A friend sent me some John Holt quotes today. These are my two favorites from the ones she sent me.
On a major issue that some parents either don't know about:
"...the anxiety children feel at constantly being tested, their fear of failure, punishment, and disgrace, severely reduces their ability both to perceive and to remember, and drives them away from the material being studied into strategies for fooling teachers into thinking they know what they really don't know."
Source: How Children Learn
This is so true!"The true test of intelligence is not how much we know how to do, but how to behave when we don't know what to do"
Source: How Children Fail
This is very true, especially in adulthood. Think of how you or other adults react when they don't know something. Do they teach themself, research, and seek answers? Do they not seek answers and just stay in ignorance? Do they take the easy way out by 'asking an expert' but never questioning it or getting a second opinion? Do they take some non-expert's advice?
On what drives us:
"Education... now seems to me perhaps the most authoritarian and dangerous of all the social inventions of mankind. It is the deepest foundation of the modern slave state, in which most people feel themselves to be nothing but producers, consumers, spectators, and 'fans,' driven more and more, in all parts of their lives, by greed, envy, and fear. My concern is not to improve 'education' but to do away with it, to end the ugly and antihuman business of people-shaping and to allow and help people to shape themselves."
source: How Children Fail
You may not want to belive this is true. I really do think it is true. More and more our American society is turning into mindless consumers who live their lives in reaction mode, rather than being self-sufficient, living with a goal and a purpose, and living in a proactive mode.
I never finished "Freedom and Beyond" but I did read each of John Holt's other books cover to cover. I am a huge fan of John Holt and his writings were very influential in my decision to homeschool. He opened my eyes to 'what is wrong with school' as an institution.
I also LOVED James Herndon's books about the problem of institutional schooling, especially, "The Way It's Spozed to Be".