A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 12, 2015
“Children learn what they live”

Dorothy Law Nolte (1924-2005) wrote verses under the title “Children Learn What They Live” for the Torrance (CA) Herald in 1954. She later published theverses in the book Children Learn What They Live: Parenting to Inspire Values (1998).

The title’s saying had been popular before 1954. “People learn what they live” was said in 1938 by Dr. William Heard Kilpatrick of Columbia University Teachers College. “The single principle to guide all teachers is that pupils learn what they live as in their hearts they accept it” was said in 1946 by Dr. William T. Melchior of Syacuse University’s School of Education. Books were published with such titles as They Learn What They Live: A Phase of Life-Adjustment Education (1949), They Learn What They Live; Prejudice in Young Children, (1952) and Discipline: Children Learn What They Live (1954).


Wikipedia: Dorothy Nolte
Dorothy Law Nolte (January 12, 1924 – November 6, 2005) was an American writer and family counselor. She wrote a poem on childrearing, “Children Learn What They Live,” for a weekly family column for The Torrance Herald in 1954. The poem was widely circulated by readers as well as distributed to millions of new parents by a maker of baby formula. She copyrighted it in 1972, and in 1998 expanded it into a book, co-authored with Rachel Harris, “Children Learn What They Live: Parenting to Inspire Values.” At the time of Mrs. Nolte’s death, the book had more than 3 million copies in print worldwide and had been translated into 18 languages, according to its publisher, Workman Publishing. Mrs. Nolte and Ms. Harris also collaborated on “Teenagers Learn What They Live: Parenting to Inspire Integrity and Independence,” (Workman Publishing, 2002).

13 December 1938, Macon (GA) Telegraph, “School Is Topic of Noted Teacher,” pg. 9, col. 5:
“In time,” he declared, “people learn what they live—what they really live, in and from their hearts, and what they learn they build at once into personality and character.”
(Dr. William Heard Kilpatrick of Columbia University Teachers College. - -ed.)

6 May 1946, The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY), “Schools Must Give Spiritual Teaching, Educators Told,” pg. 6, col. 3:
“The single principle to guide all teachers is that pupils learn what they live as in their hearts they accept it.”
(Dr. William T. Melchior, Syacuse University School of Education.—ed.)

OCLC WorldCat record
They learn what they live : (a phase of life-adjustment education)
Author: Louisiana. Department of Education.
Publisher: Baton Rouge, 1949.
Series: Bulletin (Louisiana. Department of Education), no. 667.
Edition/Format: Print book : English

9 February 1950, Mason City (LA) Globe-Gazette, “Bryant Tells of School Needs,” pg. 8, col. 6:
“Education is a community responsibility since the child is educated by his total environment and young people learn what they live.”
(Hughes Bryant, Mason City attorney.—ed.)

29 October 1950, Rockford (IL) Morning Star, pg. 10, col. 1:
“You Learn What You Live” Is the Guiding Principle at Roosevelt
“You Learn What You Live.” That, in the fewest words possible, is the principle that guides the curriculum and the teaching at Roosevelt junior high school.

11 June 1951, Sacramento (CA) Bee, “‘Progressive Education’ Is Thrown Out In Pasadena,” pg. 36, col. 1:
The Pasadena story is told in an interesting letter from two Pasadena parents published in a recent issued of the Fortnight magazine. In it they state:

Dr. Kipatrick proposed that our children ‘learn what they live’.
(Dr. William Heard Kilpatrick of Columbia University Teachers College. - -ed.)

OCLC WorldCat record
They learn what they live; prejudice in young children,
Author: Helen G Trager; Marian Radke-Yarrow
Publisher: New York, Harper [1952]
Series: Problems of race and culture in American education, 8.
Edition/Format: Print book : English : [1st ed.]

28 June 1954, The Evening Star (Washington, DC), “No Single Cause for Delinquincy” by Dr. Paul Popenoe, pg. B-4, col. 3:
In short, “Children learn what they live.” This is the key to dscipline in the opinion of Mrs. Alma H. Jones, one of the child guidance experts of the American Institute of Family Relations in Los Angeles.

4 May 1959, The Daily Independent (Kannapolis, NC), “Atmosphere Sways Destiny” by Dr. Herbert Spaugh, pg. 4, cols. 1-2:
A correspondent sent me the lines given below which are attributed to Dorothy L. Law:

Children Learn What They Live.
“If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.
If a child lives with fear, he learns to be apprehensive.
If a child lives with pity, he learns to feel sorry for himself.
If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy.
If a child lives with jealousy, he learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient
If a child lives with encouragement, he learns to be confident.
If a child lives with praise, he learns to be appreciative.
If a child lives with acceptance, he learns to love.
If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself.
If a child lives with recognition, he learns that it is good to have a goal.
If a child lives with honesty, he learns what truth is.
If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice.
If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith in himself and those about him.
If a child lives with friendship, he learns that the world is a nice place in which to live.
With what is your child living?”

15 July 1968, Boston (MA) Herald Traveler, pg. 10, col. 5:
CHILDREN LEARN WHAT THEY LIVE
If a child lives with criticism
He learns to condemn
If a child lives with hostility
He learns to fight
If a child lives with ridicule
He learns to be shy
If a child lives with jealousy
He learns to feel guilty
If a child lives with tolerance
He learns to be patient
If a child lives with encouragement
He learns confidence
If a child lives with praise
He learns to appreciate
If a child lives with fairness
He learns justice
If a child lives with security
He learns to have faith
If a child lives with approval
He learns to like himself
If a child lives with acceptance and friendship
He learns to find love in the world.

OCLC WorldCat record
Children learn what they live
Author: Fred Werner; Peter Hyde; Dorothy Law Nolte
Publisher: Delaware Water Gap, Pa. : Shawnee Press, ©1973.
Edition/Format: Musical score : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Children learn what they live : parenting to inspire values
Author: Dorothy Nolte; Rachel Harris
Publisher: New York : Workman Pub., ©1998.
Edition/Format: eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database: WorldCat
Summary:
A simple but powerful guide to parenting the old-fasioned way-instilling values through example-inspired by Dr. Nolte’s “Children Learn What They Live,” the celebrated poem she wrote in 1954 on jealousy, praise, honesty, fairness, and more.

New York (NY) Times
Dorothy Nolte, 81, Author of Parenting Poem, Dies
By MARGALIT FOXNOV. 20, 2005
Dorothy Law Nolte, a writer and family counselor whose ubiquitous inspirational poem, “Children Learn What They Live,” was photocopied, circulated, anthologized and affixed to refrigerator doors worldwide for nearly two decades before she claimed rightful authorship of it in the 1970’s, died on Nov. 6 at her home in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. She was 81.
(...)
In 1954, Mrs. Nolte, who wrote a weekly column on family matters for The Torrance Herald, a local newspaper, found herself on deadline and strapped for material. She composed a 14-line poem on childrearing that would become a mantra for millions of parents.

The poem quickly took on a life of its own. It was copied repeatedly and passed from hand to hand. It was printed on plaques and posters. It was distributed to millions of new parents by a maker of baby formula.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityEducation/Schools • Wednesday, August 12, 2015 • Permalink