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29 December 2006

How Children Learn

Although this title was not on my list of books to get at the library today (I was looking for titles from my book list from before Christmas.) when I recognized John Holt's name from my various readings around the Internet, I was so pleased by my find that this was the first book I opened to peruse there at the library. It didn't come home with me.

There are a lot of authors out there who make non-fiction a pleasure to read. Mr. Holt doesn't appear to be one of them. His prose was stilted and somewhat condescending. Rather than starting off with what the title promises: insight on how kids learn, it started with a plug for his other book (How Children Fail) and then launched into a rather involved look at current brain research. Only he said at the outset that brain research isn't the right way to go about learning how kids learn. Seems to me that if that's not where the magic and wonder of learning is at, then it shouldn't be worth pages and pages of our attention. By this time, I was so irritated that such a highly respected voice in unschooling was so reluctant to make his point that I didn't even bring it home from the library.

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