On Saturday, March 12, 2011, I had the privilege of going to the 24th Annual Early Childhood Conference 2001 on my very favorite campus at Xavier University. This conference was Montessori in nature and supported by the Montessori Education Department at Xavier University. Alfie Kohn was featured as the keynote speaker. His speech was titled: Teaching Children to Care. Here is my take on his talk:
Kohn opened up his speech asking the audience of predominately parents and Montessori affiliates what is one thing that they wished to instill in children. As a group we came up with a laundry list including: stewardship, mindful, compassionate, caring, global citizen, helping, satisfied, problem-solvers…. Kohn put all of these characteristics into a well-crafted sentence about what we wish to instill in children and then went on to talk about the ways in which we keep this from ever happening because our approach to teaching and guiding children is all wrong!