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How Children Learn (Classics in Child Development) Paperback – 4 Sep 1995

4.4 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • How Children Learn (Classics in Child Development)
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  • Learning All The Time
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  • Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book Of Homeschooling
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Product details

  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; Rev. Ed edition (4 Sept. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201484048
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201484045
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 1.9 x 23.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 720,594 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

John Holt (1927-1985), one of this country's leading educational and social critics, was the author of ten influential books which have been translated into fourteen languages. Known both as a passionate reformer and as "the gentle voice of reason" (Life magazine), John Holt offers insights into the nature of learning that are more relevant today than ever before.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My daughter has just turned 3 yesterday. I bought this book about 2 weeks ago and once I started reading it, I just could not put it down. It was a very entertaining experience reading about the behaviour of children, I was so struck by the truth and familiarity of what the author described that I laughed till I cried. It made me start looking at how I had been raising my daughter so far, and made me look back at my childhood years (of which I have very strong memories of), thinking why in the world I had sometimes been doing to my child the way I'd use to hate as a kid when my parents did the same to me. Sometimes people just end up acting like their parents, I think because that was the only living example of parenting they had experienced in their lives, and since their lives had not turned out disastrous, they assumed it was probably an acceptable, if not, one of the many correct ways of "parenting" which will not hurt their children.
Its surprising (and somewhat daunting) to realise just how many people (including my own parents) have been misguided so deeply in thinking that sending their own children to school is the best way for children to grow up learning and becoming smarter, useful people in the society. What's worse is that some parents think that school is *the* only proper way of educating kids, and they would never entertain any thoughts of educating their own kids themselves - with care and attention. They just leave it to the school teachers in school (who by the way, are often too overburdened with work to provide enough individualised attention to pupils.
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Format: Paperback
I discovered "How Children Learn" when my own children were already on their way to their teens. I wish I'd had it when they were born, or soon after. John Holt opens our eyes to the absolutely astonishing efficiency with which pre-school children learn so many things. And he does it without any of the language of "educationese," the gobbledygook that so often clutters books about educational issues and makes them opaque and unpleasant tasks to read. Everything he says is immediate, concrete, and down to earth, drawn from specific observations of particular children, working effectively to learn whatever interests them. This is a book that I regularly now give as a gift to my friends when they become parents for the first time. I know of no other that will fill THEM with wonder over the ensuing five years or so, as their children learn to come to grips with the world.
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Format: Paperback
With this book - it may well change your life forever. I read this some years ago while on a teacher training course, and it told me things that the trainers weren't sharing. I reread it this summer, and as a result, our family are reconsidering the educational options for our children. School is not top of our list of priorities.
This is one of the most approachable of Holt's books, although many of them are worth the effort.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Being a mom to a 2 year old boy and having to handle his tantrums quite often lately prompted me to start looking for books related to this. This book appealed to me because of its almost 99% positive review.

I couldn't put the book down the moment I started reading the first page. I was constantly aware that this book was first written some 30 odd years ago so I often reminded myself to look out for points of the author that might come across as irrelevant in today's time, but I couldn't - based on my personal experience learning as a child and right through my high school days and from my observation of school-going kids today. The author's keen observation and conclusion of the children he was in contact with were generally as relevant as what I could relate to today as someone who has been a child, then a student and now a mother.

His writing is concise and yet engaging - there were light moments when I actually laughed reading his description of the toddlers or children he was observing but the conclusion he drew from that particular scene that I found funny was not the least light at all, but rather sobering.

After finishing this book, I see my son in a different light now where I am more appreciative of his mischief and incessant curiosity. This book has definitely moved me...
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Format: Paperback
I learned so much from this small book. It was easy to read and kept you interested. I know it will not only help me with my children, but will help me with teaching myself. Great book that no one should go with out reading.
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Format: Paperback
I love John Holt's books. This one I think I read about 10
times. It's full of love for children and intellectual
curiosity. It contains very stimulating thought about learning,
about curiosity, and
about what really happens to children in school. If
nothing else, it gave me unsightful perspective to
my own early years in school.
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Format: Paperback
A fascinating book looking in some detail at how young children learn and how adults can help them to explore the world. It has dramatically changed the way I interact with my son.

John Holt's approach is narrative rather than strictly research-based, but I was interested to read 'Young Children Learning' by Hughes & Tizard shortly afterwards - a classic social science study of the way young children learn. The findings of the research were very, very similar to John Holt's observations.
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