Segments in this Video

Beyond the Standards Movement: Introduction (03:07)


The standards movement is focused on tougher standards and increased accountability. Alfie Kohn believes it negatively affects education.

Why Kids Learn (03:01)

Kohn states that psychological research shows a big gulf between a focus on performance and a focus on learning. Students become preoccupied with ability, prefer easy tasks, and are devastated by failure.

Less Interested in Learning (02:16)

Focusing heavily on grades distracts Students attribute academic success or failure to their intelligence, not their effort.

Focused on Performance (03:10)

Students typically choose easy subjects. When challenged, students may be devastated by failure. Kohn believes their learning is shallow and we need to look closer at the standards movement.

It's About Learning (01:38)

Standardized tests fail to capture what matters most about student understanding and teacher instruction.

Problems with Testing (02:52)

Learn the difficulties with multiple-choice tests, timed tests, and testing too often or too young; tests that are norm-referenced rank students.

Exhibitions (02:54)

Using exhibitions helps teachers place emphasis on equipping the student, not conveying material.

Back to Basics (02:15)

Adults are content with old-fashioned education and rote memorization because it is familiar. Kohn explains that better methods are out there, but standardized tests inhibit their use.

Special Needs Students (02:24)

Current standards do not account for special needs students. The best kind of standards are those that provide guidance in broad terms. Kohn explains the TIMSS study.

Education Support (01:39)

Kohn says legislators need to support teachers who understand how education works.

High Stakes Testing (01:22)

Kohn believes high-stakes testing coerces teachers and students into jumping through hoops. Accountability is a code word for more control over schools.

Raise the Bar (02:07)

Education is about making learning better, not harder. Kohn says most adults could not pass a high school exit exam because it does not assess the things we value in life.

Values of Our Country (03:28)

The strength of America is its diversity so we must enforce diversity in public schools; "tougher standards" is a political slogan.

U.S. Testing (01:47)

To counter the standards movement, we must educate the public about the danger of emphasizing test scores. Kohn states that the U.S. does the most testing.

Is the Standards Movement Too Political? (04:23)

Parents and teachers are starting to fight standardized testing. Kohn emphasizes that teachers need to show they are not afraid of being measured.

Credits: Beyond the Standards Movement (00:57)

Credits: Beyond the Standards Movement

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

Beyond the Standards Movement

3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Everyone is talking about tougher standards, increased accountability, and the need for higher test scores. On one level, it all sounds very appealing - and, indeed, state after state has pushed to "raise the bar" and impose testing programs with high stakes attached. But one prominent and respected voice is crying out to us to stop and reflect on this stampede. Alfie Kohn, nationally renowned lecturer and author of The Schools Our Children Deserve, offers a powerful argument against the obsession with standardized tests and the tendency to place so much emphasis on student performance that the process of learning becomes endangered. He presents a compelling case that a preoccupation with raising standards may have exactly the opposite effect. This video is essential viewing for all individuals who care about education.

Length: 42 minutes

Item#: BVL60319

Copyright date: ©2000

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.