Radical Unschooler

Radical unschooling advocate James Marcus Bach was interviewed by Helen Hegener for the Nov-Dec issue of Home Education Magazine. A high school dropout who coined the term ‘buccaneer-scholar,’ James is an internationally recognized expert in the field of computer software testing, and has taught critical thinking and software testing around the world at places such as the Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Son of author Richard Bach, whose bestselling books include Stranger to the Ground, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Illusions, and many others, James dropped out of high school at the age of sixteen to pursue his own interests. An excerpt from the interview:

“We can always find ways to separate, divide, make distinctions. That is often important (it’s the “contrasting ideas” part of my own learning practice). What is also useful and important is to find commonalities, consistencies, and unifying patterns, because then we can use our knowledge of one kind of thing to gain insight into what is apparently another kind of thing.

“If human minds were merely disparate parts, then it would be possible to operate on one of our parts without affecting the others. But that is not our experience. When I deal with my son I can’t tell him to turn off his moral judgment while I use threats to scare him into learning what I wish him to learn. He’s learning about morality and ethics continuously as he experiences the world around him. “Do what I say but not as I do” and “do what I say and not what makes sense to you” and “Learn not as I learned– from experiment and experience– but only as you are instructed” are not workable principles for raising kids in a free society.”

Read the complete interview online – free – at the link above.

Tags: , , , , ,