John Holt pp 17-50 | Cite as

The Spirit in Which the Work Is Done

  • Adam DickersonEmail author
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Education book series (BRIEFSEDUCAT)


This chapter is the heart of the book. It analyses the conceptual structure that underpins Holt’s account of learning and his critique of education. One way to view this analysis is as the solution to an interpretative problem. After all, the exceptional clarity and plainness of Holt’s prose can hide the fact that his central claims about learning and education are, prima facie, rather puzzling.


  1. Aristotle (1984). Nichomachean ethics (W. D. Ross, Trans.). In J Barnes (Ed.), The complete works of Aristotle: The revised Oxford translation. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Baehr, J. (2011). The inquiring mind: On intellectual virtues and virtue epistemology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barrow, R. (1978). Radical education: A critique of freeschooling and deschooling. Oxford: Martin Robertson.Google Scholar
  4. Brewer, T. (2009). The retrieval of ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Burnyeat, M. F. (1980). Aristotle on learning to be good. In A. O. Rorty (Ed.), Essays on Aristotle’s Ethics (pp. 69–92). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  6. Crawford, M. (2010). Shopcraft as soulcraft: An inquiry into the value of work. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  7. Dewey, J. (2015). Experience and education. New York: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
  8. Elster, J. (1983). Sour grapes: Studies in the subversion of rationality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Foot, P. (2002). Virtues and vices. Virtues and vices and other essays in moral philosophy (pp. 1–18). Oxford: Clarendon Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Green, B. (1986). The inner game of music. New York: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  11. Hirst, P. (1975). What is teaching? In R. S. Peters (Ed.), The philosophy of education (pp. 163–77). London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  12. Holt, J. (1970). What do I do Monday? New York: E. P. Dutton and Co.Google Scholar
  13. Holt, J. (1971). Big bird, meet Dick and Jane: A critique of Sesame Street. Atlantic Monthly, 227(5), 72–8.Google Scholar
  14. Holt, J. (1972). Fundamental reminders: We learn for ourselves. Edcentric: A Journal for Educational Change, September, 4–6.Google Scholar
  15. Holt, J. (1976). Instead of education. New York: E. P. Dutton and Co.Google Scholar
  16. Holt, J. (1981). Teach your own: A hopeful path for education. Liss, Hants: Lighthouse Books.Google Scholar
  17. Holt, J. (1982). How children fail (revised ed.). New York: Merloyd Lawrence.Google Scholar
  18. Holt, J. (1983). How children learn (revised ed.). London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  19. Holt, J. (1989). Learning all the time. New York: Merloyd Lawrence.Google Scholar
  20. Holt, J. (1990). Letter to Joanna Picciotto, 1/1/82. In S. Sheffer (Ed.), A life worth living: Selected letters of John Holt (pp. 249–52). Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Hookway, C. (2003). How to be a virtue epistemologist. In M. DePaul & L. Zagzebski (Eds.), Intellectual virtue: Perspectives from ethics and epistemology (pp. 183–202). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kilpatrick, W. H. (1918). The project method. Teachers College Record, 19(4), 319–35.Google Scholar
  23. MacIntyre, A. (1984). After virtue: A study in moral theory (2nd ed.). Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.Google Scholar
  24. MacIntyre, A. (1994). The Theses on Feuerbach: A road not taken. In C. C. Gould & R. S. Cohen (Eds.), Artifacts, representations and social practice (pp. 277–90). Dordrecht: Kluwer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Marsalis, W. (1995). Marsalis on music. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  26. Peters, R. S. (1966). Ethics and education. London: George Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  27. Pirsig, R. M. (2004). Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance: An inquiry into values (25th anniversary ed.). London: Vintage.Google Scholar
  28. Roberts, R. C., & Wood, W. J. (2007). Intellectual virtues: An essay in regulative epistemology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sennett, R. (2008). The craftsman. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Sudnow, D. (2001). Ways of the hand: A rewritten account. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  31. Von Wright, G. H. (1963). The varieties of goodness. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  32. Wittgenstein, L. (1958). Philosophische Untersuchungen/Philosophical Investigations (2nd ed.). (G. E. M. Anscombe, Trans.). Oxford: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  33. Wood, L. (1963). Intelligence. In D. D. Runes (Ed.), Dictionary of philosophy. New York: Philosophical Library.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GundarooAustralia

Personalised recommendations