The journals of a teacher reveal how the mistakes that children make reveal a lot about how they are failing to learn–and how schools are failing to teach.
How Children Fail was riveting reading. I loved how John Holt paid attention to the kids he encountered so that he could help them learn. He came to realize that teachers were seeking to impose structural forms on the minds of children, where children are best served by being led to develop those forms for themselves.
Since I am hoping to homeschool Superfast Baby, this book was incredibly instructive. It was initially published in 1965, so I would hope that schools have changed some and that its critique is out-of-date. The insights into the process of learning (or “not-learning,” as it were) were fascinating. The techniques he employed for teaching math reminded me a lot of the Montessori school I went to, and I will definitely explore those methods when that time comes around for us.