How Teachers Make Children Hate Reading
John Holt, a fifth grade English Teacher, makes several valid points in his article “How
Teachers Make Children Hate Reading”. We all know when children start off in school they have
an unconditional excitement about reading and somewhere in adolescents that is lost. More
often than not, teachers are caught up in making sure their children are up to grade level and
the excitement of learning is lost.” Children are being forced to understand everything they
read, however is this really necessary? Are traditional methods of teaching really foolish?
Studies show in life we start out with a very extensive vocabulary in which we learned with
repetition. In this article John Holt provides an overabundance of useful information to back his
Mr. Holt noticed in extensive studies that in traditional teaching standards; a child is
asked to read certain books which, have no interest to the child. After reading the boring novel
follows an extensive vocabulary research and various discussions about the book, reassuring
the student “understands” each and every aspect of the book in which they just read. There is
an unspoken competition in open discussions in the classroom, along with underlying
punishment for those who do not understand. The article shows children are placed on a pass
or fail platform in front of their peers causing humiliation and pain. When they answer a
question incorrectly, not only does the child know they failed, the whole class has watched
them fail. Fear and public humiliation seem to create a block that causes a child to shy away
from the unsure. This may not seem sensible but it is natural even in the brightest of children.
Now that Mr. Holt understood the problem he took carful time and consideration in
figuring out the solution, carefully weighing the pros and cons of the traditional method.
Starting with what they read and leading into how they read it,...