Since its first publication in 1964, this book has helped two generations of parents and teachers understand what actually happens in the classroom. Holt’s astute observation of children, his clear simple style, and his lifelong conviction that we can do better by our children make How Children Fail an enduring classic.
“I don’t know of a country that is happy with its educational system. That is because most schools are crafted for the mass production ethic of industrial society. Changing this obsolete state of affairs is the best investment that a government or community can make. This book can help; it shows how schools can reorient themselves to emphasize humanity, adventure, entrepreneurship, leadership, teamwork, problem-solving, and experimentation, instead of rote learning.”
This book challenges the traditional views of “IQ”, in which intelligence is based solely on specific measurable traits; like general problem solving skills or reading comprehension. Gardner argues that, say, Eddie Van Halen or Vincent Van Gogh or Michael Jordan have excelled in a specific field, and that ability is based on a heightened level of a specific intelligence. Gardner believes that there are 8 intelligences, located in different areas of the brain.
John Holt was the first to make clear that, for small children, learning is as natural as breathing. He looks at how we learn to talk, to read, to count, and to reason, and how we can nurture and encourage these natural abilities in children. Children do not need to be made to learn,” Holt maintains, because each is born with what Einstein called “the holy curiosity of inquiry.” For them, learning is as natural as breathing. First published in 1967, How Children Learn has become a classic for parents and teachers, providing an “effective, gentle voice of reason” (Life).
John Dewey’s thesis primarily comes out of his experience with progressive schools. Progressive education is based on the idea of freedom whereas traditional education is autocratic in nature. Having analyzed both traditional and progressive education Dewey found that neither was satisfactory and thus both were inadequate in this endeavor. Dewey’s main contention and cornerstone of belief is that without experience infused into education there can be no education
There was a time when IQ was considered the leading determinant of success. In this fascinating book, based on brain and behavioral research, Daniel Goleman argues that our IQ-idolizing view of intelligence is far too narrow. Instead, Goleman makes the case for “emotional intelligence” being the strongest indicator of human success. He defines emotional intelligence in terms of self-awareness, altruism, personal motivation, empathy, and the ability to love and be loved by friends, partners, and family members. People who possess high emotional intelligence are the people who truly succeed in work as well as play, building flourishing careers and lasting, meaningful relationships. Because emotional intelligence isn’t fixed at birth, Goleman outlines how adults as well as parents of young children can sow the seeds.