10 inspirational john holt quotes on success

  • The true test of character is not how much we know how to do, but how we behave when we don’t know what to do.
  • Learning is not the product of teaching. Learning is the product of the activity of learners.
  • Children. Nothing could be more simple – or more difficult. Difficult, because to trust children we must trust ourselves – and most of us were taught as children that we could not be trusted. And so we go on treating children as we ourselves were treated, calling this “reality,” or saying bitterly, “If I could put up with it, they can too.
  • If I had to make a general rule for living and working with children, it might be this: be wary of saying or doing anything to a child that you would not do to another adult, whose good opinion and affection you valued.
  • Any child who can spend an hour or two a day, or more if he wants, with adults that he likes, who are interested in the world and like to talk about it, will on most days learn far more from their talk than he would learn in a week of school.
  • Children are not only extremely good at learning; they are much better at it than we are.
  • We ask children to do for most of a day what few adults are able to do for even an hour. How many of us, attending, say, a lecture that doesn’t interest us, can keep our minds from wandering? Hardly any.
  • The danger of letting people ask, “Is this the best way to do this job?” is that after a while they may ask, “Is this job worth doing?
  • To a very great degree, school is a place where children learn to be stupid.
  • We don’t have to make human beings smart. They are born smart. All we have to do is stop doing the things that made them stupid.
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