“a good hobby may be a solitary revolt against the commonplace, or it may be the joint conspiracy of a congenial group. that group may, on occasion, be the family. in either event, it is a rebellion, and if a hopeless one, all the better. i cannot imagine a worse jumble than to have the whole body politic suddenly “adopt” all the foolish ideas that smolder in happy discontent beneath the conventional surface of society. there is no such danger. (….) a hobby is perhaps creation’s first denial of the ‘peck-order’ that burdens the gregarious universe, and of which the majority of mankind is still a part.”

– aldo leopold  round river  1953

how college sold its soul to the market

peter gray was the keynote speaker at the hsc conference this weekend. i went to both of his talks. he believes that children should be given the freedom to follow their innate inclination to learn through play. he has a column on the psychology today website – i highly recommend. i have always enjoyed reading what he has to say, so it was wonderful to see and listen to him in person. click here!

peter gray 2 bw
children designed to educate


“… In “developed” societies, we are so accustomed to centralized control over learning that it has become functionally invisible to us, and most people accept it as natural, inevitable, and consistent with the principles of freedom and democracy.   We assume that this central authority, because it is associated with something that seems like an unequivocal good – “education” – must itself be fundamentally good, a sort of benevolent dictatorship of the intellect.  We allow remote “experts” to dictate what we must learn, when we must learn it, and how we must learn it.  We grant them the right to test us, to measure the contents of our brains and the value of our skills, and then to brand us in childhood with a set of numeric rankings that have enormous power over our future opportunities to participate in the economic and political life of our society.  We endorse strict legal codes which render this process compulsory, and in a truly Orwellian twist, many of us now view it as a fundamental human right to be legally compelled to learn what a higher authority tells us to learn.”

                                                                                                                                     – Carol Black