Thursday, February 22, 2007

How Children Fail

This book has me nodding all the time. Holt was such an observer, bent on much reflection... Maria Montessori would have liked him. :) The thing that has struck me most so far is how he sees that certain kids are producers--they just want to try to produce the right answer (or any answer, just to have it done with)--and others are thinkers--while they ultimately want to get to a correct answer, they think things through first. Or even afterwards.

Although his reflections and notes were written in the late 50's, nothing has changed. He could have easily been describing a modern classroom. And so much of what he says has me thinking so much about the 2 oldest, who live under so much stress when it comes to school activities that are required of them and are primarily producers; has me thinking about my dd who bounces back and forth from being a producer and a thinker. About ds, who does move towards being a producer when I require work of him that he doesn't really want to do because he wants to go do something else.

For ds, it's definitely not about stress. But dd gets stressed. The 12yo is under constant stress when it comes to work. Which all brings me back to Marva Collins and her focus of building confidence in the kids before anything else. Not that she doesn't have them do academics, but so much of her focus is on that self-confidence, to help remove the fears and the stress, to have the kids know that they CAN if they are willing. And that mistakes are all a part of the whole process.

Ds doesn't care about mistakes in his work. Not yet anyhow. The other 3, definitely...

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