Even in the late 50 there were pioneer New Zealand creative teachers exploring new ideas about learning - the most well known was Elwyn Richardson author of the recently reprinted In The Early World'. He was not alone. Creative ideas were being spread by the Art Advisers who encouraged teachers throughout New Zealand and also by Junior School teachers who were introducing
Teachers at this time were also aware of the innovative approaches of child centred English classrooms and also the American Open Education movement .
They were exciting times to be a teachers. . One writer who was widely read was American John Holt. His books ,'How Children Learn' and 'Why Children Fail', are as relevant today as they were then.'
Holt finally gave up on the belief that schools could be transformed and eventually became a 'de-schooler'. One of his later book was titled 'The Under Achieving School'.- another good read. Along with John Holt I now have to admit that, after decades of encouraging school transformation, I have also come to Holt's view about the impossibility of really transforming our antiquated education system . The current political
leadership is not conducive to making real change falling back on reactionary National Standards and introducing a scheme for 'successful' principals and teachers to push 'approved' ideas on other schools. The enlightened 2007 New Zealand curriculum has been all but sidelined.
A link to a John Holt site
I am reassured that, as in the 50s, there are still many creative teachers doing their best; unfortunately far too few innovative principals. With this in mind I though the sharing of John Holt's quotes are as relevant as ever.
|This is the basis of personalized learning.|
|Imagine a school doing just this!!|
|A school dedicated to providing learning oportunities|
|A need for more messy/ confusing learning.|
|S o many students get turned off schools|
|Holt finally gave up on schools - before the www!!|
|Let students learn about what they are curious about.|
|What happens to the innate desire to learn?|
|Holt came to the belief schools kill the desire to learn|
|Education is about crating conditions and opportunities|
|The real role of the teacher|
|As the NZC says - students who can seek, use and create their own knowledge|
|Value and respect students ideas.|