The first full day of conference activities kept all the attendees busy in Louisville today. We kicked off the day with a memorable presentation given by Alfie Kohn. According to Kohn's website, his "criticisms of competition and rewards have been widely discussed and debated, and he has been described in Time magazine as "perhaps the country's most outspoken critic of education's fixation on grades [and] test scores." Kohn had the very large general session crowd laughing as well as looking at the topics of assessment and standardized testing in a whole new light. He also directed anyone seeking further information about his work to reference his website at www.alfiekohn.org.
Another highlight of the first general session was the much-anticipated presentation
of the Program Excellence Awards. It's always inspirational to watch these teachers and
their programs get this much-deserved recognition. It's also always impressive to see all the past Program Excellence Award recipients stand and be recognized.
Immediately following the general session was the grand opening of the exhibit floor. Throngs of attendees flowed around the exhibits, spending time speaking one-on-one with vendors and learning about a number of new products. Thursday also including a full slate of special interest sessions on a wide variety of topics.
There are so many interesting people here. Two who caught my particular attention are the ladies pictured below, holding their traveling companions: two "Flat Stanleys."