- Publisher: Pitman Publishing Corporation, New York; 4th Ptg edition (1969)
- ASIN: B000O89TLO
- Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,031,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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How Children Learn Hardcover – 1969
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Top Customer Reviews
By John Holt
Holt didn't have children of his own, and his first opinions of children and learning came from being a schoolteacher in an elite private school, where he taught math to 5th graders. He was exposed to younger children and babies who were friends and relatives, and began forming different opinions about learning, which he shares in this book. Holt is fascinated by the notion that children accomplish so much before formal schooling begins and realizes that the way school is set up goes directly in opposition to what is natural and has worked for these children up to the point they are sent off to school.
The beginning of the book covers the age ranges from birth up through age 3 to 5, that is, before children go to school. Holt talks about a certain type of important learning that takes place up until the time a child enrolls in school at which point the experience of schooling changes their personality. The book starts off with how children succeed in learning many important things and huge feats such as speaking and with proper grammar and pronunciation and walking without formal schooling and that children accomplish much learning without an adult being the facilitator of it. In general the style of writing is that Holt describes a situation and then gives his opinions of the learning experience. Sometimes Holt does little experiments such as introducing a toy or a non-toy (such as a typewriter) to young children to see how they react to it and what they do with it. Holt observes with delight and amazement, these young children who are friends and relatives (they are not his students or participants in a research projects).Read more ›
How Children Learn, though, is not a guide. It is simply a demonstration, through the journal of John Holt, that children are smart and know how to learn, from the moment they are born. He shows that by giving children the space and freedom they need to explore things that interest them, we allow them to develop thinking skills. We allow them to figure the world out, learn that things work in certain ways, and that the world is generally a predictable and benevolent place. Holt shows through his experiences that not only do we not need to force children to learn, or to teach them much, but that teaching (and especially coersion) are counterproductive to learning.
It would be impossible to explain in a short space the thinking behind How Children Learn. By sharing his experiences, Holt shows us about children, not educational philosophies or theories. Get this book and read it. It will change the way that you think about children and learning forever.
After I read this book: I started to learn about children. Forget the terminology; forget the theories - take a look at children and learn how they learn.
While reading the reviews posted here, I realized that this is the perfect gift for expectant parents.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I agree with the 3 star review by S. Plus the book is outdated now. Thee are many more important books. Read morePublished 23 days ago by doug korty
Such a good book!!! I was on the fence about how I felt homeschooling my kids. So many good points in this book on how children learn. Yes, it's really as simple as he says.Published 7 months ago by Jennifer
The formatting and organization of the book seem a little haphazard. And, oddly, it reads a bit like a memoir.Published 9 months ago by M. Tjandra
Even if you are not even remotely thinking of home schooling, you should pick it up!
It will change the way you regard children!
seems like interesting points between reams of notes on observations of children.Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
So far this is the best homeschool book I have read to date. If you could only read one book about educating children, this would be the one I would by far and above recommend. Read morePublished 16 months ago by PrairieGirl
Informative for sure but I didn't feel like I had any big aha moments as a parent.Published 21 months ago by Erika Murphy