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Instead of Education: Ways to Help People do Things Better Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Sentient Publications; 2nd edition (October 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591810094
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591810094
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This book turned my thinking upside down and changed the course of my life--it inspired me to let go of my career as a frustrated schoolteacher in favor of exploring and then advocating self-directed learning. As the homeschooling/unschooling population mushrooms, many fine books and other resources become available, but none replaces John Holt's visionary, revolutionary, attentive, and specific work, as radical now as it was 30 years ago. If you haven't read him, good chance you don't fully understand the depth or possibility of our movement. In Instead of Education, Holt addresses a huge question--how can people live and work more purposefully? In doing so, he tackles many medium-sized and smaller questions--What do schools really teach? What could libraries lend, in addition to books? Why do children seem happy in a particular school in Denmark? Throughout, his writing is--as usual--simultaneously reverent and scientific.
--Grace Llewellyn, author of The Teenage Liberation Handbook



Reading this book again, like reading Maria Montessori, fills me with a certain sadness that such clear vision, brilliant insight and profound understanding of the needs of children should have been offered time and again, for so many years, to be so largely ignored. With our schooling situation growing ever more deplorable, the plight of our educationally abused children worsening day by day, Holt’s work is more critically needed than ever. He spells out the problem and its solution with such clarity and simplicity that any parent can read him and every parent should. We ignore his prophetic vision at our peril.
--Joseph Chilton Pearce, author of The Magical Child



In Instead of Education ($15.95, Sentient Publications, Boulder, CO) John Holt says that parents must save their children from schools of all kinds because they kill creativity and do a bad job teaching even the basics. In short, this is a book about home schooling, one of the fastest growing trends in the nation. Why? Because the entire educational system in America has been steadily "dumbed down" since the 1960s. Holt has been a voice of common sense since the 1960s when his first book, How Children Fail, pointed out that you cannot force children to learn anything. Schools, since then, have been straight jackets into which both teachers and students are strapped by mandatory testing and, for seven million children, mind-altering drugs various "educators" decided these children needed. His new book is packed with great ideas and examples of how to create learning opportunities and environments outside of the established educational structure. This is an important book that every parent should read.
--Bookviews.com


John Holt was a prophetic voice in the educational wilderness who vividly explained why our system of schooling often frustrates genuine learning. He made this case quite clearly indeed in his groundbreaking work Instead of Education. It is as radically relevant to the educational challenges of our generation as it was to his.
--Ron Miller, Ph.D., author of Free Schools, Free People: Education and Democracy After the 1960s

--


Be clear about this: Instead of Education, although less widely known than his more famous titles, is John Holt at the top of his game. If you are one of the millions of walking wounded still staggering from your own encounter with forced institutional schooling, and trying to spare your own kids from its damage, this book will be your guide and a good friend.
--John Taylor Gatto, former New York State Teacher of the Year, author of Dumbing Us Down and The Underground History of American Education

About the Author

John Holt was a fifth grade teacher who worked in private schools. In 1964, his book How Children Fail created an uproar with his observations that forcing children to learn makes them unnaturally self-conscious about learning and stifles children's initiative and creativity by making them focus on how to please the teachers and the schools with the answers they will reward best. His subsequent book, How Children Learn (1967), also became widely known. The two are still in print and together they have sold over a million and a half copies and have been translated into over 14 languages. Holt went on to become a visiting lecturer at Harvard and Berkeley, but his tenure at both places was short-lived. Holt did not feel the school establishment was serious about change in the ways he wanted to go, such as changing the relationship of the child to the teacher and the school to the community. In 1985, John Holt died of cancer at the age of 62, having written 10 books that were very influential in the development of the homeschooling and unschooling movements.

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Customer Reviews

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He talks about a self-directed learning process that makes a lot of sense.
Steve Ray
It's the sixth book of Holt I have read so far and probably the most syntetic; he outlines not only the problems but also the solutions.
Dorota Konowrocka
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in schooling, education, and providing children and teens with quality experience.
Henry

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Dorota Konowrocka on January 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
It's the sixth book of Holt I have read so far and probably the most syntetic; he outlines not only the problems but also the solutions. He has no mercy for knowing-better educators, T-eachers working not FOR, but ON students, S-chools full of fear and anxiety and humiliation, coercion, mindlessness, forced learning, carrot-and-stick attitude; and great appreciation for sensitive, competent t-eachers that are models themselves, self-directed do-ers and s-chools that are not compulsory and help their students to thing better on their own terms. Holt's radical vision is very clear, very understandable; his solutions so natural that they seem to be inevitable and not radical at all. His ability to deconstruct the mechanisms of human learning and expose the hidden curriculum of public schools and social system we live in is outstanding. The book is worth every minute you spend on reading.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Henry on June 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
I have read a lot of Holt's books, but this is one of the best. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in schooling, education, and providing children and teens with quality experience. As a public school teacher, I can say every word in this rings with sheer brilliance. I disagree that school can cause injury or damage, but I do agree that the hours, years in school could be spent much more fruitfully, authentically, and enjoyably.
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33 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on October 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
Instead Of Education: Ways To Help People Do Things Better by alternative education advocate John Holt (author of the 1964 book How Children Fail) is an iconoclastic and seminal work presenting a persuasively argued case for "un-schooling" from traditional classroom structures and curriculum fare, to innovative, self-directed learning as the basis for a truly creative life. A direct challenge to the complacency of today's educational status quo (even in this political age of "no child left behind" and school voucher proposals), Instead Of Education should be required reading in every Teacher's College, District School Board, and governmental education policy development office whether it be federal, state, or local. Instead Of Education is a significant and seminal contribution to education policy discussions and commended to the attention of education reform activists at all levels and from all perspectives.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nechama P on June 16, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Written after he worked out most of his ideas on education, this book is concise and brilliant, making John Holt's position on schooling so clear you can't help but agree with him! I am passionate about unschooling, and this book helps you formulate answers to the questions people will as you when they hear you are against compulsory schooling. If you like John Holt you will love this book, and if you've never read him, be prepared for something good!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kyle Dehoff on December 6, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Another amazing work by John Holt- great for anyone questioning the public education system or considering homeschooling or unschooling. SO worth the money- a lifechanger!
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