Gerber Institute at Newman University hosts lecture by author, education expert Alfie Kohn April 16

Mar 24, 2011

Nationally known author and education expert Alfie Kohn will present a lecture entitled “Don’t Beat Them, Join Them: Exploring the Value of Cooperation in a Society Addicted to Winning.” The presentation will take place Saturday, April 16 at Kapaun Mount Carmel High School, 8506 E. Central in Wichita. The event is free and open to the public, and is hosted by the Gerber Institute for Catholic Studies at Newman University.

Alfie KohnAs part of the Gerber Institute’s ongoing study of reconciliation, the presentation will highlight the negative effects of promoting competition in American education and explore the value of cooperative approaches as an alternative. The author of 12 books and scores of articles on education, parenting, and human behavior, Kohn has been featured on hundreds of TV and radio programs, including the “Today” show and two appearances on “Oprah,” and was described by 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 been widely discussed and debated by educators, parents, and business managers across the country and abroad.

Kohn’s books include Punished by Rewards (1993), Beyond Discipline (1996), The Schools Our Children Deserve (1999), Unconditional Parenting (2005), The Homework Myth (2006), and, most recently, Feel-Bad Education, which is due out this spring. Kohn has also written for most of the leading education periodicals. He lives in Boston, Mass., and spends much of his time traveling the United States working with educators and parents. For more information on Kohn, visit

The April 16 event will begin at 8:15 a.m., when doors will open and complimentary coffee and rolls will be served. Kohn will speak from 9 a.m. to noon. Breakout sessions and a pizza lunch will follow from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Lunch is $5, payable at the door.

The breakout sessions will be facilitated by Newman University faculty members and will allow participants to discuss their reactions to Kohn’s presentation. Sessions will be organized by topic and will include “Elementary Education,” with Associate Professor of Education Karen Rogers, Ed.D.; “Secondary Education” with Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Education Steve Dunn, Ed.D.; “Higher Education” with Assistant Professor of English/Composition Steve Poulter, Ph.D., and “Parenting” with Assistant Professor of English Marguerite Regan, Ph.D.

Eighth Day Books will have books by Kohn available for purchase throughout the event.

For more information contact Pam Polley at 316-942-4291, ext. 2308, or visit