Provoking thoughts about education #2: They flunked unsuccessful methods.

Quote #2 from 'How Children Fail'

Twenty seconds to really make you think #2: They flunked unsuccessful methods.

As we’re all stuck inside thanks to corona virus (2020), I thought I’d share some provocative thoughts from the book I’m reading at the moment: ‘How Children Fail’ by John Holt. It’s about his work in primary schools in the 50s and 60s, but how much of it is true for schools and further education today. Do we never learn? I’ll post one a day.

‘A ‘very modest definition of ‘effective’: (1) if the students did not learn, the schools did not blame them, or their families, backgrounds, neighborhoods, attitudes, nervous systems, or whatever. They did not alibi. They took full responsibility for the results or nonresults of their work. (2) When something they were doing in the class did not work, they stopped doing it, and tried to do something else. They flunked unsuccessful methods, not the children.’

[John Holt, (1964) ‘How Children Fail’: Penguin, Page 8]


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