Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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John Holt

1923 – 1985 CE

John Holt (1923-1985)

Excellent teacher for 14 years fired for advocating children’s rights, author of the“Homeschooling Bible,” Teach Your Own, visiting lecturer at U. C. Berkeley and Harvard Graduate School, school system consultant; John Holt came to believe that the US school systems were failing and becoming only places "where children learn to be stupid,” focus on avoiding ridicule rather than learning, become only “teacher-pleasers, and lose their love of discovery. He blamed grades, tests, and ranking students for undermining their confidence, inspiration, and joy; and advocated “unschooling” as a kind of Lao Tzu-ian Wu Wei, natural approach to opening the doors of enthusiasm, freedom, and creativity.

Lineages
American (USA)

Eras

Sources

How Children Fail

Teach Your Own

Quotes by John Holt (10 quotes)

“a good student is careful not to forget what he studied until after the test is taken”

from Teach Your Own

Chapters: 3. Weak Wishes, Strong Bones

Themes: Forget

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“The true test of character is not how much we know how to do, but how we behave when we don't know what to do.”

from Teach Your Own

Themes: Wu Wei

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“To a very great degree, school is a place where children learn to be stupid.”

from Teach Your Own

Themes: Education

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“It's not that I feel that school is a good idea gone wrong, but a wrong idea from the word go. It's a nutty notion that we can have a place where nothing but learning happens, cut off from the rest of life.”

from Teach Your Own

Themes: Education

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“Be wary of saying or doing anything to a child that you would not do to another adult, whose good opinion and affection you valued.”

from Teach Your Own

Themes: Equality

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“So many people have said to me, ‘If we didn't make children do things, they wouldn't do anything.’ Even worse, they say, ‘If I weren't made to do things, I wouldn't do anything.’ It is the creed of a slave.”

from How Children Fail

Themes: Slavery Freedom

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“Much of what we call History is the success stories of madmen.”

from How Children Fail

Chapters: 41. Distilled Life

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“The biggest enemy to learning is the talking teacher.”

from How Children Fail

Chapters: 48. Unlearning

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“We learn to do something by doing it. There is no other way.”

from How Children Fail

Chapters: 38. Fruit Over Flowers

Themes: Skillful Means

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“We destroy the love of learning… by encouraging and compelling them to work for petty and contemptible rewards… A's on report cards, or honor rolls, or dean's lists, or Phi Beta Kappa keys, in short, for the ignoble satisfaction of feeling that they are better than someone else.”

Chapters: 66. Go Low

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