Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis, Indiana, 6 January 2007, Lessons are fluid, and there is no plan: Popularity of ‘unschooling’ grows for Hoosiers
There aren’t any statistics on unschoolers yet, but their popularity is reflected in the number of unschooling message boards on the Internet, the frequency of unschooling conferences and the slow but steady movement of unschooling into the vocabulary of educators.
The obligatory naysayer was left until the end.
“With regard to unschooling, I believe this is best described as utopian,” Haring said. “A minuscule few youngsters may have the high intelligence and motivation to inquire broadly and also learn how to learn. The vast majority, however, have no idea what might be learned and why it is important.”
Buchanan had become influenced by the work of John Holt.
Holt, a teacher turned reformer, believed people didn’t need to be taught to learn. Humans were born with natural curiosity and a desire to learn what they needed to know. Holt thought teaching and schools squelched that natural desire. He advocated unschooling.
The naysayers got in a few more paragraphs in this article.
Lax or not, it’s entirely legal.
“A private school affidavit provides an exemption from the compulsory attendance law in California,” she said. “There is no accountability. They are basically outside the public school system.”
And why would family accountability be owed to a school system?
Public education is a service owed to the children should their parents desire to take advantage of it. It is not an obligation parents are required to honor with the presence of their children.
Any “accountability” would be that of the parents owed to the children for whatever type of education the parents allowed the children to have, whether it be public school, private school, or home education.
Comments are enabled at the site.
Southern Pines Pilot, Southern Pines, North Carolina, 23 January 2007, ‘Unschooling’ Appeals to Some
The idea behind the movement is that children are capable of educating themselves at their own pace and their own interests. The parents, instead of determining curriculum, accommodate their child’s interests.
Daily Californian, Bereley, California, 27 January 2007, Kids Take School Into Their Own Hands
From stock whips to ballet, Dungeons and Dragons to NASA, some Berkeley students say they are studying subjects they would not have access to in a traditional setting by pursuing a new kind of education called “unschooling.”
I’ll cop to it being a pet peeve, but “student” is not a synonym for “child,” especially in the context of unschooling. That usage is an artifact of school-think. However, in reading the article, the writer definitely seems to have an organizational outlook complete with a statistic for the number of unschooled kids, so using “students” instead of “children” is not surprising.
Naysayer opinions are included.
… joined the 10 percent of home-schooled students participating in unschooling nationally …
… Sam’s 7-year-old brother Nicky has also begun unschooling. …
… “I want educators to make decisions about what kids need to learn,” said school board member Shirley Issel. …
Ashland City Times, Ashland City, Tennessee, 28 January 2007, ‘Unschool’ parents: Kids can be own best teachers
(this article has the naysayers front and center in the sub-headline below, but the article is more accomodating of both sides)
Many educators fear free-form style leaves learning incomplete
That’s not to say there is no parental involvement.
Rather, these parents said, they must be totally aware of the needs of their children and able to find resources to seek out information, whether that’s the local librarian, an entomologist at a nearby college or the grocer who can explain an exotic fruit.
The comments at this site are far less angry than the comments at the Sacramento Bee.
Free Market News Network, Pompano Beach, Florida, 29 January 2007, Unschooling: The next horizon in education?
This article is a friendly review of the Ashland Times article above.
posted by Valerie