How Children Learn

The classic, How Children Learn, is making a resurgence among parents and educators alike lately. In John Holt’s book, his thesis is that children want to learn, are natural learners, and will learn more if adults recognize that and let them explore their worlds. Many times, parents and others act like bosses instead of co-learners. That means letting them play and playing with them, but resisting the urge to quiz them on their knowledge or to patronize them.

Most of How Children Learn is culled from his diaries, his successes and failures, and later notes from parents and other educators: “She is not afraid of making mistakes. And she is patient. She can tolerate an extraordinary amount of uncertainty, confusion, ignorance, and suspense. She does not have to have instant meaning in any new situation. She is willing and able for meaning to come to her – even if it comes very slowly, which it usually does…”
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