Holt highlights how important self-learning is in conjunction with supplied learning. One of his examples was a child playing with blocks. If the child has them leaning or puts one out of place while stacking them, they will fall down. The child then learns from that and will remember why and correct that mistake. I as the reader also feel like this is the most important step in the learning process.
Then you have the extreme discipline such as being punished when you make a mistake. This sometimes discourages the student from making more attempts for fear of failure. But, for others it works well as they need that kind of motivation. The author also goes into detail in the example of the ballet dancer. This is something that would have to be taught to you and worked at often to train your muscles and joints. Ballet is one of those things that can’t be self learned. You have to be instructed and formally trained.
At the end of the excerpt he also talks about all the kids who work hard and can push themselves to achieve in sports without a coach yelling at them. There are those out there that can motivate themselves by a shear will to achieve certain goals.