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unschooling

how college sold its soul to the market

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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

 

“and for what destination and for what destiny do we educate our children? for all of the fashionable talk about multiculturalism, the fact is that modern education has contributed greatly to the destruction of local cultures virtually everywhere. locality has no standing in the modern curriculum. abstractions, generalized knowledge, and technology do. education has become a great homogenizing force undermining local knowledge, indigenous languages, and the self-confidence of placed people. it has become an adjunct to the commercial economy. it has hired itself out to the forces of growth and development, which as far as i can tell, is the effort to make the world safe for big capital. taken as a whole, education has lacked the courage to ask itself what kind of world its graduates will inherit and what kind of world they will be prepared to build.”

david orr earth in mind 2004

read the interview in it’s entirety here: the gift of children

my favorite moments here:

“What do I think about the future for our kids? I think unless we begin to accept that our children’s reality can be very different than how we currently perceive it to be, it’s not particularly bright. On the other hand, it’s not really all that hard to shift that perception. But first we have to understand that such a thing is possible.”

“I choose to live closely with my children in part because I actually enjoy their company, but also in part because I believe that family is the foundation of healthy community, and from healthy community comes healthy nation/state. We don’t so much “school” our children as make room for them to learn alongside us and other members of their community. I’d say that’s the most concise way to explain our style of education, relative to a more conventional schooled experience: We try to make room for learning to happen, rather than trying to make learning happen, via a compulsory, standardized curriculum. Most of our son’s learning occurs in the context of their interests, typically via hands-on experience. My wife, Penny, and I are constantly facilitating these experiences, either directly, or via mentors or other adults in our community. Frankly, this takes an enormous amount of effort. And patience. That’s probably the things that’s most changed for me: I’ve become far, far more patient than I was prior to having children, and I suspect far more patient than I would have been if we sent them to school.”

“I think the gift of the child is whatever we allow it to be. We just need to learn how to recognize, accept, and accommodate their gifts”