Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Learning All the Time

Here are some of my favorite quotes from John Holt's Learning All the Time:
Real learning is a process of discovery, and if we want it to happen, we must create the kinds of conditions in which discoveries are made. We know what these are. They include time, leisure, freedom, and lack of pressure.  
...what often happens to kids in school is that they are required to repeat, as sense, what makes no sense to them, to the point where they give up trying to reconcile what people say about the world with what they really feel about it. They accept as true whatever authority says is true. They do not try to check or test it. They soon forget even how to test it.
What children want and need from us is thoughtful attention. They want us to notice them and pay some kind of attention to what they do, to take them seriously, to trust and respect them as human beings. They want courtesy and politeness, but they don't need much praise.
...organized education operates on the assumption that children learn only when and only what and only because we teach them. This is not true. It is very close to one hundred percent false.
The idea, the very idea, that we can teach small children how to learn has come to me to seem utterly absurd.

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