Friday, May 1, 2009


"What children need is not new and better curricula but access to more and more of the real world; plenty of time and space to think over their experiences, and to use fantasy and play to make meaning out of them; and advice, road maps, guidebooks, to make it easier for them to get where they want to go (not where we think they ought to go), and to find out what they want to find out."

~John Holt~ Teach Your Own

"We teachers - perhaps all human beings - are in the grip of an astonishing delusion. We think that we can take a picture, a structure, a working model of something, constructed in our minds out of long experience and familiarity, and by turning that model into a string of words, transplant it whole into the mind of someone else. Perhaps once in a thousand times, when the explanation is extraordinary good, and the listener extraordinary experienced and skillful at turning word strings into non-verbal reality, and when the explainer and listener share in common many of the experiences being talked about, the process may work, and some real meaning may be communicated. Most of the time, explaining does not increase understanding, and may even lessen it."

~John Holt, (1923-1985) American Educator, How Children Learn

1 comment:


This is wonderful, a deep thought, and well-formulated ideas that resonate with my take on education. Do more, and let them learn.
I read about a teacher raising money for an small incubator for her elementary students on and I so wished someone in my son's school would do the same! That would be such a blast and tons of learning. In fact, I sometimes wonder if sending a child off to a farm for a couple to 4 months would do him by far more good than confining him to a walled in space where he is delivered daily by bus, shielded from all the wonderful things that this world is full of (granted shielded from a lot of bad things, too). How can one pass it through the school board?