Alfie Kohn ( is the author of fourteen books and a well-known advocate of progressive education. Mr. Kohn discusses the purpose behind his 30+ years of advocacy, his critique of “grit” and “growth mindset”, and his take on the classic progressive school models (Montessori/Waldorf/Reggio) as well as homeschooling, unschooling, and highly self-directed schools & centers. He expresses concern over the extreme varieties of self-directed education and argues for the vital role of teachers (and other actively-involved adults) in education. We end by identifying common ground between the self-directed and progressive education movements.

The following articles are referenced in this interview:

The Trouble with Pure Freedom (by Alfie Kohn):

The Progressive Teacher’s Role in the Classroom (by Alfie Kohn):

Rewards Are Still Bad News (25 Years Later) (by Alfie Kohn):

Differences Between Self-Directed and Progressive Education (by Peter Gray):

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