John Holt – How Children Fail (1964), How Children Learn (1967)


John Caldwell Holt (April 14, 1923 – September 14, 1985) was an American author and educator, a proponent of homeschooling and, specifically, the unschooling approach, and a pioneer in youth rights theory. After a six-year stint teaching elementary school in the 1950s, Holt wrote the book How Children Fail (1964), which cataloged the problems he saw with the American school system. He followed it up with How Children Learn (1967). Both books were popular, and started Holt’s career as a consultant to American schools. By the 1970s he decided he would try reforming the school system and began to advocate homeschooling, and later the form of homeschooling known as unschooling. He wrote a total of 11 books on the subject of schooling, as well as starting the newsletter Growing Without Schooling. … Holt’s sister encouraged him to become an elementary school teacher, and in 1953 he began teaching at the newly-formed Colorado Rocky Mountain School, a private school in Carbondale, Colorado. In 1957 and 1958 he taught at the Shady Hill School, a private elementary and middle school in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1959 he taught fifth grade at the Lesley Ellis School, also in Cambridge. While teaching, Holt came to the belief that the students in his classroom, despite often being intelligent and from wealthy backgrounds, were more timid and unsure than the infant and toddler children of his sisters and friends. Holt became disillusioned with the school system after several years of working within it; he became convinced that reform of the school system was not possible and began to advocate homeschooling. He believed that ‘children who were provided with a rich and stimulating learning environment would learn what they are ready to learn, when they are ready to learn it’. Holt believed that children did not need to be coerced into learning; they would do so naturally if given the freedom to follow their own interests and a rich assortment of resources. This line of thought came to be called unschooling.  …”
Wikipedia
John Holt
NY Times: JOHN HOLT, AUTHOR AND EDUCATOR, DIES AT 62
amazon: How Children Learn, How Children Fail
YouTube: Holt and Learning All the Time, John Holt interviewed in Pullman, WA 25:15

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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