Alfie Kohn (born October 15, 1957) is an American author and lecturer in the areas of education, parenting, and human behavior. He is a proponent of progressive education and has offered critiques of many traditional aspects of parenting, managing, and American society more generally, drawing in each case from social science research.
Kohn's challenges to widely accepted theories and practices have made him a controversial figure, particularly with behaviorists, conservatives, and those who defend the practices he calls into question, such as the use of competition, incentive programs, conventional discipline, standardized testing, grades, homework, and traditional schooling.
Kohn was born in Miami Beach, Florida. He earned a B.A. from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island in 1979, having created his own interdisciplinary course of study, and an M.A. in the social sciences from the University of Chicago in Illinois in 1980.
He lives in the Boston area and works as an independent scholar, writing books about research in the areas of education, parenting, and human behavior.