Monday, February 25, 2008

What Do I Do Monday? Part Six

Troubled Children and Others
  • How to Live with Your Special Child, George von Hilsheimer: “Any child who persists in troubling or inadequate behavior when a majority of his peers have improved ought to be examined for hypoglycemia … Nearly every child sent to us has been found to be suffer a deficiency of B vitamins.”
  • Von Hilsheimer: “Nearly every troubling child suffers constantly from the tension of his muscles … An alert teacher will notice that troubled children cannot breathe. Their breathing – and that of many if not most Americans – is thoroughly artificial. It is shallow, locked up into the chest with practically no abdominal movement and no chest movement at all.”
  • Von Hilsheimer: “A simple way of enriching the [classroom structure] is to break the age segregation. Kids teaching kids is the most effective social and teaching model now reported in literature.”
  • “Privacy and safety are critical for learning of all kinds. It is certain that the highly aroused, frightened child who is the typical failure or troublemaker needs more rather than less privacy, more rather than less safety and insulation.”
  • "... this is the trouble with the 'games' used by many of the high-powered curriculum reformers in their highly directed courses of study. The children know that these 'games' are not games, but gimmicks. They play them, because there a lot more interesting than sitting in a seat and listening to a teacher talk, which is what they would have to do if they didn't play them. But they don't play with anything like the energy, vivacity, or intelligence they bring to their true play, the games they think up and play for their own reasons."
  • "This is important, because the children, and there are many of them, who first adopt a strategy of deliberate failure to protect themselves against the demands of adults, demands they would be willing to try to meet if they thought they could, later almost always begin to see this strategy as a way of attacking and hurting adults."
Some Beginnings
  • "Children were sensible people, and if you treated them as if they could act sensibly, after a while -- if you start later, it may take longer--they believed it and did act sensibly.
For Further Reading
  • The Lives of Children, George Dennison
  • The Way It Spozed to Be, Herndon
  • Thirty-six Children, Open Classroom, Herbert Kohl
  • Logic of Action – from a Teacher’s Notebook, Frances Hawkins
  • Up Taught, Ken Macrorie
  • More by J. Holt: Underachieving School, How Children Fail, his 1970 Look magazine article, "Why We Need New Schooling"
  • Wishes, Lies and Dreams, Kenneth Koch
  • Teaching as a Subversive Activity, Postman and Weingartner
  • Schools without Failure, William Glasser
  • Hooked on Basics, Fader
  • Whole Earth Catalog


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