Education: Too Much Schooling?

"Too much schooling works against education." So writes ex-Teacher John Holt, who has shown that schools encourage bored children to grope for rote answers and smother their spontaneous ways of acquiring knowledge. Those criticisms in his widely read books, How Children Fail and How Children Learn, made him a major spokesman for the reform movement in American education. Now, in his latest work, Freedom and Beyond (E.P. Dutton; $7.95), Holt argues that reformers of classroom methods might better work to "deschool" society.

Unlike Educational Iconoclast Ivan Illich, Holt does not want schools abolished entirely, but he thinks they should be de-emphasized....

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