I put this book on my "to read" list last year after re-reading John Dewey's Education and Experience. In that book Dewey recommends this book as containing the most important research of the time regarding psychology and education. You can't get much higher praise than that and this book didn't disappoint. This is a very quick read and I also highly recommend it to anyone working in education, especially those working in policy, curriculum design, and school administration. Though this book really is not about any of those things it is about building evidence for laying a new foundation, or at least questioning the foundation we currently have, for building a conception of teaching, learning, and reality.
"When the common foe was vanquished, we lost our common purpose and began again to fight amongst ourselves." Kelley
This calls into serious question the nature of the human condition. Are we predisposed to fight? Must we always have and "other" we consider our enemy? To what degree does this define us?
"Now we became capitalist imperialists. The ghost of Hitler must have laughed!" Kelley
Reading this book now is quite timely.
"During the war we had been lacking in man power, so many of our depressed peoples had been brought into use and had attained an economic status never before enjoyed by them. We were confronted with the problem of putting them back in their proper places. They were holding jobs we wanted." Kelley
That was the issue following WWII, this is now:
"Each usually justifies his selfish act with the pious statement that if he has his way, those whom he hopes to take advantage of will be somehow better off." Kelley
"When we know a condition in advance, and do nothing about it, one is forced to the conclusion that we do not really care about it, or have some undisclosed reason for failing to take action." Kelleyor we have been so beaten down that we feel there is nothing we can do to change things anyway.
"Delinquency is a measure of adult neglect of children, for the children are all right when we get them." Kelley
OK, SocialDitto just stopped working for me. Please excuse the crude embeds to follow.
Reminds me of the veteran teachers who when I first started advised me not to smile until Christmas.
This is a point I have been saying here on my blog for quite some time and another thing that drives me nuts about the Common Core movement. Its like now that we have been using Wikipedia for a decade people have forgotten the ridiculousness of having outdated encyclopedias. Could same forgetfulness help to create favorable conditions for a meme like Common Core to flourish and grow? The public does have a remarkably short memory. I wonder how many Americans have already forgotten about the oil spill disaster in the gulf. I suspect quite a few.
Lets repeat that in bold so it stands out. Lets open the windows and scream it at the top of our lungs:
"there is no item of human knowledge that somebody could not get along without."
Lets print that in full:
"we have to abandon the 'essentials.' If we teach in accordance with the student's purpose to learn, then the problem of getting the young to assume responsibility arises. Whenever he does anything in response to his purpose, he has assumed responsibility, for it was his purpose, not the teacher's. When he does something in response to the purpose of another, he has not assumed responsibility, but he has obeyed orders. If the teacher is going to furnish the purpose, he must also assume the responsibility." Kelley "
"When children are pursuing their own purposes, extrinsic frustration will be so eliminated that the need for treatment in mental health will be greatly reduced." Kelley
I've long suspected that schools and other institutions are the cause of many mental illnesses and learning disabilities.
"What the teacher has no right to do is to attempt to demand interest." Kelley
"no child ever became delinquent who had one real adult friend who actually cared what became of him." Kelley
"The most important evaluation in such a school would be precisely the one made by the student himself" Kelley
I love that line:
"You cannot get me to assume your responsibility by telling you what to do. This is your day, and you cannot look to others to be responsible for the use you make of it." Kelley
@anderscj that statement clarifies and sums up a lot!
@SheilaSpeaking that book was awesome. Its very short but I highly highly recommend it.
@anderscj just had a convo/insight with my oldest similar to the one I just rt'd.
@SheilaSpeaking somehow that quote coming from just after WWII adds to its weight
"The more unlike us another is, the more we need him." Kelley