Monday, August 25, 2014

Happy Post: Back to School

(Reclaimed from Bubblews.)

In some parts of the United States school traditionally starts on the first Tuesday in September. (The first Monday is Labor Day.) In Virginia, however, school traditionally starts in the last week of August. Some schools opened last week, and the college where I'm writing this opened today. Of course I'm happy about means the computer center stays open later, and also, although we've been having hot and humid weather, I've spent the whole day in the air-conditioned computer room.

John Holt, a truly great teacher, writer, and activist who befriended my brother during the last years of both of their lives, came to speculate that in a really free society schools would cease to exist. People would learn to do things by doing them and wouldn't have to designate special places for learning.

I'm not so sure about that. I think a lot of things are most effectively learned by doing them, but much can also be learned from books, and there's a considerable amount of pleasure in studying the same books at the same time other people are studying them.

Are you in a teacher, a student, or both?