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I Won't Learn from You: And Other Thoughts on Creative Maladjustment Paperback – August 1, 1995
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Kohl, H. (1995). I won't learn from you: and other thoughts on creative maladjustment. New Press.
Kohl is now known as the classic speaker on "not learning" or refusing to learn that results in certain students' inappropriate placement into special education programs and classrooms. Kohl begins by describing certain situations and conditions that he finds himself in, requiring him to re-evaluate what it is that our students need. Hope as he refers to as "hopemongering" is the title of one of his chapters where he cites examples of how he has had to instill or rekindle the flame of hope that students so desperately need at times. Kohl provides some examples of how a student who would be viewed as a discipline or behavior problem might in fact be practicing his "not learning" ability or "right to refuse" as I like to call it.
Kohl addresses issues in education surrounding race, culture, economic, and linguistic differences that result in the diversity of each and every classroom in the U.S. He points out that the reasons for the amount of "dropout" teachers is exceeding the amount of "dropout" students and in order for this to change we need to adopt new ways of embracing these children who are often born into poverty. He emphasizes the importance of finding balance in order to achieve maximum effectiveness with our students. He indicates that the true art of teaching comes from being able to lead students to make discoveries that create their own meaning, purpose, learning and under-standing. Not "lecturing" them on the topic of equality but instead, facilitating their own critical thinking and encouraging them to find their own strengths and weaknesses and to explore their environments with a "new set of eyes.Read more ›
In Herbert Kohl's book titled " I won't learn from you" And Other Thoughts on Maladjustment, he talks about his experiences as a child growing up in a Jewish community in Bronx, New York and refusing to learn to speak his family's language of Yiddish. He relates how his experience of "not learning" helped him to understand why many of his students also chose to do the same thing. Kohl also speaks of the lessons he learned as a child from his imaginary friends, the "Masked Rider and the Tattooed Man". They provided him with the opportunity to dream about far away people and places. These dreams would one day lead him to discover the world and the lessons that could be found in places other than school. Through these struggles he learned that by focusing on a child's inter-strength instead of his inabilities and by developing approachable relaionships, he could develop in the child the desire to learn.
As one reads each of Herbert Kohl's 5 essays you realize how deep his devotion is to his students, his job as a teacher, and his community. In each of these essays he touches on many differenct aspects of being a good teacher, as well as, the value of listening to what a student has to say. To Herbert Kohl no student is a failure. It is the school system and society that has failed the student.
Every practicing teacher and pre-service teaching student should read this book to understand what is happening in the classroom. Herbert Kohls reminds us of why we chose to become teachers and our desire that each of our students may someday change the world.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Had a sticky food like residue along the bottom of the book that transferred to all the pages.Published 7 months ago by Kayla
This is a wonderful collection from one of our great teachers.Published 19 months ago by Mark Statman
Do yourself a favor and get this mind and heart expanding book. Read it several times to feel it really let it soak in. Read morePublished on July 18, 2014 by J S Crail
This book gave me a lot to think about! As an educator, I have had to reflect on my teaching experiences and how I reacted to my students!Published on July 23, 2013 by London England
This essay was an eye opener for me as a teacher. It describes why some children may not learn from a teacher when they clearly can learn.Published on January 5, 2013 by chiaroscuro
It was somewhat challenging following the purpose of I Will Not Learn From You. Some of the prejudices that people have, are indeed true. Read morePublished on March 5, 2011 by G. J Wiener
"I Won't Learn from You": And Other Thoughts on Creative MaladjustmentWhat an inspiring book for educators who need insight into why some students chose not to learn. Read morePublished on June 17, 2009 by Dr. Dale