My kids school is co-sponsoring a talk next month by Alfie Kohn. Having read one of his books a while ago, Unconditional Parenting, I am keen to go.
It's called "The Schools Our Children Deserve". Here's the blurb:
"Our knowledge of how children learn - and how schools can help - has come a long way in the past few decades. Unfortunately, most schools have not: They're still more about memorizing facts and practicing isolated skills than understanding ideas from the inside out; they still exclude students from any meaningful decision-making role; and they still rely on grades, tests, homework, lectures, worksheets, competition, punishments and rewards. Alfie kohn explores the alternatives to each of these conventional practices, explaining why progressive education isn't just a realistic alternative but oe that is far more likely to help kids become critical thinkers and lifelong learners."
Excellent stuff, check out his website and maybe he will be speaking near you soon.