How Children Learn PDF ✓ How Children eBook Û

How Children Learn PDF ✓ How Children eBook Û

10 thoughts on “How Children Learn (Classics in Child Development)

  1. James Swenson James Swenson says:

    tl;dr: Teachers, parents, and students might like to read How Children Learn and think about it, or even use it to jump-start a discussion with their peers.


    Because I'm a college math professor, How Children Learn is a hard book for me to deal with.

    Today, I spent the day grading final exams. The students' performance was tremendously discouraging. Many problems were left completely blank; in many other cases, the students wrote things that were not even false – just meaningless – or otherwise failed to address the exam questions at all. It is hard to escape the feeling that the students and I have largely wasted the last four months. The worst thing is that, for the most part, the students are smart, and they like math: most of them are pursuing degrees in engineering.

    This is depressing, but it is completely routine. When teachers get together, we complain about students: they do not know how to work, how to budget their time, how to take responsibility, how to study, how to think. And, as I recall, when students get together, they complain about teachers: we are mean, we are unfair, we set up unreasonable expectations, we are boring, we have no idea how to teach. No, this is not the whole story of anyone's education, but it is perfectly common: familiar to everyone. I do not think my school is any worse than the rest.

    It should not have to be this way – and John Holt has set out to rub my nose in the fact. But I have known for a while, anyway, because I'm a parent of two kids, and anyone who spends a lot of time with little children must be amazed by their ability to learn, and their love of learning. They are intelligent, curious, and persistent. Usually, I describe the phenomenon wistfully: “If I could learn mathematics the way a one-year-old learns everything, I would be unstoppable.” Holt's colleague, Bill Hull, put it more mordantly: “If we taught children to speak, they'd never learn.” (p. 56)

    Holt's thesis is that formal schooling systematically destroys children's love of learning and molds them into ineffective thinkers who are crippled by the fear of failure. Today, I feel like I've seen a lot of strong evidence to support this. More evidence, some of which is very moving, is collected in Holt's earlier, excellent book How Children Fail.

    So let's stipulate that I agree completely with everything Holt wrote here. What I really need to know is how I can change, to do my job better. Mostly, Holt avoids this question. “To discuss this in any detail would take a book in itself.” (p. 185) His primary conclusion is that children “ought to be in control of their own learning, deciding for themselves what they want to learn and how they want to learn it.” (p. 185) He adds, “My aim... is not primarily to persuade educators and psychologists to swap new doctrines for old, but to persuade them to look at children, patiently, repeatedly, respectfully, and to hold off making theories and judgments about them until they have in their minds what most of them do not now have – a reasonably accurate model of what children are like.” (p. 173)

    Reading this, I feel the urge to stand up and cheer, because I feel Holt is taking my side against the professors who taught my (few) education classes, which were worse than useless. It is less comfortable to identify myself as one of the “educators” in question.

    I do not think that Holt is offering me direct advice that will help me to teach better. Maybe he would even identify the job of a college professor as different in kind from that of an elementary-school teacher. My students may not have grown into their final, mature personalities, but they are not children. Also, by choosing a college, selecting a major program of study, and registering for classes, they have exercised a certain amount of control over what they are to learn. Finally, they have typically been students for three quarters of their lives: they have developed strongly fixed patterns of behavior which they use in reaction to new intellectual challenges, surely including some behaviors that are specific to mathematics classes.

    More to the point, I think Holt is writing about systemic reform: minimally, one school at a time. In How Children Fail, Holt makes a big claim in this direction: “...[W]e could well afford to throw out most of what we teach in school because the children throw out almost all of it anyway.” (p. 175) Maybe this is true, but it's not a tenable option for an individual teacher.


    From my perspective, the fundamental (implicit) promise that I make to my students at the start of each semester is that I will provide them with an opportunity to learn the information and develop the skills named by the course title and described in the syllabus. These things may, or may not, be useful to them in future classes, or in later life, but they are intrinsically valuable. The students, if they take full advantage of this opportunity, will leave the class as better people than they were when they registered.

    My students (to generalize) focus on a different aspect of the bargain: I, the teacher, will credential them by awarding them a certain number of credits, along with a letter grade, if they will do most of what I tell them to do. If they do this often enough, they will become eligible to apply for certain jobs that are preferable to the ones they could have gotten before.

    All of this is true: The student is entirely correct, and so am I. The problem is that our different emphases make it hard for us to work together.

    You can recognize the problem by thinking about a short conversation that I've had over and over again in the past two weeks. [Many other examples would do equally well, but this one is on my mind right now.] The student begins by asking, “What do I need to get on the final to get a C in the class?” I check the online gradebook for the necessary data, then solve a linear equation in one variable to get a numerical answer. I suppose it's not obvious why this conversation makes me angry, but I will try to explain what goes through my head while I'm answering the question.

    The first point is that the student should not need to rely on me for the answer to this question. The student has all of his/her grades, via the online gradebook – the same place I get them. The system by which the letter grade is derived from the raw scores is also on the website, in the syllabus. The process by which I figure out the answer to the student's question is taught in our remedial math courses, so the student is certainly expected to have mastered it before registering for my class. In fact, I've been relying all semester on the (generally correct) assumption that the student can do this perfectly well. Thus, asking this question is a small way in which the student rejects responsibility for his/her own education.

    The second point is that it is useless to know the answer to the question. I expect and hope that the student will spend the two hour examination period doing his/her best to solve the problems on the exam: they would be ill advised to answer only 50 points' worth of questions, even if 50 points would be sufficient to ensure the desired C.

    Finally, why is the student focused on the C grade, specifically? [Yes, this is essentially always the case.] The student's primary goal for the course is to get a C, because this is the prerequisite for the third semester of calculus. And there is no problem with wanting to satisfy the prerequisite, unless that is your primary goal. If so, you should be asking why the school does not allow students to register for Calc 3 unless they've been at least somewhat successful in Calc 2. Correct answer: no one else is equipped to learn Calc 3. Instead, your primary goal should be to develop the knowledge and skills that make up second-semester calculus. This, and not the grade, nor even the diploma, is the reason to attend a university.

    None of this would matter, except that the goals one sets tend to determine one's behavior. When you're assigned to do a homework problem, do you skim the relevant section of the textbook hoping to find an extremely similar example? Do you copy someone else's solution from Cramster (the Internet's patron saint of academic dishonesty)? Do you skip it, and hope that it won't be graded? These things could help you get an OK homework grade without doing much work. None of them is much help, though, if your goal is to learn something. In this case, you'll have to look at the homework problem as a puzzle to be solved, and take an interest in it. You have to build a model of the problem in your mind; make a plan and follow through. You have to care about the problem! Ironically, people who act this way get the best grades, with the least amount of effort and anxiety, especially around exam time. Learning the hard way is hard, but it's easier than the easy way. (I believe I'm quoting Granny Weatherwax, from Lords and Ladies.) This ground has been covered thoroughly in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values, which is among other things a very insightful exposition of how to learn.

    It is very difficult, though, for me to tell my students any of these things, because (continuing to generalize) they are thinking of me as a judge, not as a guide. They're not wrong: I play both roles. But they distrust my advice, because they think of our class as a game they're playing against me. This also makes it very difficult for them to ask me questions, or to reveal anything to me about the way they're thinking, in case they might be mistaken. In short, they are afraid.

    Holt has a lot to say about the prevalence of fear, and how it makes smart people act stupidly, especially in school. [This is the heart of How Children Fail; it is less central here.] He calls us to recognize how much children are afraid in school, and argues (I think) that empowering students is the only viable solution, because their fear is a function of their lack of power in the classroom. I think he's mainly right about this, except that I think the power differential is intrinsic, at least as long as schools retain the credentialling mission that my students primarily value. Once again, Holt brings me to a place where I'm both dissatisfied with the status quo and convinced that, ultimately, it cannot be corrected.

  2. Natasha Natasha says:

    I was energized as an educator after reading this book. Imagine my delight when I learned my own father read this book when it was first published in my childhood. That explains a lot. (I come from a family where none of us have ever moved off the educational path.) We all love to learn!

    John Holt recommends: let learners have the freedom to explore their own tastes. This is particularly important with children. Holt points out that children yearn to do real things with real facts now (see page 288). He desired to change the child’s perception of education from “being made to go to a place called school, and there being made to learn something they don’t much want to learn under the threat that bad things will be done to them if they don’t” to “the game of trying to find out how the world works” (page 34). As with any game, learning should be accompanied by enthusiasm and enjoyment. In this way the natural appetite to learn can be savored. This is my goal as a home educator.

    Our family experienced a paradigm shift in applying one of Holt's principles. In our history studies, we had been quizzing our then nine-year-old son with review questions after reading each section of history. We changed our approach after reading Holt’s view of “answer pulling” where “the teacher asks a series of pointed questions, aimed at getting students to give an answer that he has decided beforehand is right. . . . This kind of fake, directed conversation is worse than none at all ” (page 123). Rather than asking our son pointed questions, we began to merely open a discussion where each of us shared, among other things, what we found most interesting and most important about each segment of history. These discussions are far more meaningful as we are able to relate the historical events to current policies and practices, thus increasing their significance in our minds. Equally important, our son began to feel better about his contributions in our discussions and more positive about his learning. After about a week of our new discussion method he said, “Aren’t you so happy with me? I’ve been getting all the answers right!” He sensed that his responses were valued even though he hadn’t realized we were no longer asking questions requiring one specific correct answer.

    To the degree we work with our children's interests, we see the sparks flare up into a burning passion to learn.

  3. Kathryn Kathryn says:

    Although John Holt is best known as a founding father of the homeschool movement, this remarkable book is a simple but profound collection of his observations about how children learn. It is a much-needed reminder for most grown-ups to open their eyes to view the world as children do, if only to better understand the young ones in their life and be a more patient, enthusiastic, warm and empathetic parent/friend/mentor. Most of all, Holt believes that children learn best when they learn at their own pace and pursue their own interests--learning should never be forced or uniform, but spontaneous and dynamic. Children don't need to be taught -- they simply need to be given opportunites to LEARN. Holt's good-heartendess, warmth, wisdom and genuine appreciation of children is not to be missed.

  4. Razzberry Razzberry says:

    When I was first given copies of John Holt's How Children Fail and How Children Learn, I was loath to give them more than a scant perusal. I had read a few articles by and about the man who was probably the first to coin the term unschooling and generally considered one of the early instigators and champions of the homeschool movement, but I had, for the most part, distanced myself from reading his works in depth.

    Born, raised and schooled in Singapore, I had had a rigid and rigorous education. As an adult, I had enough of the adventurer (rebel?) in me to wish for an alternative for my children, but still product enough of my youth to feel unsettled and unnerved with the ideas of the father of unschooling. Let my child have carte blanche over what, when, where, how and how much they want to learn? Come on!

    It didn't sit well with me though, this prejudice. The very reason why I had always wanted to homeschool was because I wanted my children to have a more generous and fulfilling education than the one I had had - one that I had become disillusioned with. Why then was I so afraid of reading Holt's works? Was it because I had been so conditioned that I could not entertain anything less than complete structure in learning and teaching? I finally decided to give How Children Learn a good read and I have no qualms in admitting that it was a long time coming - the book is nothing short of remarkable and enlightening, not to mention totally in line with my aspirations for my children.

    Holt's book is a profound collection of his observations about how children learn. He watched with fascination as they tinkered with various equipments; he played with them patiently as they created their own games and rules and he celebrated their every achievement with delight.

    He was absorbed by 16-month-old Lisa's experiments with a portable electric typewriter - she was curious as to the machine's inner workings and learnt how to make it work and what to do when the keys became stuck. Most parents would do one of two things - we might put the typewriter out of reach so as to stop a baby from destroying it or we would give the child explicit instructions as to how to use it. Holt, on the other hand, recommended neither.

    He maintained that it is better to teach children how to treat things carefully and respectfully rather than to rob them of an exercise in curiosity. As Holt rightly pointed out, One of Maria Montessori's many valuable contributions to education was that she showed that very little children could easily be taught to move, not just exuberantly, but also deftly, precisely, gently.

    He strongly advocated allowing children to experiment, struggle and improvise with little interference. Lisa's younger brother Tommy, when about 3 or 4, for example, hated to be taught the alphabets. Danny, aged 2-and-a-half, tore down the models that his father and Holt had built out of Cuisenaire rods. Holt concluded that when instruction and help is unasked for, the underlying message given to children is that they are not smart enough to learn something on their own. Competence models can sometimes undermine their self-esteem for it emphasises the divide between their abilities and that of adults'. How many times have we heard children say frustratedly, You know so much and I don't!?

    Holt believed that children learn best when the lessons and work are meaningful. Reading can be facilitated by good literature rather than simplistic (and thus, insulting) books. Art can be pleasurable with quality materials. Numerous practical skills can be better acquired by working alongside adults.

    Holt's book should not entail a leap of faith - we as parents and educators should already have faith in our children. They will learn, God willing, if we give them the opportunity to do so without fear. They will try, God willing, and succeed if we learn to recognise their strengths and do not despair. Holt gave the example of a supposed hopeless student who became a successful commercial photographer when grown up - when she first took up serious photography at about age 14, she “learned in a few months, because she needed it, all the arithmetic she had never been able to learn in ten years of schoolâ€. Holt advised patience and loving guidance alongside this trust - when children are frustrated, we need to know when to draw back, take off the pressure, reassure them, console them, give them time to regain - as in time they will - enough energy and courage to go back to the task.

    Holt presented many examples of children working in various settings - some readers have told me that they found this a little dry, but I think it speaks a great deal of the deep interest he had in making learning truly fulfilling for children. What shines through in his detailed and painstaking recordings is the genuine appreciation and respect that he had for children, despite not having had any of his own.

    This enchantment he had, I believe, is something many of us harried and anxious parents seem to have lost in our pursuit to give our children the best in terms of learning. We hustle them along, exhort them to work harder, convinced they can do better and in the end, lose track of our initial good intentions. We don't see them for the passionate and imaginative people they are and instead, worry about their future economic worth. Holt reminded us that children learn best when we understand our roles as gentle facilitators and when they are free to make mistakes without having their self-worth squashed.

    I came away from Holt's How Children Learn with a deeper love for and trust in my children. Trust indeed is what John Holt reiterated in his book. I leave you with a powerful quote from his book. I think it totally sums up how children really learn:

    In my mind's ear, I can hear the anxious voices of a hundred teachers asking me, How can you tell, how can you be sure what the children are learning, or even that they are learning anything? The answer is simple. We can't tell. We can't be sure. What I am trying to say about education rests on a belief that, though there is much evidence to support it, I cannot prove, and that may never be proved. Call it a faith. This faith is that man is by nature a learning animal. Birds fly, fish swim, man thinks and learns. Therefore, we do not need to motivate children into learning, by wheedling, bribing, or bullying. We do not need to keep picking away at their minds to make sure they are learning. What we need to do, and all we need to do is bring as much of the world as we can into the school and the classroom; give children as much help and guidance as they need and ask for; listen respectfully when they feel like talking; and then get out of the way. We can trust them to do the rest.

  5. Malbadeen Malbadeen says:

    John Holt's basic premise is that teaching children anything is unproductive at best. He believes that children will direct their own learning guided by curiosity, need and exposure.
    He has an, often recalled, bit on his daughter discovering and becoming enthralled with his type writer.
    It's a lovely theory and possibly highly applicable for those with resources and patience to provide a plethora of objects/experiences. What it lacks (and admittedly isn't attempting to propose to offer), is what to do with the children that are not as fortunate to exist in such an environment.
    Once upon a time I liked this book, then my brother started teaching and then he started calling me EVERY DAY (sometimes as early as 6:30a.m.) sucking me into conversation after conversation about educational philosophy which usually digresses into him insisting that nothing can be taught and everything can be discovered.
    I find myself challenging him to learn knitting on his own, I threaten to drop off needles and yarn and say stuff like, and how about cutting an onion?! why the hell shouldn't I tell you how to cut an onion?! and then I realize, it's happened AGAIN! I've been sucked into Joshua's latest obsessive thought processes and I have to remind myself, I DONT CARE!!!!!
    I don't care about education, I don't care about Catholicism, I don't care about philosophy, I don't care about this artist vs. that...I just DONT CARE, so why do I always get sucked in?!
    But mostly it brings me great joy to post this book, because he just bought it, not knowing I had it (until I sold it to Powell's yesterday). HA SUCKA! that's what you get for stealing my David Foster Wallace book and letting it get water warped!

  6. Heather Heather says:

    This book was recommended to me by my husband, a former school teacher.The author, was originally a math and french teacher, but after spending a lot time studying children and education and writing a couple of books went on contribute a great deal to the home school movement. Between reading this and How Children Fail, homeschooling is something that I am contemplating. And if nothing else I will very closely monitor what and how my children are learning. I strongly recommend this book to parents teachers and anyone who works with children. It is longer than How Children Fail, slow to get into, and a lot to digest, but it has so many enlightening points. I feel like this quote from the book summarizes Holt's philosophy pretty well:
    The child is curious. He wants to make sense out of things, find out how things work, gain competence and control over himself and his environment, do what he can see other people doing. He is open, receptive, and perceptive. He does not shut himself off from the strange, confused, complicated world around him. He observes it closely and sharply, tries to take it all in. He is experimental. He does not merely observe the world around him, but tastes it, touches it, hefts it, bends it, breaks it. To find out how reality works, he works on it. He is bold. He is not afraid of making mistakes. And he is patient. He can tolerate an extraordinary amount of uncertainty, confusion, ignorance and suspense. He does not have to have instant meaning in any new situation. He is willing and able to wait for meaning to come to him- even if it comes slowly, which it usually does.
    Children are smart. They often know more than we give them credit for. And they can often handle more than we give them credit for too. Imagine the world from the eyes of a child. There is so much that doesn't make sense to one so new to the world, yet despite the confusion they move on mastering one thing at a time. As they do and try they notice their own mistakes and eventually fix them. To learn and to grow children have to trust and they have to feel accepted. They have to know that the mistakes that they make, don't matter. That they are loved and valued regardless, that someone believes that they can grow and learn anyway. And it is important that we play games with them, not because we believe it will develop their mind and get them into college, but because we love them.
    Children have to learn things in an order that is relevant to them if they are going to hold on to it. We can support and encourage this, but not force. If we let them study dinosaurs because that is what interests them, from there they will improve reading skills, learn earth science, biology and history and may very well branch to other fields of study as their interests take them that way. If we force them to learn what we feel is important they will learn and quiz and test them along the way, they will often become defensive. Even if they don't instead of thinking that learning is about how things work they think that learning is about finding answers to please grown-ups. As children learn, we must talk to them like regular people, not stupid midgets or minions. Children can tell the difference. If we think that every time we talk to a child we must teach her something, our talk may become calculated and fake and may lead children to think, like so many of today's young people, that all talk is a lie and a cheat. If we show children sincere love and interest their confidence will grow, as will their love of learning. There is no time in all of a child's growing up, when he will not be seriously hurt if he feels that we adults are not interested in what he is trying to say.
    One slow afternoon, I was reading this book at work. One of the pediatricians asked me So how do children learn? They learn by doing and trying and failing and trying again. They don't learn by being corrected and humiliated, tested and forced. Funny, that's exactly how God is with us. He lets us grow by trying, failing and trying again. And he doesn't force us to do or be anything. There's a lot of truth in that. Can you imagine that if every time we made a mistake an all-powerful God came down to tell us we were wrong? Would we be afraid to try, afraid to learn? Absolutely. I imagine that to some small children their parents and teachers seem very much like that. Someone very powerful and intimidating telling them that they are wrong. But God doesn't work like that. He's loving and patient and usually lets us learn from our own mistakes.

  7. Angela Angela says:

    John Holt has some really fascinating observations from working with children that really reflect my own experiences with my kids. Children learn through games and play. They seem to learn spontaneously without being taught (like Holt makes the point...if we taught kids to speak how we teach them to read, they would never learn!)

    I learned it's important to sort of watch myself and not interfere with my kids learning process. I need to let go and let them discover on their own or gently guide them on a path to self-discovery.

    Holt points out that many children have learned to read without being taught by phonics or whatever piecemeal method. In fact, many children teach themselves just by being read to. If they ask a question, it's better to just tell them the answer without a big long lecture. I never knew this before, and was worried I wasn't teaching my daughter enough; but this approach seems to make so much sense for us.

  8. Carol Carol says:

    This is my first book by Holt. I'm aware he has a large following. I can understand why. The man has a gift for understanding children and how they learn and navigate the world. The genus of this book is it's timelessness. Written in the 60's the book is still accurate today.

    Holt said that children do not need to be taught because learning is human nature for children and they have their own unique way of doing it. I'm a believer. My son taught himself to read and do simple math at a young age with no intervention from myself other than to give him time, space and the tools (books) should he care to use them. What's particularly sad is how traditional schools are moving in the opposite direction. Even back then, he sees the dangers in mass testing, large classrooms and instruction that provides little room for improvisation and creativity. Highly recommended for all parents or anyone who cares about future generations.

  9. Roslyn Roslyn says:

    Wow! I am already a very relaxed mom--not by nature, by nature I am like the Tiger Mom, but I have read enough and understand enough at this point to take a very relaxed approach to parenting--this book helped me relax into that relaxing, if that makes any sense. If a book can help you have faith in your children and life, this is it! I have understood for a long time the high self-esteem children get from being raised from babyhood with great respect. This book helped me to see the sense-of-life connection, that the first time a child falls in love with something (like trains or cars) how I respond to it is crucial. I have always been supportive but a little cool (and uncomfortable) with what Anders loves, always wanting him to focus on more important tasks. It is now very clear to me that following what we love, being supported and encouraged to follow our love IS how we connect our lives to joy and develop a benevolent sense of life.

    I will never understand how terrible parenting books full of terrible advice sell a million copies and this book has been out for thirty years and is not nearly famous enough.

    I liked how John Holt goes through and comments on his original book over a decade later, talking about how even he has lightened up as a parent. Every time I thought, Well that wasn't a very respectful thing to do the next paragraph would be looking back I regret doing that.

    I have read a lot of Montessori books and her philosophy is incredible, though she has her limits. This book showed me that how her philosophy is applied is... wrong. The application of her ideas (controlling how a child uses an object) is terrible! It's largely the opposite of what she talks about. Or maybe she starts with the right idea but she can't take it all the way because she had no normal children to work with. She took a big step in the right direction and paved the way, perhaps, for later thinkers. John Holt, however, fails to assuage me enough that he has paid attention to her messages about real life. His chapter on fantasy is not really about fantasy, it's about love. As in, I completely agree with his ideas about fantasy but he doesn't address the concerns I have about adult-invented fantasy that confuses children. At this point I wonder if a child with high self-esteem and a benevolent sense of life would actually suffer from the confusions created by (for example) Disney movies. I still wouldn't expose Anders to their powerful and wrong sense of morality and examples of how to act like an asshole but I do feel less afraid of him having a Thomas the Train. Still think he would be confused, just think it wouldn't destroy his self-esteem to be confused.

  10. Margret Margret says:

    After plugging away at reading this book over the course of an entire year, I forgot much of the details but left with great ideas and a deeper understanding of a child's process in learning.
    I enjoyed how Holt observed children and their learning styles within their natural environments of home, outings, and school. (With school being admittedly the least natural of the three). He helps you see the child through the eyes of the child. He helps an adult relearn the process and difficulty of learning what we feel is instinctive but for a child is laborious.
    Highlights for me to remember:
    --A child learning to read doesn't mess up a word read properly on purpose but because each encounter with the word is as if it is new to them. They are not developmentally struggling but merely working through the process of learning.
    --When a child ventures forth into new territory, they exert a built up reservoir of courage. When that reservoir is depleted, they come back into a safe place in the arms of a mother or father to recharge and prepare for another forward sally into the enemy territory. (Holt used the example of a child learning to swim and the juxtaposition of a parent impatiently pushing them into the unknown where they remain uncertain vs a parent who patiently holds a child that can swim and splash whenever they return to more activities that are known to be easy for them.) I have seen this with my own daughter as she explores new skills and constantly seeks reassurance from her adventures in my lap.
    --Try to see the world the way the child sees it. When I try to see things as they do, my patience is increased.
    --Try to relearn how to learn as children do. As adults we often miss and remove the magic of everyday adventures because we aren't open or are more scripted into our ways of doing things.
    --When presenting a child with a new material to learn, allow them to freely explore it before placing the barriers of adult rules or reasoning. They will learn the proper reasoning better if they are able to have some freedom of play.
    --Pretend play for a child is a way to enter into and understand the real world on their own level, not a means of escape.

    Again, there were so many great nuggets of thought and understanding. I'm sure many were missed but I hope that many also found their way into the gestalt of my mind and mothering.

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How Children Learn (Classics in Child Development) ❴Read❵ ➲ How Children Learn (Classics in Child Development) Author John Holt – This enduring classic of educational thought offers teachers and parents deep, original insight into the nature of early learning John Holt was the first to make clear that, for small children, “lea This enduring classic of educational thought offers teachers and parents deep, original insight into the nature of early learning John Holt was the first to make clear that, for small children, “learning is as natural as breathing” In this delightful yet profound book, he looks at how we learn to talk, to read, to count, and to reason, and how we can nurture and encourage these natural abilities in our children”.

  • Paperback
  • 320 pages
  • How Children Learn (Classics in Child Development)
  • John Holt
  • English
  • 15 June 2019
  • 9780201484045

About the Author: John Holt

After teaching in private schools for many years John Caldwell Holt wrote his first two books, How Children Fail, and How Children Learn He became a vocal advocate for school reforms, and wrote several books about education theory and practice, including alternative forms and many social issues relating to the education system Eventually he decided school reform was impossible, and changed.