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February 4, 2013

Open Doors for Teens

In 1965, soon after John Holt’s first book, How Children Fail, was published, a teacher wrote to him, saying, in effect,

I have just read your book, and like it.  But there is something you don’t know, that you should know. For over thirty years I have been teaching in the public schools of New York City. For over thirty years, along with my fellow teachers, I have been going to educational conferences, and training sessions, and workshops, to hear countless leaders in education talk, as you do, about the dignity of the child, and the importance of individual differences, and of fostering positive self-concepts, and building on the interests of the child, and letting the child learn from curiosity rather than fear.  And for thirty years I and my fellow teachers, as we went back to our classrooms, have said to ourselves, “Well, back to reality,” and have…

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