Words of Wisdom

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

“Whatever method is used, our experience so far makes it clear that when we use a child’s natural desire to explore the new and unknown, and to gain some control over it, without trying to force him faster or further than he feels ready to go, both pupil and teacher have the most fun and make the most progress.”

John Holt, in How Children Learn

Tapping into the child’s natural desire to explore the new and unknown makes all the difference!

Food for thought: What are examples of ways we can do this as teachers?

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4 thoughts on “Wednesday Words of Wisdom”

  1. By doing our best to listen and really pay attention to how the child is responding to our teaching. That’s part of the fun…trying to figure out how each student learns and trying to tailor new ways of teaching for each learner.

  2. Although this is a great concept. I think that it can be hard to accomplish. Sometimes learners don’t want to explore because they’re afraid of making a mistake, or some don’t seem to have the energy. Sometimes we need to teach how to break out of boxes and not be afraid.

    1. I agree, with some learners it can be difficult to harness the their natural desire to learn. You’re right that some have learned to be afraid of making mistakes. And some don’t seem to have a lot of energy or curiosity. This is part of our role as teachers, most certainly — to do what we can to help these learners. I think the quote is getting at the fact that teachers can tend towards using punishments/rewards when working with learners, or they can choose to take the philosophy of harnessing the child’s natural curiosity and helping the learner become a better learner. I think the kind of work you described in your comment falls into the latter category!

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