ERIC Number: ED495278
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Remember John Holt and "How Children Fail?" A Book Review
Costley, Kevin C.
In the book, "How Children Fail", John Holt simply but honestly records classroom interactions in a refreshing, realistic and humorous style of delivery. Many of Holt's real stories have to do with teachers often falling into the trap of asking students questions and looking only for "right answers." Holt's main thrust is child failure in a success oriented culture. He is alarmed at the increasing role of failure in American schools. He warns against teachers using subject-matter in an end itself. Holt believes that teachers teach subjects rather than teach students. By teaching only subjects, abstraction, curiosity, appreciation, discovery interaction, exploration, and intrinsic motivation are suppressed. Ironically these qualities are professed to be objectives of American education. Even students who consistently make higher grades often times fail to develop creativity and understanding. Holt is also concerned with schools where children are made go go and often fail because of high adult expectations. He is also concerned with scared learners. The author of this article maintains that schools have improved since the writing of this book. Schools are a kinder and more humane place to be. Teachers are now learning to connect with children's backgrounds and prior experiences, implementing more diverse and appropriate lessons. Teachers listen to children more and demonstrate mutual respect. Today there are less scared learners who embrace each day at school with enthusiasm without fear.
Publication Type: Book/Product Reviews
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A