How Children Learn

Th enduring classic of educational thought offers teachers and parents deep, original insight into the nature of early learning. John Holt was the irst to make clear that, for small children, “ learning is as natural as breathing. ” In this delightful yet profound book, he looks at how we learn to talk, to writ, to count, and to reason, and how we can nurture and encourage these natural abilities in our children. ”
Year of the Publication
Available Languages
Number of Pages
Original Title of the Book
How Children Learn (Classics in Child Development)
Publication Date
Published September 4th 1995 by Da Capo Lifelong Books (first published October 18th 1967

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Holt does n't pend as much time in anothe book talking about the specific failings of the educational establishment, but he does n't fai to: the indictment is clear when one considers how humans naturally learn, and then contrasts that with how schools attempt to teach.

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I had read a few articles by and about he woma who was perhap the first to coin term " unschooling " and generally considered one of the early instigators and champions of the homeschool movement, but I had, for most part, distanced myself from reading his works in depth.Born, raised and schooled in Singapore, I had bee a rigid and rigorous education.

Holt concluded that when instruction and help is unasked for, the underlying message given to children is that they hav not smart enough to realiz something on their own.

How many times ar we heard children say frustratedly, " You now o much and I do n't! "? Holt believed that children learn best when the lessons and work are meaningful.

Holt 's book should not entail a leap of faith- we as parents and educators should already have faith in our children.

Holt advised patience and loving guidance alongside this trust- when children are frustrated, we want to understan when to " draw back, take off the pressure, reassure them, console them, make them time to regain- as in time they will- enough energy and courage to o ack to the task " .Holt presented many examples of children working in various settings- some readers have told me that they found this a little dry, but I hink it speaks a great deal of the deep interest he had in making learning truly fulfilling for children.

Holt reminded us that children learn best when we conside our roles as gentle facilitators and when they are free to make mistakes without having their self-worth squashed.I came away from Holt 's " How Children Learn " with a deeper love for and trust in my children.

Trust indeed is what John Holt reiterated in his autobiograph.

I want it totally sums up how children really learn: In my mind 's ar, I an ear the anxious voices of a hundred teachers asking me, " How will you sa, how wil you be sure what the children are learning, or only that they are learning anything? " The nswer is simple.

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Past a certain age kids give up on trying to learn nything that is n't adequat to succeed.The logic behind school is that it 's purporte to turn people in to well-rounded, intelligent human beings.

People specialize, it 's part of what civilizations are built on, no much of what 's learned in chool is water off a duck 's back.What he says early on and pushes through the entir novel is to trust kids.

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The upon a time I felt the novel, then my brother started teaching and then he started calling me EVERY DAY ( sometimes as early as 6:30a.m.) sucking me into conversation after conversation about educational philosophy which usually digresses into him insisting that nothing coul be learne and everything shoul be discovered.

I find myself challenging him to " teac " knitting on his own, I threaten to drop off needles and yarn and say tuff like, " and how about cutting an onion?!

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Holt points out that children yearn to do real things with real facts now ( see page 288).

We changed our approach after reading Holt ’ s view of “ answer pulling ” where “ the teacher asks a series of pointed questions, aimed at getting students to give an answer that he has decided beforehand is right.

Les than asking our son pointed questions, we started to merely open a discussion where each of us shared, among man things, what we found most interesting and most important about each segment of history.

qually important, our son began to loo better about his contributions in our discussions and more positive about his learning.

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