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4.10  ·  Rating details ·  227 ratings  ·  21 reviews
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 Maoris 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 cult ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 31st 1986 by Touchstone (first published January 1st 1901)
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4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  227 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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Sarah Shoenberger
Jun 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The second I finished this book. I returned to the first page and began again. This book is poetry, passion and mentorship.
Pankaj Suneja
Jan 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
"Children have two visions, the inner and the outer of the two, the inner vision is brighter"
- Sylvia, Pg 38

Sylvia Ashton Warner, author of Teacher, shares her method of teaching that stresses on the inner vision. The output resulting from inner vision is said to be organic. The output can be a word (Key Vocabulary) , a sentence (Creative/organic writing). Each word coming from inner live of child has significance and personal meaning for a child. This emotional significance attached with the w
Feb 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Interesting book about teaching. It is ultimately a diary; kind of disjointed and not always the easiest to follow. I found the comparison to marriage and intimacy at the end to be too much. But I do like the idea of giving children words to learn that already exist in their own minds and think that makes a lot of sense, rather than a one size fits all solution for teaching. This was introduced early in the text. I already do that so I thought it was neat, though I think using other texts that c ...more
Apr 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This book is an inspiration for anyone who cares about early childhood, multicultural, or ESL education. It's essentially Sylvia Ashton Warner's diary from the many years that she spent teaching Maori children. She was an incredibly innovative woman who cared deeply about the well-being of her disadvantaged students and who did her best to tailor education individually to the needs of each child. Her ideas were unfortunately not only ahead of her time, but still ahead of ours.
Daniel S
“For it is not so much the content of what one says as the way in which one says it. However important the thing you say, what’s the good of it if not heard, or being heard, not felt? To feel as well as hear what someone says requires whole attention. And that’s what the master’s command gave me- it gave me whole attention.” (17)
“It’s the bridge from the know to the unknown; from a native culture to a new; and, universally speaking, from the inner man out.” (28)

“The teacher considered it his dut
Jun 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
An interesting read, I am not sure how applicable it is to schools or how I personally feel about children writing about beatings, I like the concept but I have a hard time figuring how it could work in a public school without the teacher getting into trouble. I will keep this in mind as I teach but I am not sure if it can be a reality.
Apr 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: superior
Mrs. Ashton-Warner is responsible for inspiring and igniting my teaching philosophy. She was the first teacher I came across with whom I could connect. Her passion for creating a child-center atmosphere has driven me to enact my own educational dreams.
Tonya Leslie
I'd forgotten how this book brings you into her classroom. my favorite part of this book is that she asks the students to tell her the words that they want and that is how they create their beginning written vocabulary.
Feb 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faves
No other book influenced my imagination and practice of teaching than this book. It inspired me to forego the boilerplate as much as possible and keep reinventing each course, each semester, each year.
Aug 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all who love children
Recommended to Libbycohenimrie by: I found it in a secondhand bookshop in Lismore Australia
One of the most inspiring books I have ever read...I recommend it to anyone who loves children.
Dec 06, 2007 rated it really liked it
It's about her work with the Mauri children in New Zealand. She's for the child.
May 14, 2012 rated it liked it
A good read for anybody interested in teaching young learners.
Liz Rex
Aug 18, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: teachers
A good read before heading back to my energetic,young, middle school students.
Andrea Gustafson
Wow...I learned alot from this book. True story.
Caffeinated Weka
Teacher is a great read for New Zealand teachers and educators. The methods and philosophies about organic reading, writing and vocabulary, particularly for Maori children, were revolutionary at the time and some still stand strong today. Others are dated now but Ashton-Warner's recognition of the effect constructivism and cultural capital has on a child's learning is an important precursor to personalised and learner-centred learning and teaching today. The second half of the book is a series o ...more
Jan Sheely
Apr 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This a a book I read long ago and remember how much I enjoyed it. It is the story of a teacher and her principal husband who were sent to teach the Maori children of New Zealand and Austalia. She discovers that the British textbooks and materials mean nothing to the children. She devises her own materials, field trips and fun to teach the children using their own environment as the curriculum.
Jun 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Very applicable to any teacher working in a classroom of children that are part of a minority culture. I really liked the New Vocabulary system described in the book, but I found the second half hard to get through.
Thom Dunn
I recall reading this when it came out and thinking, "Sylvia, any one of us Americans coulda told ya...."
Apr 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: superior
Love this teacher. Good documentation of her experiences trying to teach at a "free" school in America. I love her honest approach.
Abe Hanara
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“...the more violent the boy, the more I see that he creates, and when he kicks the others with his big boots, treads on fingers on the mat, hits another over the head with a piece of wood or throws a stone, I put clay in his hands, or chalk. He can create bombs if he likes or draw my house in flame, but it is the creative vent that is widening all the time and the destructive one atrophying, however much it may look to the contrary. And anyway I have always been more afraid of the weapon unspoken than of the one on the blackboard.” 1 likes
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