How Children Learn

How Children Learn

How Children Learn

How Children Learn

Synopsis

"Children do not need to be made to learn", Holt maintains, because each is born with what Einstein called "the holy curiosity of inquiry". For them, learning is as natural as breathing. First published in 1967, How Children Learn has become a classic for parents and teachers, providing an "effective, gentle voice of reason" (Life).

Excerpt

How Children Fail described children using their minds badly. This book tries to describe children--in a few cases, adults--using their minds well, learning boldly and effectively. Some of the children described are in school; most are not yet old enough. It is before they get to school that children are likely to do their best learning. Many experts agree that this is so, though they differ about the reason. I believe, and try to show here, that in most situations our minds work best when we use them in a certain way, and that young children tend to learn better than grownups (and better than they themselves will when they are older) because they use their minds in a special way. in short, children have a style of learning that fits their condition, and which they use naturally and well until we train them out of it. We like to say that we send children to school to teach them to think. What we do, all too often, is to teach them to think badly, to give up a natural and powerful way of thinking in favor of a method that does not work well for them and that we rarely use ourselves.

Worse than that, we convince most of them that, at least in a school setting, or any situation where words or symbols or abstract thought are concerned, they can't think at all. They think of themselves as . . .

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