually do inferior work when they are enticed with money, grades, or other incentives. Programs that use rewards to change people’s behavior are similarly ineffective over the long run. Promising goodies to children for good behavior can never produce anything more than temporary obedience. In fact, the more we use artificial inducements to motivate people, the more they lose interest in what we’re bribing them to do. Rewards turn play into work, and work into drudgery.

Step by step, Kohn marshals research and logic to prove that  pay-for-performance plans cannot work; the more an organization relies on incentives, the worse things get. Parents and teachers who care about helping students to learn, meanwhile, should be doing everything possible to help them forget that grades exist. Even praise can become a verbal bribe that gets kids hooked on our approval.

Rewards and punishments are just two sides of the same coin — and the coin doesn’t buy very much. What is needed, Kohn explains, is an alternative to both ways of controlling people. The final chapters offer a practical set of strategies for parents, teachers,  and managers that move beyond the use of carrots or sticks.

Seasoned with humor and familiar examples, Punished by Rewards presents an argument that is unsettling to hear but impossible to dismiss.

What People are Saying:
“Wonderfully clear, provocative, and satisfying. Alfie Kohn’s groundbreaking exploration of the harmful effects of rewards should be mandatory reading for every parent and teacher.”

— Adele Faber, co-author of

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk

“Once again, Alfie Kohn destroys a universal myth — this time convincingly exposing the destructive effects of using rewards to control children and adults. Every parent, teacher, and manager should read this book — and hurry.”

— Thomas Gordon, founder of

Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.)

“Unorthodox, occasionally utopian, revolutionary in its implications, this eye-opening critique of behaviorist reward-and-punishment psychology will challenge and enlighten parents, teachers, managers, and the general reader.”

Publishers Weekly [starred review]

“A compelling argument that the use of rewards is counterproductive in raising children, teaching students, and managing workers….A clear, convincing demonstration…written with style, humor, and authority.”


“Kohn…marshals impressive theoretical support and, at the same time, uses humor disarmingly to argue his case.”


Table of Contents:
PART ONE – The Case Against Rewards
1 Skinner-Boxed:  The Legacy of Behaviorism
2 Is It Right to Reward?
3 Is It Effective to Reward?
4 The Trouble with Carrots:  Four Reasons Rewards Fail
5 Cutting the Interest Rate:  The Fifth Reason Rewards Fail
6 The Praise Problem
PART TWO – Rewards in Practice
7 Pay for Performance: Why Behaviorism Doesn’t Work in the Workplace
8 Lures for Learning: Why Behaviorism Doesn’t Work in the Classroom
9 Bribes for Behaving:  Why Behaviorism Doesn’t Help Children Become Good People
PART THREE – Beyond Rewards
10 Thank God It’s Monday: The Roots of Motivation in the Workplace
11 Hooked on Learning:  The Roots of Motivation in the Classroom
12 Good Kids Without Goodies
Appendix A:  A Conversation with B.F. Skinner
Appendix B:  What Is Intrinsic Motivation?
Appendix C:  The Behaviorists Talk Back

SO, with these thoughts of mine, this discomfort – WHAT AM I SUPPOSE TO DO?

It is almost what am I suppose to do this life without reqgretting?  

I do not know yet …


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