Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What I've been Obsessing Over this Week

I reread John Holt's How Children Fail last week, and it sure is a different book when you have a school-aged child! Last time I read it, I only had a baby.

Last time I read it, I was slightly scandalized, but this time I read it, I was not only totally scandalized, but also appalled, horrified, and enraged. You know why? Because this book was written in 1960 (updated in 1980 - when it was *much* improved by the author's added comments.) And yet, so far as I can tell, it isn't included in the teacher trainings anywhere in this country. PLEASE tell me if I'm wrong about this! I did as much web research as I could. . . but the truth is I don't think any teacher program could withstand including it. Because I think they would lose 100% of their enrollees . . . I think.

Of course, I am also wondering if this information has been somehow synthesized into a more recent work. . . though it seems to me that the book in its entirety is uncondensable, since it's the progression of one man's understanding of children.

I would love for someone who is a teacher to read this book and tell me if it can be interpreted any other way. I do so want someone to take me up on this challenge, and the one presented in an earlier post, which was for anyone with kids in school to read a few books off my reading list (right hand bar of blog) and then not want to pull their kids out of school. I really want to know if there are other people's brains that can work that differently from mine. Am I insane?

As T.S. Eliot says:
I should really like to think there's something wrong with me —
Because, if there isn't then there's something wrong,
Or at least, very different from what it seemed to be,
With the world itself — and that's much more frightening!

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