Week 3 John holt teach your own – Pedagogical research -10.02.20
This week I have started reading John Holt’s ‘Teach your own’. A large part of my pedagogical research for my practice within the MA is focussed on critical writings by educational authors. The below is an overview of the book by Holt, take from this Amazon blurb.
“Rather than proposing that parents turn their homes into miniature schools, Holt and Farenga demonstrate how ordinary parents can help children grow as social, active learners. Chapters on living with children, “serious play,” children and work, and learning difficulties will be of interest to all parents, whether home schooling or not, as well as to teachers.” (Amazon : teach your own)
This quote “Rather than proposing that parents turn their homes into miniature schools” is especially poignant visually , as the very first image I aim to create this module is a construction , an interpretation of my sons classroom at his last school.
Holt’s book begins in the first paragraph by saying “It is in part an argument both in favour of doing it, in part a report of the people who are doing it, and in part a manual of action for the people who want to do it.” (Holt. 2003. Pg 1) I was struck by how similar this goal is to that of my own goal on my overall, wide reaching research project throughout all of the modules on the MA. The aim to show & to illustrate, from an informed, and personal point of view. It is not , in my own instance to say ‘this is better’ , but to say ‘this is better for the families’ and therefore , it could be better for you too.
Holt was an educator in both private and state schools , who started out giving lectures on his theories of child-led learning and what education could be, in places like Harvard university. Soon disillusioned by the lack of response to an overly warm reception, he decided to cut ties with teaching totally and focused on his writing and lectures.
The book is extremely bias and one sided, talking about regimented , and boring schools. It’s not that I necessarily disagree with this, but that his delivery , is so overtly over the top, and it has to be said, not indicative of every school, no matter how bias I myself am, I cannot believe that it is true of everywhere. Overall I believe there is huge issues with the state education system, it’s division of children, it’s categorisation, it’s lack of emphasis on the arts and creativity for those children who would rather learn that way, and in what I believe to be the ingrained systematic bullying and belittling of children within that system , however to approach the subject eradicating all of the positives that are there for many children in state schooling, is counterproductive to your argument I believe, and stops a wider audience from listening, this is something, I do not want to fall prey to within my own project.
Holt, John. 2003. Teach your own . Da Capo Press. Available at : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Teach-Your-Own-John-Homeschooling/dp/0738206946 (accessed 10.02.20)
fig 1, Holt, John. Teach your own