How Children Fail

How Children Fail

How Children Fail

How Children Fail

Synopsis

Since its first publication in 1964, this book has helped two generations of parents and teachers understand what actually happens in the classroom. Holt's astute observation of children, his clear simple style, and his lifelong conviction that we can do better by our children make How Children Fail an enduring classic.

Excerpt

After this book came out, people used to say to me, "When are you going to write a book about how teachers fail?" My answer was, "But that's what this book is about."

But if it is a book about a teacher who often failed, it is also about a teacher who was not satisfied to fail, not resigned to failure. It was my job and my chosen task to help children learn things, and if they did not learn what I taught them, it was my job and task to try other ways of teaching them until I found ways that worked.

For many years now I've been urging and begging teachers and student teachers to take this attitude toward their work. Most respond by saying, "Why are you blaming us for everything that goes wrong in schools? Why are you trying to make us feel all this guilt?"

But I'm not. I didn't blame myself or feel guilt, just because my students were so often not learning what I was teaching, because I wasn't doing what I had set out to do and couldn't find out how to do it. But I did hold myself responsible.

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