The Joy of Learning Quote of the Day*

August 17, 2006 @ 5:22 am | Filed under: Joy of Learning Quote of the Day

*Where "day" = "as often as I remember to do it." How’s this for a fun idea? In addition to regular posting, I’m going to start posting daily quotes about How People Learn Stuff. Such as:

"The child is curious. He wants to make sense out of things, find out how things work, gain competence and control over himself and his environment, and do what he can see other people doing. He is open, perceptive, and experimental. He does not merely observe the world around him, he does not shut himself off from the strange, complicated world around him, but tastes it, touches it, hefts it, bends it, breaks it. To find out how reality works, he works on it. He is bold. He is not afraid of making mistakes. And he is patient. He can tolerate an extraordinary amount of uncertainty, confusion, ignorance, and suspense."

—John Holt, How Children Learn

"Tastes it, touches it, hefts it, bends it, breaks it." Boy is that right. Actually this is just what Maria Montessori was talking about in that quote I posted on Bonny Glen the other day.

"Supposing I said there was a planet without schools or teachers, study was unknown, and yet the inhabitants—doing nothing but living and walking about—came to know all things, to carry in their minds the whole of learning: would you not think I was romancing? Well, just this, which seems so fanciful as to be nothing but the invention of a fertile imagination, is a reality. It is the child’s way of learning. This is the path he follows. He learns everything without knowing he is learning it, and in doing so passes little from the unconscious to the conscious, treading always in the paths of joy and love."

So there you go: your Joy of Learning Quote of the Day, where "quote" is sometimes plural.


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Comments

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  1. The bit about patience also reminds me of a passage in The Myth of Ability (which is about math teaching, if you haven’t come across it, it is worth it) in which the author talks about watching teenage boys learning to skateboard to prove the point that even the kids you think are least interested in learning will spend an inordinate amount of time just repeating things until they get them right if they really want to learn it and feel like they are getting somewhere. Maybe I will dig it out and put a longer piece on my blog…

  2. Math again

    Melissa’s quote of the day the other day reminded me of the approach taken by John Mighton in The Myth of Ability. There is always plenty of discussion of math on the homeschooling blogs and since this book isn’t specifically