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Author Alfie Kohn to Deliver Keynote Address for San Roque School Symposium

The inaugural event will begin with the talk on Aug. 12

San Roque School’s first educational symposium, titled “Symposium on Authentic Learning,” will feature keynote speaker Alfie Kohn.

Kohn, a leading figure in education and family relationships, and the author of nearly a dozen books on related topics, will address symposium attendees and interested members of the community at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 12 at San Roque School’s Garden Street Academy, 2300 Garden St. in Santa Barbara. The symposium will continue through Aug. 15.

Kohn’s condemnation of the long-established competitive/reward systems used by many national schools have led to a progressive movement among educators and parents to rethink this system.

“There is pressure to raise standardized test scores, something that progressive education manages to do only sometimes and by accident — not only because that isn’t its purpose but also because such tests measure what matters least,” Kohn once wrote. “The recognition of that fact explains why progressive schools would never dream of using standardized tests as part of their admissions process.

“More insidiously, though, we face pressure to standardize our practices in general. Thinking is messy, and deep thinking is really messy. This reality coexists uneasily with demands for order — in schools where the curriculum is supposed to be carefully coordinated across grade levels and planned well ahead of time, or in society at large.”

Dr. Phil Fitzsimmons, director of the San Roque Research Institute, came up with the idea for this first symposium and has been a driving force in the creation of the event.

The cost for the full symposium event and registration is $200. Partial event ticket prices are available online. Tickets to Kohn’s keynote event are $35 for the general public, $25 for educators and $10 for students.

To purchase tickets, click here or call 805.687.3717 x201 or 202.

— Kevin Redick is development director for San Roque School.

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