The Underachieving School is a collection of essays and articles written and compiled by Holt, each brimming with inspiration and ideas on how to teach. The Underachieving School has 49 ratings and 8 reviews. Jacqueline said: Excellent, one of the best and most enjoyable nonfictions I’ve ever read. Incred. THE UNDERACHIEVING SCHOOL John Holt was born in New York City on 14 April He was educated at a number of schools in the States and at Le.

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Retrieved from ” https: Instantly they are made to realize that they have done something wrong. I now began to see also that books are among the most dangerous things in school.

Nothing else need be said. Arguments rage about this. Find something, dive schoo it, take the good parts, skip the bad parts, get what you can out of it; go on to something else.

Suppose we then ask the children which photo has more people in it. What, then, becomes of this great confusion about parts and wholes? Yet it is almost certain that the teachers of these boys, in their still and silent classrooms, see none of this intelligence, vivacity, and wit, and consider these children stupid and unteachable.

From this fundamental error – the idea that our understanding of reality is fundamentally verbal or symbolic, and that thinking, certainly in its highest form, is the manipulation of those symbols – flow many other errors, and not just in the classroom.

Nearer the end of the book Holt also touches on peace and war, civil rights of children, the environment, personal fulfillment and modern day school segregation and the way they are all tied underacnieving with education. What I have said so far pertains to tests within a compulsory system. For a while, they are safe.

Undeerachieving are desperately wild guesses, or deliberately wrong ones, thrown out in the hope of evading the issue, or even of failing on purpose, to avoid the pain and humiliation of fruitless and futile effort. This is, I kohn, what Paul Goodman meant when he said that we have imposed on the elite of our younger generation a morale fit for slaves. Either way, more excitement. They become cynical about yolt teaching and helping functions and in many cases grow, in time, to hate and despise jolt children they are working with.


Patrick Farenga paraphrased Holt’s distinction between good and bad students: In fact, they take quite an opposite view, talking about higher standards and upgrading education. It is one, which I feel, useful and true though it may unddrachieving in some details, to be fundamentally in error. We sit him down at a desk, and what do we teach him?

We have given them a sense not of mission and vocation, but of subjection and slavery. There are an infinite number of roads to education; each learner should and must be free to hollt, to find, to make his own. Intervention of laughter yoga as education therapy can lead to speech improvement of vowel sounds for special kids. Somehow he managed to make them feel he was serious but not dangerous. Not long ago, I went to an alumni dinner of a leading New England preparatory school and there heard one of the faculty, in a speech, boast about the percentage of students who had underachieivng admitted to the college of their first choice, the number who had gone directly into the sophomore class at college, and so on.

Soon, preparing for exams came to replace learning medicine as the fundamental business of medical school. Although some children, even of nine or ten, need to stop te ponder this. Late equalizer in football – a. It seems to work. But there is one matter about which they do seem to agree – that about a great many important things we uderachieving literally do not know what we think.

They create in young children an exaggerated concern with getting right answers and avoiding mistakes; they drive them into defensive strategies of learning and behavior that choke off their intellectual powers and make real learning all but impossible. If the school becomes a resource to be used by the people who want it, there will be no need for such policing there either. What was wrong with making sure that children understood everything they read?

If they ran dry, they were to copy their last sentence over and over again until new ideas came.

The need of poor children for this tne of play, noise, excitement, personal encounter, may be stronger than that of most children, but all children need it and love it. A hug which cost India Rs 2. Bangladesh goes to polls: It is absolutely guaranteed to work. Every day in class he asked his students to write without stop ping for about half an hour. Schools Are Bad Places for Kids. Children come to school to learn, not to talk.



The words were still on the board when we began school next day. In short it makes the schoolroom into a battleground. Students are not, as a rule, tested to prove they can perform activities they have chosen for themselves, without endangering other people or ruining a collective enterprise.

It is no more possible to have open, friendly, and mutually helpful relationships between most teachers and students than it is between prison guards and prison convicts – and for exactly the same reasons.

Should an ally blackmail the Coalition on the eve of. If they, so to speak, sit on a hot book a few times, if books cause them humiliation and pain, they are likely to decide that the safest thing to do is to leave all books underachieviny.

He needs time to talk and think about who he is and how underqchieving got to be that way and what he would like to be and how he can get there. The children holding the parachute moved around each time, so that everyone got his turn to jump.

Holt makes a great case here. Of those that are not so good, some are much better than others, and many are getting better.

The Underachieving School by John Holt

Increasingly, instead of developing the intellect, character, and potential of the students in their care, they are using them for their own purposes in a contest inspired by vanity and aimed at winning money and prestige. Let the student take the same risk.

The law was passed to prevent such exploitation. Popular Christian theme of. Let the kids watch you when you work, and if you feel like it, answer some of their questions, if they feel like asking any.