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John Holt pp 79-92 | Cite as

What Is to Be Done?

  • Adam DickersonEmail author
Chapter
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Education book series (BRIEFSEDUCAT)

Abstract

It is now time to turn from theory to a brief consideration of practice—to ask the question, if something like the analysis given in the preceding chapters is correct, then what, if anything, does it demand that we do? At the end of chapter one, it was pointed out that, considered analytically, Holt’s works consist of three main components. First, they contain a positive or constructive account of what he considers the ‘best learning’, the sorts of conditions that promote such learning, and the sorts of conditions that are hostile to it. Secondly, they contain a critique of education, which is justified by appeal to the foregoing account of ‘best learning’. And thirdly, they contain a range of practical strategies, aimed at mitigating the problems of education (especially compulsory schooling) and maximising the opportunity of acquiring the ‘best learning’. This third component was of great significance to Holt. Although there is a sense in which Holt’s work is ‘utopian’, in that it criticises some foundational cultural assumptions and envisages a possible society that exists nowhere, he is, at the same time, a deeply practical, realistic thinker. He does not offer airy plans for grand social reconstruction, addressed to nobody in particular; rather, he tries to answer the question of what can be done by us, here and now. In the words of one of his book titles, he wants to answer the question: What do I do Monday?

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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GundarooAustralia

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