- Age Range: 5 - 17 years
- Grade Level: Kindergarten - 12
- Series: Innovators in Education
- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Heinemann; 1st edition (April 21, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0867094087
- ISBN-13: 978-0867094084
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #457,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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How to Survive in Your Native Land (Innovators in Education) 1st Edition
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“[This book] is a literary treasure, simultaneously a Beat novel, a great feat of storytelling, and a storehouse of educational wisdom. Herndon shows us, with great wit and good spirits, how good education can emerge in the most unexpected circumstances and how caring teachers can transform lives.”–Herbert Kohl
About the Author
James Herndon taught in California for more than twenty-five years and was president of his local teachers' union. His writing about education, which also includes The Way It Spozed to Be (Heinemann) and Notes from a Schoolteacher, established him as one of the most important voices of the nation's school reform movement.
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Top Customer Reviews
"Time to put my feet up on the desk. Time to ask a kid about his life and how he was doing...Time to do all those things I had never taken time to do before." (paraphrase)
Education is the process of creating equity, creating memories, creating a sense of belonging in children. We spend 6 hours a day together(teachers & kids) for 13 years (k-12) and that should count for something. And that something is a sense of worth and a sense of hope that we too have a place in a better world. The subjects, the grades, the college apps - all the stuff that creates so much noise - is just that. Something else. Not the real thing. Not why people teach.
If you want to teach - and you find that this book "grabs" you - it's probably because you want to make more real, more actual, more tangible - the interactions you have with children in the classroom. This book delivers the "thinking" behind such an approach. I throw my 5 stars on the pile too.
But Herndon would disagree. He understands that true education = creativity, and that true education only occurs when teachers act like humans instead of "Providers Of Things To Do" or "Entertainers" (pg. 44). That true education only occurs when student participation is voluntary, when they are not pressured or required to do anything, and when teachers are genuinely interested in what's being talked about (meaning they would think about in their free time) so that the creativeness the teacher has for the subject can then be freely spread to the students; just as interests spread between friends. Not that the System doesn't have its place! Just recognize that what usually occurs in schools today is training; preparation for the corporate economy. And not education.
"resist every day all the apparatus of the school which was created in order to enable you to manage and evaluate a group, since it is just that management which destroyed the kids you have in your class." - (pg. 156)
"... but you can only live that kind of life in there if you are willing to realize that the dicta of the school are crazy but that at the same time the kid's life is connected to the school in complicated ways and you'd better offer him the chance to take any part of it he wants or has to." - (pg. 75)
Words for any teacher to live by.
James Herndon is a top notch writer and a notable explorer in the field of education. He is one of my heroes.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is so good that it made me want to be pickier about the books I...Read more