I’ve become a real Cory Doctorow fan ever since reading Little Brother (and yes, I did double check that.) It’s a great novel for geeks and non geeks alike, and I wish I could remember who I loaned my copy to.
Anyway, Cory has a post at Boing Boing today that talks about his recent reading of John Holt’s classic How Children Learn which I remember reading parts of quite a while ago. (It’s obviously something I need to revisit, along with many others.) He pulls out some really great quotes that just make me yearn for that type of learning environment for my own children. I loved this one snip:
Most resonant for me was his description of kids’ learning unfolding from the natural passionate obsessions that overtake them.
Me too. I remember when I was in sixth grade and Mrs. Tharp let me go outside of the regular essay assignment to write another chapter in my exceedingly exciting novel about a camping trip gone bad. (I wish fan fiction was around back then.) Same with Ms. Riley when I was a sophomore in high school who let me write the bulk of my journalism stories around sports related topics, and Dr. DeCavalcante when I was a senior who instead of doing the standard report about John Updike let me instead try my own hand at a short story a la A&P (one of my all-time favorites) written in Updike’s voice. It wasn’t the story that he assessed, it was my attention to style and diction, and I loved trying to replicate the cadences and dialogue. And even though I knew the story wasn’t great, I got an A. (I’m an English geek, I know.)
So I’m wondering what memories along these lines others have. And I’m wondering how much we feel we’re able to let kids do along these line in our classrooms.
Btw, Doctorow’s post is worth it for the comments as well…