book recommendations for rethinking / radicalizing education

Alli’s top 5 books to rethink your educational philosophy

  • John Holt, How Children Learn

“Learning is not the product of teaching. Learning is the product of the activity of learners.”

  • Grace Llewellyn, The Teenage Liberation Handbook

“Learning is not a product of teaching. Kids are born learning. They learn how to walk, how to talk. They’re basically little scientists. If we don’t stop that process, it will continue.”

  • John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down

“Children learn what they live. Put kids in a class and they will live out their lives in an invisible cage, isolated from their chance at community; interrupt kids with bells and horns all the time and they will learn that nothing is important or worth finishing; ridicule them and they will retreat from human association; shame them and they will find a hundred ways to get even. The habits taught in large-scale organizations are deadly.”

  • Ivan Illich, Deschooling Society

“School is the advertising agency which makes you believe that you need the society as it is.”

  • Frank Smith, The Book of Learning and Forgetting

“It is a frightening thought for many teachers that their students are learning all the time. Without any forgetting. And the students can’t help it. They can even learn things they might be better off not learning. The problem in school is not that many students aren’t learning, but what they are learning. They may not learn what their think they are teaching. To find out what students actually learn, look at the way they leave school. If they leave thinking that “school things” — such as reading, writing, mathematics, or history — are boring, difficult, and irrelevant to their lives and that they are “dummies,” this is something they have learned both in school and outside. They learn to be nonreaders, or that they are nonspellers, or that they can’t do mathematics. They learn who they are. If they learn they are leaders or geniuses (or clowns or fools) they behave accordingly.”

“Students, like teachers, exhibit more responsibility when more is given to them; they take the tasks they are engaged in more seriously and experience far greater satisfaction.”



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