Escape from Childhood: The Needs and Rights of Children

Escape from Childhood: The Needs and Rights of Children

2.99

Escape From Childhood is Holt’s attempt to go beyond school reforms to show ways that society as a whole can help children learn and grow into responsible adults. It examines our peculiar institution of childhood, one that systematically denies young people responsible choices, while expecting them to assume this same responsibility at an arbitrarily determined age, and proposes many ideas we can implement that would make society more welcoming to young people.

Kirsten Olson, author of Wounded By School (Teachers College Press), writes, “Childhood as a walled garden—safe, protected, and innocent—is a fiction in Holt's view, essentially an early 20th century construction that we must release children from. With his usual profound interest in observing children in the world, Holt presents a series of arguments about the nature of childhood that any serious educator or parent should thoughtfully explore.”

Dr. Peter Gray, author of Free to Learn (Basic Books) says, “John Holt’s Escape from Childhood: The Needs and Rights of Children, is as fresh and thought-provoking today as it was when it was first published 39 years ago, and its message is even more essential now than it was then.  In the past four decades we have seen progress in the rights of all people—except children.  For children, we have moved backwards. We, in modern-day America, underestimate children’s abilities to make reasonable judgments far more than have any other people at any other place or time in history. In the name of protecting children we hurt them, sometimes viciously. As Holt shows brilliantly, children need the same rights to advance their own interests and protect themselves as we grant to adults.”

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Escape From Childhood is Holt’s attempt to go beyond school reforms to show ways that society as a whole can help children learn and grow into responsible adults. It examines our peculiar institution of childhood, one that systematically denies young people responsible choices, while expecting them to assume this same responsibility at an arbitrarily determined age, and proposes many ideas we can implement that would make society more welcoming to young people.

Kirsten Olson, author of Wounded By School (Teachers College Press), writes, “Childhood as a walled garden—safe, protected, and innocent—is a fiction in Holt's view, essentially an early 20th century construction that we must release children from. With his usual profound interest in observing children in the world, Holt presents a series of arguments about the nature of childhood that any serious educator or parent should thoughtfully explore.”

Dr. Peter Gray, author of Free to Learn (Basic Books) says, “John Holt’s Escape from Childhood: The Needs and Rights of Children, is as fresh and thought-provoking today as it was when it was first published 39 years ago, and its message is even more essential now than it was then. In the past four decades we have seen progress in the rights of all people—except children. For children, we have moved backwards. We, in modern-day America, underestimate children’s abilities to make reasonable judgments far more than have any other people at any other place or time in history. In the name of protecting children we hurt them, sometimes viciously. As Holt shows brilliantly, children need the same rights to advance their own interests and protect themselves as we grant to adults.”