Self-Directed Learning Flourishes Online—Unless We Lose Net Neutrality

This is about more than just saving money: when the internet is a place where anyone, anywhere, can set up a website to talk about their passion and interact with like-minded people, and where anyone with an internet connection can find them, self-directed learning can take us anywhere … If we can't save net neutrality, young people who want to take charge of their own education will find that the internet has been turned into just another place where someone else decides what they can read, watch, and listen to …

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John Holt on Violence and the Democratic National Convention of 1968

August 28, 2018, is the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Though not present, John Holt supported the students and was highly critical of the police. John adds some thoughtful commentary and advice about being careful not to turn just anger into blind hate in this previously unpublished piece.

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Life Without School: A Plea To Unschool Our Learning

News and reports about learning without going to school from Belgium and Colombia. Life Without School–A Plea To Unschool Our Learning is a new title written by two Belgian authors, and Colombian researchers explore the economics of homeschooling/unschooling in their country and the characteristics of a really alternative school.

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Homeschooling is Growing in Denmark

My wife and I were in Denmark in the mid-1980s and I asked a Dane we got to know if homeschooling was allowed in Denmark. He replied why would anyone do that in Denmark? They could make whatever school they wanted. 35 years later there is now a nascent homeschooling/unschooling movement there. Is something rotten in Denmark?

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Schools and Homeschoolers: Unequal When Threatened with Court over Student Deficiencies

If schools aren’t able or obligated to teach some children to read why can’t we create publicly funded alternatives to school for those children? Self-directed learning challenges Horace Mann’s assumption about the need to compel school attendance: Freedom does not necessarily result in ignorance.

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Education Should be More Than Money and Good Grades for Some

Today’s vision of education isn’t about morals, citizenship, personal development, or social cohesion: it’s about sorting the winners and losers in a race for jobs. Here are more life-affirming visions of education than social Darwinism.

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Slowness is Not Slothfulness—Learning by Doing Requires Patience

Slow down, you move too fast! Here are some concrete actions and inspiring ideas for stepping way from conventional, multitasked, overscheduled family life and on to the path of home and community built on shared responsibilities and self-directed learning.

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Elders Impugn The Young After Gun Massacre

After news of the Parkland gun massacre came out, “Jack Kingston, a former United States representative from Georgia and a regular CNN commentator, asked, “Do we really think—and I say this sincerely—do we really think 17-year-olds on their own are going to plan a nationwide rally?” Why can’t we just support and encourage these young people in their single, clear goal of banning assault weapons instead of assimilating their effort into the conventional, adult-driven, conservative/liberal battle narrative?

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Opportunities For Teenage Unschoolers and Intergenerational Changemakers

Two new online forums built expressly for unschooled teenagers are described by Jim Flannery, the founder/moderator of both. Plus the third Northeast Changemakers Jam happens at the end of March.

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Technology That Gives Students Agency, Not Instruction

Sitting in a classroom or at home in front of a teaching machine is hardly a major advancement for a child’s social, physical, and mental growth. Our 19th century school assumptions about how learning happens bind us to an industrial model of the school as a knowledge factory, rather than a model of people as active learners. The photo on this post is from an article about the history of B.F. Skinner and his teaching machine by Audrey Watters.

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Principles for Correcting Mistakes Children Make When Learning

"This article may be very useful to homeschoolers, not only as a guide in their own work with children, but also as something to quote from in their homeschooling proposals."—John Holt. This excerpt from math Prof. David Wheeler's paper contains his five principles of remediation, which can be helpful as you seek to walk a more patient path of learning with your children.

 

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