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The Lives Of Children - The Story of the First Street School [256KB]
George Dennison
Introducing this book, John Holt says that this book must be seen also as a destroyer of alibis and excuses for teachers. They cannot say any longer that they do not know why they are failing, or that they do not know what has to be done instead, or that they cannot afford to do it. If they go on failing much longer, stunting and wrecking as they have the lives and spirits of millions of children, it can only be because that is what they really want to do. The Lives of Children is the deeply inspiring story of the First Street School, where twenty-three children, black, white and Puerto Rican, all from poor families, and many with severe learning problems, came together with five teachers who believed that “the business of a school is not, or should not be, mere instruction, but the life of the child.” – “that the proper concern of a primary school is not education in a narrow sense, and still less preparation for later life, but the present lives of the children”. George Dennison tells how he and his fellow teachers taught and learned from these children by truly entering their lives.
Contributed by: Arvind Gupta

The Idiot Teacher - A Book about Prestolee School and its Headmaster E. F. O'Neill [171KB]
Gerard Holmes
The Headmaster of Prestolee - a country school of the early 20th century, O’Neill believed in SELF-ACTIVITY, ORIGINALITY and INITIATIVE. To him, a teacher's task was to release the life force which is latent in every child and that teachers should do things with the children rather than for them. His story is one of dedication and hard work, backed up with this clear notion of what education is.

Third Class Ticket [1.5 MB]
Heather Wood
An old lady sponsors an all India tour for her villagers. Forty elderly Bengali villagers. On one layer, it is interesting to read about these people, their direct talk, thinking, talents and the recognition they receive. Many of them leave an impression. Also inevitable are the tragic stories of those who succumb to illness or frustration. On another layer is the depiction of India of the 70s.

36 CHILDREN [1.02 MB]
Herbert Kohl
36 Children is about the trials of a teacher, well-meaning enough to realize that every thing about his school – the curriculum, the textbooks …, were ill suited to nurture his all black and socially deprived pupils. Herbert Kohl, the teacher discovering for himself what was best for such circumstances, managed to motivate the class towards better performance and instil in them a desire to climb higher up the academic ladder. In conclusion, he says, “The thirty-six children are suffering from the diseases of our society. They are no special cases; there are too many hundreds of thousands like them, lost in indifferent, inferior schools, put on the streets or in prep schools with condescension or cynicism... I believe neither that they will succeed nor that they will fail. I know they will fight, falter and rise again and again, and that if I have the strength I will be there to rejoice and cry with them”.
Contributed by: Arvind Gupta

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