Saturday, December 19, 2015

Quick Aside on Homeschooling

I sometimes question weather I'm really a teacher at heart, as I like to think of myself.  Because once I learn something important, I internalize it, and I forget that not everyone knows what I only recently came to know myself.  And then I get exacerbated trying to explain something I think "everyone should know".  Or even when I do engage, I'm not always good about starting at the beginning, and instead use arguments that already take for granted that we have the same common knowledge on the subject.

Currently, I'm thinking about homeschooling.  I can easily say why I am personally choosing to educate my daughter at home, but when it comes to convincing arguments that I've read regarding the deficiencies of the public school system, I retreat a bit.  So I wanted to leave a little record here of one little nugget I just read that may provide a little backup to my next conversation on the subject.

In David H. Albert's "Homeschooling and the Voyage of Self-Discovery", he cites Dan Greenberg, founder of the Sudbury Valley School (essentially an "unschooling"/child-led institution of learning located in Massachusetts. Greenberg notes seven "essential features of an education that would meet the needs of society in the 21st Century", something that business leaders, government officials, and educators all agree on.  Below I list my three favorites.

"As society rapidly changes, individuals will have to be able to function comfortably in a world that is always in flux.  Knowledge will continue to increase at a dizzying rate.  This means that a content-based curriculum, with a set body of information to be imparted to students, is entirely inappropriate as a means of preparing children for their adult roles."

"People will be faced with greater individual responsibility to direct their own lives.  Children must grow up in an environment that stresses self-motivation and self-assessment.  Schools that focus on external motivating factors, such as rewards and punishments for meeting goals set by others, are denying children the tools they need most to survive."

"Technology now makes it possible for individuals to learn whatever they wish, whenever they wish, and in the manner they wish.  Students should be empowered with both the technology and the responsibility for their own learning an educational timetable."

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