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36 Children by Herbert Kohl
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36 Children (original 1967; edition 1988)

by Herbert Kohl (Author)

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2034135,131 (3.94)7
The author "tells of his years spent teaching children in a Harlem school, from his own fear and confusion on the first day (baffled by his pupils' apathy or resentment) to the progress of his thirty-six children during the next four years. He makes... comments on teaching methods and materials and explains his changes from academic traditions."… (more)
Member:alcottacre777
Title:36 Children
Authors:Herbert Kohl (Author)
Info:Plume (1988), Edition: Reissue, 224 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:Primary education (Elementary education)

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36 Children by Herbert Kohl (1967)

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» See also 7 mentions

Showing 4 of 4
For me, this was the right book at the right time.
  Mark_Feltskog | Dec 23, 2023 |
A study of the education system in the USA (and the school system in general), and how it fails poor people, written in the 1960s. Fascinating observation on how unstructured, artistic and philosophically-driven learning can benefit children. Made stronger by the inclusion of stories and work by the children that Kohl taught (including the chillingly brilliant short story 'The Condemned Building' by Alvin). As a teacher Kohl seems to care about his students. Occasionally dated in language; some meandering sections and bland language spoil passages, but this is still a very relevant book. ( )
1 vote ephemeral_future | Aug 20, 2020 |
Acquired via BookCrossing 26 Mar 2010 - box of books given to me by Sorcha for OBCZs

This was pretty well the only book I took to read from Sorcha's boxes for OBCZs. I do like a book on education and this was the fascinating story of a new, white, teacher's first year (and a bit more) teaching a class of black children in the heart of Harlem. He determines to treat the children as individuals; he refuses to look at the reports on them from their previous classes; he works against the curriculum, instead encouraging them to explore , read, write and research. Honestly written, including his mistakes, the book is a fascinating and humane read, only made a little slower by the inclusion of the children's actual work into the text - which is necessary and interesting but does distract from the story. He also talks about what happened next, as he retains contact with some of his class. I'm not sure much has changed in education since this, which could be very depressing, but it's a heart-warming story in the main, if you concentrate on the fact that there must be other teachers out there of the same viewpoint and calibre.
1 vote LyzzyBee | Oct 8, 2010 |
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Epigraph
I cannot bring a world quite round,
Although I patch it as I can,

I sing a hero's head, large eye
And bearded bronze, but not a man,

Although I patch him as I can
And reach through him almost to man.

If to serenade almost to man
Is to miss, by that, things as they are,

Say that it is the serenade
Of a man that plays a blue guitar.

Wallace Stevens
"The Man with the Blue Guitar"
Dedication
In memory of my grandfather and teacher, Morris Cohen
First words
My alarm clock rang at seven thirty, but I was up and dressed at seven.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The author "tells of his years spent teaching children in a Harlem school, from his own fear and confusion on the first day (baffled by his pupils' apathy or resentment) to the progress of his thirty-six children during the next four years. He makes... comments on teaching methods and materials and explains his changes from academic traditions."

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