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Learning All The Time


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Table of Contents

* Reading and Writing * At Home with Numbers * Young Children as Research Scientists * Loving Music * What Parents Can Do * The Nature of Learning

About the Author

John Holt (1927-1985), one of this country's leading educational and social critics, was the author of ten influential books which have been translated into fourteen languages. Known both as a passionate reformer and as "the gentle voice of reason" (Life magazine), John Holt offers insights into the nature of learning that are more relevant today than ever before.


Since the 1960s Holt has been an active, well-published ( How Children Fail, 1964; How Children Learn, 1967 ) supporter of the theory that ``children are natural learners'' whose learning is subverted by the conventional, structured methods in public schools. This new treatise, published posthumously from his notes (Holt died in 1985), presents again his basic premise--``learners create learning.'' Each child will learn in their own way and in their own time according to their needs. It is the responsibility of the parent/teacher to provide an environment for children to master the ``greatest intellectual skill of all''--``figuring out what you don't know or aren't sure of.'' With explicit examples, Holt demonstrates his techniques in reading, writing, discovering scientific principles, and developing a love of music. Many of the examples have appeared in Holt's newsletter for homeschooling advocates, ``Growing Without School.'' Holt's final work reiterates his disdain for the constricted nature of schools, but it should be read by all concerned about educational reform and accountability.-- A.R. Huggins, Memphis State Univ. Lib.

Holt ( How Children Fail ; Teach Your Own ), a leading figure in school reform who died in 1985, believed that ``children learn from anything and everything they see.'' This book, compiled posthumously from his writings, demonstrates his beliefs, showing children at ease at home and in other natural environments, being helped to explore their world by parents and other non-specialists. Far different from the plethora of manuals prescribing ways to ``teach'' toddlers, the book is non-polemical as well as instructive. Holt's ideas, which have been successfully, though not widely, tested, empower parents and should make them wary of structured early schooling as they make use of this excellent resource. (Nov.)

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