Books and Movies Reviews

What Does it Mean to be Well Educated by Alfie Kohn

What Does it Mean to be Well Educated by Alfie Kohn is a book designed to open one's eyes to some of the pitfalls and wonders of becoming a teacher. In the book Kohn blueprints his understanding of the system of education in America.
Kohn, who is well known for his disregard for the standardized school test revisits that testing system in the book, however he also deal with many other issues that have recently been faced by the educational system of the country. How educators dealt with the weeks and months following 9/11 as well as school violence are two of the recent school issues that he takes on. According to Kohn the corporate business world has turned education of the nation's children into a multi billion dollar enterprise. The companies that have jumped on the band wagon sell standardized test instruments, materials to prepare for them and millions off dollars in sales for books on how to teach to the test.
He constructs a road map for the reader in which the link between such businesses and more global social concerns can be clearly illuminated.
Kohn illustrates throughout the book his belief that the return to student focus in education is the way to improve the country's public school setting. Kohn believes that using student interest, using more subjective methods to assess progress and not depending on a single standardized testing system are all steps that will improve the quality of education and ultimately the outcome of American society.
Kohn does not offer any exacting alternatives which is the point of the whole book. As much as he rails against being forced to measure a student's progress through the use of a standardized test, he puts his money where his mouth is by refusing to outline an alternative. He instead, challenges the readers to come up with alternative and pleasing methods by which to measure a student's progress.
Kohn's dislike of all narrowly confined ways …

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