Thursday, March 24, 2005

Dear John (or Sound advice from a Dear Abby reader)

In an email to a north Mississippi homeschool group, Jeanne writes:

"Now this was a surprise. When I got back from my walk this morning and picked up the paper, I saw that a writer to Dear Abby was quoting homeschooling advocate John Holt:

DEAR ABBY: You printed a letter from a student who received detention for "respectfully disagreeing" with her teacher during a discussion of world events. In your reply, you suggested that the writer's comment may have been "disruptive," justifying the detention, and advised that it would have been more "diplomatic" to have voiced the disagreement in private. I take exception to your answer.

I am semi-retired now, but as a manager I had tremendous difficulty convincing subordinates that it was not only safe to disagree with me, but that I needed their frank opinions. I trace this to a situation described by John Holt in his 1964 book, "How Children Fail," in which he points out that the education system kills creativity, teaching students to anticipate what the teacher wants to hear and to feed it back to him/her.

I found a link on line if you want to read the whole thing.
I just love it when stuff that supports homeschooling slips into the mainstream. "

Thanks Jeanne!

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