Natural Born Learners

Beatrice Ekwa Ekoko blogs and conducts interviews about self-determined learning at She has co-created with Dr. Carlo Ricci an inspiring new book, Natural Born Learners: Unschooling and Autonomy in Education. Since I have an essay in the book, and several of my friends do, too, it is safe to say that I like and recommend this book. However, I also recommend it because of the large number of experiences, people, and ideas about self-determined learning (Bea and Carlo prefer that phrase over the more common self-directed learning) that are all under one cover.

The book is arranged in three sections, each with a number of essays derived from interviews Bea conducted with the writers. Bea also provides links to the actual interviews at the end of each essay. The three sections are:

  1. What is unschooling/natural learning/self-determined learning?
  2. What does it look like in practice?
  3. The stories of those who unschooled and are now adults.

I think this is a great collection that introduces unschooling and self-determined learning concepts in insightful, easy-to-read chapters to those who are new to these ideas. For more experienced natural learners, the book provides much inspiration and many real examples that you can use to support and expand your family’s unschooling.

Here's an exceptional review for this title by Conrad Pritscher, Professor Emeritus, Bowling Green State University:

“This book explores the roots of self-direction and offers a series of highly insightful and creative ways to help people be open, peaceful, natural learners. The roots of democratic living are fostered by what is said here. School administrators, teachers, parents, students, politicians and virtually all citizens will benefit from reading this. I most highly recommended this unusually fine and stimulating book.”

Patrick FarengaComment