Posts tagged: Life Learning
Virtually every time unschooling is covered in the media (such as the newest segment on MSNBC’s Today Show) people, either in the segment itself or in the comments, refer to unschooling as an…
Links, posts, quotes, etc. to do with radical education: unschooling, freeschooling, home education, anti-school, learning and resource centers, learning co-ops, alternatives to university, etc.
I feel like, with more submissions, this could be a really cool Tumblog!
Astra Taylor (dir. of Examined Life) talks about her life being “unschooled”.
Carlo Ricci is on the faculty of education’s Schulich’s School of Education at Nipissing University, in Ontario, Canada. He teaches in the graduate studies program. He is the founder and editor of the Journal of Unschooling and Alternative Learning , and has an Unschooling YouTube channel. He has taught from kindergarten, to high school English to graduate school, and some things in-between.)
I have 2 children born in 2003 and 2005. We are unschoolers. What this means for us is that our girls are treated so that their voices matter. They have a substantive say in how they live their lives, just as, I believe, any person should.
I primarily see myself as a child advocate and I believe that young people are the last acceptably oppressed group in the world in which we live. Unfortunately, we can treat young people in ways that we would never dream of treating older people.
In short, unschooling is a learner-centered approach. Learner centered approaches to learning are based on the assumption that the learner him or herself gets to decide what, when, where, and how they want to learn, as well as deciding when they want to opt in and when they want to opt out.
While this may sound like an extraordinary amount of freedom in a typical American or Canadian context, in practice learner-centered democratic education means that children are deeply engaged in what they learn, self-motivated beyond what we typically see in most students, and able to sort through learning problems because they have a great deal of confidence in themselves as learners.
Unschooling sees the world as the school and life as the curriculum. Nothing is ruled out and nothing is imposed. The learner decides what they need. It could be a workbook, a formal school, or a skate park. The democratic part is that they have a substantive say in running the places and spaces that they inhabit as learners.
Learner-centered democratic schooling as a pedagogical approach arises out of some of the radical school movements of the 1960s and 70s, and now is a fully flowered “movement” with many types of schools, practioners, and “graduates.”
- Love, compassion, respect, and trust.
- Allowing young people to unfold in ways that are driven by their soul, their spirit, and their internal motivation.
- Allowing young people, and all people, to learn in the world, to use whatever resources, methods, and tools the learner chooses.
Unschoolers understand that schooling and education are not the same thing, and that in many cases a better education can be had outside of mainstream schooling.
I, like other unschoolers, have found that children who are reared with this worldview and philosophy thrive and their minds, bodies, and, spirits soar.
I see unschooling more as a philosophy of life with the children being empowered to make substantive choices over their lives and to live in democratic spaces and places where they have a substantive say over the running of these spaces and places.
Consistent with this, one of my daughters has decided to go to school and the other has decided to learn outside of mainstream schooling. They are both thriving socially, academically, and spiritually. They are both happy with their decisions.
As a loving father, there is nothing more I would want for my children. I am glad that I am able to trust my children and allow them the freedom to develop responsibly and to allow them to unfold in ways that they choose, rather than externally impose on them a rigid path that repels them at their very core.
For more information about Unschooling please check out some of the link here.
q: what is unschooling? how is it different from homeschooling?
a: unschooling is homeschooling in the way that you don’t go to school, but there is no curriculum involved. it’s free, self driven learning. this means the person who is unschooling just follows their passions, and learns from life. they may choose to take classes, and learn that way. or they may learn from talking to people, reading, looking things up online, etc. Unschooling is based on the belief that children are natural learners, and if they are trusted to follow their interests and passions independently, they will become smart, awesome, happy, thriving people. Socially and academically.
q: if children are natural learners, why are there so many teenagers who avoid learning at all costs, and just laze around when they aren’t in school?
a: school frequently squashes the natural desire to learn. because, well, it becomes unnatural. if you are forced to learn about things you don’t wanna learn about on other people’s schedules, learning is going to start feeling like a negative, exhausting thing, instead of an exciting thing. if you look at teenagers who have been in school their whole lives, you’ll notice most of them avoid learning like the plague. but if you look at unschooled teens, they’re writing novels, creating art, learning instruments, traveling the world. You will frequently find groups of unschooled teens sitting around discussing politics, or marine biology, or whatever. They haven’t been forced to learn, so it’s a highly enjoyable experience for all of them.
q: how do unschoolers learn basic things, like reading, and math? how will they survive in the real world?
a: we learn to read by reading menus, comic books, video game instructions, magic cards, books, street signs. we learn math by buying and selling things, budgeting stuff, saving up for something we want. School is supposed to teach you how to survive in the real world, but unschoolers live in the real world from the day they are born. that’s how we learn. from life.
q: how will unschoolers ever get a job, or get into college?
a: actually, colleges have started scouting for unschoolers, because we tend to do really fucking well on test scores, and make excellent students. it’s pretty easy to get into college. as for a job, most of them don’t care if you went to highschool, just if you went to college. or some of them don’t require college at all, as long as you are skilled and dedicated. it really depends on what job you want, but it’s not a big deal.
q: how do you get socialized?
um, by being with people? this question always confuses me. in my experience, the social scene in school is pretty awful. manipulative and harsh, with way too many bullies and manipulative authority figures. when you’re unschooled, you get to choose who you spend your time with, so you can pick people who are nice, and awesome, and share common interests. you might meet friends in classes, or at some sort of unschooler meet up, or at NBTSC (not back to school camp) or in the streets or because your moms friends has kids your age or anywhere. i have way more friends now than i did in school. socialization is really not a big problem for most unschoolers.