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Teacher (Touchstone Books) by Sylvia…

Teacher (Touchstone Books) (edition 1986)

by Sylvia Ashton-Warner

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194460,720 (3.91)5
Title:Teacher (Touchstone Books)
Authors:Sylvia Ashton-Warner
Info:Touchstone (1986), Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:2012, Book Club, Your library, Favorites
Tags:non-fiction, teaching, Maori, New Zealand, children, inspirational

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Teacher by Sylvia Ashton-Warner



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Teacher by Sylvia Ashton-Warner is a treatise on teaching disadvantaged children based on a career of working with Maori children. I came across this book in my metadata cleanup at work.

Ashton-Warner describes in her book techniques she used to get reluctant readers, reading. Rather than using the same text book — text books in her case that were often imported from Great Britain — she customized her primers.

She had the radical (and I mean this in the revolutionary sense) idea of asking children which words they wanted to learn how to read and write. The sad thing is that the words many of the children chose were violent ones: ones associated with guns, domestic violence, alcohol, and the other ills that come with poverty and oppression.

For the older readers, Ashton-Warner encouraged her children to write their own stories. These were often done on the blackboard. The stories were then erased at the end of the week, allowing students to start fresh the next week.

But these reading and writing tips are only the first third of the book. The remainder is a mixture of her thoughts on teaching Maori children vs. white children. Unfortunately her observations fall into the idiotic cliches, and it appears despite her years of working with the Maori and learning their language, she never quite got to thinking of them as people — as neighbors, as equals. ( )
  pussreboots | Jan 2, 2015 |
peculiar. very interesting about the maori kids. ( )
  mahallett | May 22, 2012 |
i heard of this book when i was taking a course on teaching esl. i was very disappointed reading it. the parts about teaching the kids were great. the rest of it…….i occasionally checked the page numbers to see if some had fallen out. the character was very PECULIAR! ( )
  mahallett | Jan 28, 2012 |
This is Sylvia Ashton-Warner's account of her time teaching Maori children to read and write in the 1930s. Ashton-Warner developed her own innovative methods for teaching her students, including focusing on organic vocabulary acquisition (the words students identified with, rather than the words served up in teaching books of the time) and doing away with Western primary readers until children had acquired their own reading habits.

Ashton-Warner is fond of 'organic' learning, and this book also feels organic when you read it: there are two main sections (on Creative Teaching and Life in a Maori School), but within each section are different kinds of writing: notes, diary entries, timetables, explanations of teaching points and so on. As a struggling teacher, I found it refreshing to read about someone who tries to get back to the roots of teaching, instead of floating along on what other people believe teaching should be about.

This book was a key inspiration behind the early founders of dogme: an English language teaching movement commitment which emphasises no- (or low-) materials teaching, and focusing on what students themselves bring to a lesson. If this kind of teaching approach inspires you then Teacher will be an inspiring read. ( )
  zbrntt | Jan 2, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sylvia Ashton-Warnerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kingston, Maxin HongForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Book description
'Teacher' was first published in 1963 to excited acclaim.  Its author, Sylvia Ashton-Warner, who lived in New Zealand and spent many years teaching Maori children, found that Marois taught according to British methods were not learning to read.  They were passionate, moody children, bred in an ancient legend-haunted tradition; how could she build them a bridge to European culture that would enable them to take hold of the great joy of reading?  Ashton-Warner devised a method whereby written words became prized possessions for her students.  Today her findings are strikingly relevant to the teaching of socially disadvantaged and non-English-speaking students.

'Teacher' is part diary, part inspired description of Ashton-Warner's teaching method in action.  Her fiercely loved children come alive individually, as do the unique setting and the character of this extraordinary woman.

Sylvia Constance Ashton-Warner MBE (17 December 1908 – 28 April 1984) was born and educated in New Zealand, where for many years she taught in small country schools.  She developed revolutionary teaching methods which she described in 'Teacher'; the book was read around the world.  Her first novel, 'Spinster', became a best-seller.  She is the author of five novels, two educational books and autobiographical works.

'Sylvia', and MGM/UA film released in 1985, is based on the life of Sylvia Ashton-Warner and draws on several of her books, primarily 'Teacher'.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0671617680, Paperback)

* Holographic paper case

* Brown Kraft paper jacket with die-cut and green glitter

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:06 -0400)

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