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The Discipline of Hope: Learning from a Lifetime of Teaching Paperback


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The Discipline of Hope: Learning from a Lifetime of Teaching + Situated Language and Learning: A Critique of Traditional Schooling (Literacies)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: New Press, The (October 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156584632X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565846326
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #391,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This is a sort of Man's Search for Meaning for educators. Why teach when America's educational system is in shambles and the students would rather scribble graffiti than learn how to write persuasive essays? Kohl, author of more than 40 books (including the classic chronicle of inner-city schools, 36 Children), offers provocative reasons in this retrospective of his decades as an innovative teacher of all grades, from kindergarten to college-level.

Kohl doesn't sugarcoat his career; he acknowledges his missteps. But he focuses on the core of his teaching style: he triumphantly looks to his students for inspiration. Kohl also forms his curriculums with his students, not for them: he included street theater and poetry writing in an alternative storefront classroom in Berkeley, California, in the 1960s, and convinced an elementary school to serve in its cafeteria the produce grown in a student-cultivated garden. Although his students were disrupted by the Vietnam War, by poverty, and by the civil rights movement, he formed lasting bonds with them--some children whom he taught in kindergarten reappear in his college lecture halls. This is a book for both freshly certified teachers and veterans, as Kohl reassuringly illustrates that through the faith and creativity of teachers, the spirit and love of learning will emerge in students. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Kohl (36 Children; Should We Burn Babar?), the well-known educational theorist and practitioner, relives four decades of helping children learn. Although he has always worn his progressive credentials on his sleeve, school reform is not his focus here. From his first encounters in New York's embattled Harlem schools in 1962, he describes how he came to champion education "on the ground," the complex interaction of teacher and students, and the "discipline of hope," which sets no limits on what and when a person can learn. Modestly boastful, Kohl recalls the ways he not only "learned to teach better," but the surprising way his students' approaches to new learning challenges enriched him. Kohl never stayed still but always looked for new challenges?even volunteering to teach kindergarten, "the hardest teaching job I have ever had, and one of the most magical." Class notes, assignments, school papers and testimony from students of all levels (even kindergartners, whom Kohl taught for free later in life as the fulfillment of a dream), show him to be an imaginative instructor and advocate for kids of every age and background. While most valuable for teachers looking for the instruction and inspiration of "an ongoing love affair with teaching," Kohl's book is also intriguing for anyone interested in how children learn and how we all help and hinder that process.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 18, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Above all, Herbert Kohn, teacher extraordinary, says we must listen to children so we can discover how to teach them. Then, he lays a heavy one on us: ALL children can learn. And he takes us with him so we can watch him do it. In schoolrooms, homes, churches, public areas, from East coast to West coast and back again -- wherever the learners are. He lets us see why top-down public education policy is not the best way. We haven't asked the teachers who know -- and can figure out if they are allowed to do so -- how to do this thing called teaching. And never does he separate teaching and learning. They work together. Readers get to see some of the special projects Kohl has worked on and hear some of the students who have learned with him. He has done some amazing work but tells about it in such a way that it seems possible to the rest of us, whether teachers, learners, parents, or taxpayers.
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By Customer on April 16, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A story about a guy who loves teaching. There are a lot of inspirational stories about teachers who've actually cared about their students. This is another one. Not a guideline for teachers but a story. Eh.
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