recentpopularlog in

robertogreco : patfarenga   18

Let’s Be Clear: Sudbury Valley School and “Un-schooling” Have NOTHING in Common | Sudbury Valley School
[See also this response: "SVS/Unschooling Controversy"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22N5WaTXNrc ]

"All in all, the contrasts—perhaps better labeled as “contradictions”—between the principles underlying homeschooling and those of Sudbury Valley lead to an important outcome, that is well worth recognizing: for the most part, any marriage between the two ends up in an unpleasant parting of ways. From a recruitment point of view, it is always best for those involved in the admissions process at SVS to do their best to discourage unschoolers from enrolling, or at least warn them of the possible pitfalls of such a move. From the point of view of unschooling families thinking about finding an “unschooling school” where their children could spend time away from home, while still being basically homeschooled in the way the family would like them to be, it is always best to look somewhere else.

Actually, the most concise summing-up was given by the person who made homeschooling famous: John Holt. Here is what Pat Farenga, a leading advocate for homeschooling/unschooling, reported he learned from his mentor:

I’ve been asked to define unschooling since 1981. The simple answer I learned from John is unschooling is NOT school.

And, as John Holt himself informed us directly when he looked into our school at the time of its founding in 1968, unschooling is most certainly NOT Sudbury Valley School."
unschooling  deschooling  sudburyschools  education  2016  johnholt  self-directed  self-directedlearning  patfarenga  schools  schooling  learning  howwelearn  howweteach  children  parenting  homeschool  sudburyvalleyschool  lcproject  openstudioproject  sfsh  tcsnmy 
january 2019 by robertogreco
SVS/Unschooling Controversy - YouTube
"This is a commentary on the currently controversial article by Daniel Greenberg https://sudburyvalley.org/article/lets-be-clear-sudbury-valley-school-and-un-schooling-have-nothing-common . The article is not summarised during the commentary so it will be necessary to read it before listening. Further discussion is available to join on the forums at www.self-directed.org.

"Differences Between Self-Directed and Progressive Education" can be read here https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/comment/924407 . This commentary is offered by Jeanna L Clements in her private capacity and does not represent any other individual or collective. Please feel free to share. Thank you."
education  schools  schooling  sudburyschools  self-directed  self-directedlearning  progessive  petergray  je'annaclements  howwelearn  howweteach  teaching  learning  unschooling  homeschool  deschooling  montessori  northstar  agillearningcenters  agilelearning  tcsnmy  lcproject  openstudioproject  sfsh  jeannaclements  individualism  collective  collectivism  parenting  danielgreenberg  children  2018  johnholt  patfarenga  sudburyvalleyschool  agilelearningcenters 
january 2019 by robertogreco
Alliance for Self-Directed Education | Home Page
"The Alliance for Self-Directed Education (ASDE) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to informing people about the benefits of, and methods for, allowing children and adolescents to direct their own education. The Alliance’s ultimate goal, its vision, is a world in which Self-Directed Education is embraced as a cultural norm and is available to all children, everywhere, regardless of their family’s status, race, or income.

A Fundamental Premise

CONCERN FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
A fundamental premise of the Alliance is that top-down, coercive systems of schooling, imposed by states and nations, violate the human rights of children and families to direct their own lives, learning, and paths to adulthood. If there were evidence that coercive schooling were necessary for the welfare of the people on whom it is inflicted, such a system might be justifiable; but, as explained elsewhere in this website, there is no such evidence and there is much evidence to the contrary.

Why an Alliance?

BUILDING A MOVEMENT

The term Alliance in the organization’s name emphasizes its goal of bringing together the various organizations and individuals who are already actively promoting and enabling Self-Directed Education. The founders of the Alliance recognize that there are various flavors and manifestations of Self-Directed Education (for examples, varieties of home-based Self-Directed Education, democratic schools, and learning centers).

A goal of the Alliance is to create a collaborative space where we can all link arms, learn from one another, and collectively amplify the truth that is common to all of our experiences—that Self-Directed Education works! Success in achieving our common vision will depend, in large part, on the numbers of people who take an active stand and work together to support the movement.

The movement away from coercive schooling toward Self-Directed Education has been inching along for decades. It has not yet taken flight because (a) most people still don’t know about Self-Directed Education or about the success of those who have taken this route; and (b) most who do know about it shy away from it because it seems so “non-normal.”

So, the Alliance is designed to give wings to the movement by (a) using all means possible to spread the word about Self-Directed Education and its success, and (b) normalizing Self-Directed Education by making it a brand, showing how it is done, publicizing the research evidence of its success, and connecting people to the tens of thousands of families happily pursuing this route.

The Alliance is financed entirely by donations from individuals and organizations who support the cause of Self-Directed Education. All members of the Board of Directors are volunteers, who receive no financial remuneration for their work for the Alliance. Donations to the Alliance are tax deductible and allow the Board to hire freelance consultants to manage projects that would not be feasible on a purely volunteer basis."



"Education that derives from the self-chosen activities and life experiences of the person being educated.

Let’s start with the term education. In everyday language people tend to equate education with schooling, which leads one to think of education as something that is done to students by teachers. Teachers educate and students become educated. Teachers give an education and students receive this gift. But any real discussion of education requires us to think of it as something much broader than schooling.

Education is the sum of everything a person learns that enables that person to live a satisfying and meaningful life.

Education can be defined broadly in a number of ways. A useful definition for our purposes is this: Education is the sum of everything a person learns that enables that person to live a satisfying and meaningful life. This includes the kinds of things that people everywhere more or less need to learn, such as how to walk upright, how to speak their native language, how to get along with others, how to regulate their emotions, how to make plans and follow through on them, and how to think critically and make good decisions.

It also includes some culture-specific skills, such as, in our culture, how to read, how to calculate with numbers, how to use computers, maybe how to drive a car—the things that most people feel they need to know in order to live the kind of life they want to live in the culture in which they are growing up.

But much of education, for any individual, entails sets of skills and knowledge that may differ sharply from person to person, even within a given culture. As each person’s concept of “a satisfying and meaningful life” is unique, each person’s education is unique. Society benefits from such diversity.

Given this definition of education, Self-Directed Education is education that derives from the self-chosen activities and life experiences of the person becoming educated, whether or not those activities were chosen deliberately for the purpose of education.

Self-Directed Education can include organized classes or lessons, if freely chosen by the learner; but most Self-Directed Education does not occur that way. Most Self-Directed Education comes from everyday life, as people pursue their own interests and learn along the way. The motivating forces include curiosity, playfulness, and sociability—which promote all sorts of endeavors from which people learn. Self-Directed Education necessarily leads different individuals along different paths, though the paths may often overlap, as each person’s interests and goals in life are in some ways unique and in some ways shared by others.

Self-Directed Education can be contrasted to imposed schooling, which is forced upon individuals, regardless of their desire for it, and is motivated by systems of rewards and punishments, as occurs in conventional schools. Imposed schooling is generally aimed at enhancing conformity rather than uniqueness, and it operates by suppressing, rather than nurturing, the natural drives of curiosity, playfulness, and sociability."
self-directed  self-directedlearning  education  homeschool  unschooling  learning  schooling  conformity  culture  humanrights  coercion  children  akilahrichards  patfarenga  petergray  laurakriegel  jackschott  kerrymcdonald  scottnoelle  tomisparker  stephendill  cevinsoling  brookenewman  daniellelevine  jenspeterdepedro 
january 2017 by robertogreco
'Unschooling' takes students out of the classroom
“Education is a byproduct of a good relationship between you, your child and the world around them.” —Pat Farenga
unschooling  education  deschooling  2016  relationships  parenting  patfarenga 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Free-range education: Why the unschooling movement is growing - CSMonitor.com
"“Unschooling takes learning out of the realm of the school,” says Patrick Farenga of HoltGWS LLC, which works to continue the late educator’s mission. “It’s ‘What do you want to learn today? How do you want to set this up?’ Educators still don’t get this. They have bought into the idea that the only learning that matters is the learning they can grade in school.”

From its beginning, unschooling attracted a small but steady band of followers. “It has had some bohemian chic for 40 years,” says Stanford University sociologist Mitchell Stevens, who wrote the 2001 book “Kingdom of Children: Culture and Controversy in the Homeschooling Movement.” “It was out-there cool when John Holt championed it in the 1970s. It’s always getting rediscovered.”

But increasingly, Professor Stevens and others who have studied unschooling say, the practice is losing its rebel, alternative ethos. Although regulations differ state by state (one reason why accurate statistics on the movement are difficult to pin down), unschooling in some form is legal everywhere in the country. And the families who do it are increasingly mainstream, middle-class, and educated.

In a survey of some 5,500 home-schooling families, filmmakers Dustin Woodard and Jeremy Stuart, whose documentary about unschooling, “Class Dismissed,” came out in 2014, found that the vast majority of unschooling parents (almost 89 percent) were married, and 91 percent had at least some college experience. Almost half live in the suburbs, while the rest are split fairly evenly between urban and rural areas. Almost all say they are satisfied or extremely satisfied with their choice to unschool their children – whether because they have more time as a family, are able to travel more, or see their children learning successfully. While many unschoolers say they are opting out of the national obsession with college admissions and standardized test scores, literature about unschooling regularly mentions how unschoolers are often accepted into top colleges.

All of this, education experts say, means that unschooling is becoming a less risky choice for parents and increasingly represents a viable alternative to a public school system that has received a lot of bad press in recent years.

“My impression is that the drive to unschooling is in part a reaction to concerns that formal schooling has become too standardized,” says Kevin Welner, director of the National Education Policy Center, a Colorado-based research center. “Parents who are looking at sending a child to public school are likely to be more concerned now than a decade ago.”

While some critics have accused unschoolers and other home-schoolers of undermining the public school system by abandoning it rather than working for reform, many parents say they simply can’t wait for better schools. They want to do what’s right for their children now.

This is particularly true, says Cheryl Fields-Smith of the University of Georgia College of Education, among a growing number of minority families. Although home-schooling has the reputation of being a predominantly white enterprise, new statistics suggest that African-American and Latino families make up a rapidly growing number of unschooling families.

In her study of home-schooling families around the Atlanta area, Professor Fields-Smith found that many black families have essentially decided that it is a greater risk to keep their children – particularly boys – in school than to take them out.

For reasons that ranged from the perceived quickness of administrators to label black boys as “troublemakers,” to potential violence at schools, to a desire for a more holistic education at home, black families saw home-schooling as a way to protect their children and give them a better future. And although many black parents started out with more-rigid curriculum plans – “there’s not as much freedom in black families, because they know the odds are stacked against their children as soon as they walk out the door,” she points out – they tended to move toward unschooling as they went along.

At first, Fields-Smith says, this surprised her, given the long African-American history of fighting for quality public education. “But when you dig you see that we’ve always been determined to be self-taught,” she says. “When we were denied resources for school we did it ourselves ... I see this as a new iteration of the long history of [African-Americans] fighting for education.”

Mr. Stuart says that many of the parents he interviewed – black, white, and Latino – simply no longer believe the old equation that public schools will lead to college degrees that will lead to jobs that will lead to a good life. They see a decided lack of stability coming from traditional employment routes, with a particular absence of jobs for the middle class, the socioeconomic group that the vast majority of unschoolers belong to. Unschooling, they believe, may well give their children an advantage in an economy that values fresh, independent thinkers.

This sentiment shows up in Diane Flynn Keith’s unschooling workshops in Silicon Valley. Ms. Keith, who unschooled her own children, says her sessions are filled with tech industry employees and entrepreneurs, all excited about taking a different approach to education.

“People who are involved in the technology industry now, when they’re at work, they’re challenged to think out of the box,” Keith says. “They are challenging old norms. And the moment you begin to challenge one tradition you begin to challenge them all ... then they have children and they begin to think, well, what is this school thing? And why do we keep doing it the same way?”

With more parents taking the unschooling plunge, businesses have grown up to support them. There are international learning trips designed for unschoolers, a popular “not back to school” camp for unschooled teens, and self-directed learning co-ops and various school-like organizations, such as the busy Parts and Crafts Center for Semiconducted Learning in Somerville, Mass. There, 7- to 13-year-olds can either hang out or take classes ranging from computer animation to debate to fantasy geography.

“Look at this,” says 9-year-old Verity Gould, sitting with her laptop one recent morning in the eclectic library area of Parts and Crafts. She was eager to share a few of the cartoon animations she had built with the programming language Scratch. “This is way better than school.”"
unschooling  deschooling  parenting  children  childhood  education  johnholt  demographics  resistance  race  lifestyle  cv  freedom  society  democracy  community  2016  stephaniehanes  patfarenga  michaelapple  dustinwoodard  jeremystuart  cherylfields-smith 
february 2016 by robertogreco
patfarenga.com - Young Children as Research Scientists
"…current research that clearly supports John Holt’s ideas about how children learn…

Scientific Thinking in Young Children: Theoretical Advances, Empirical Research, and Policy Implications, Science 28, September 2012: Vol. 337 no. 6102 pp. 1623-1627

By Alison Gopnik

ABSTRACT: New theoretical ideas and empirical research show that very young children’s learning and thinking are strikingly similar to much learning and thinking in science. Preschoolers test hypotheses against data and make causal inferences; they learn from statistics and informal experimentation, and from watching and listening to others. The mathematical framework of probabilistic models and Bayesian inference can describe this learning in precise ways. These discoveries have implications for early childhood education and policy. In particular, they suggest both that early childhood experience is extremely important and that the trend toward more structured and academic early childhood programs is misguided."
lcrpoject  howwelearn  scientificthinking  homeschool  autodidacts  autodidactism  2012  scientificmethod  research  education  learning  unschooling  patfarenga  johnholt  alisongopnik  autodidacticism 
october 2012 by robertogreco
patfarenga.com: Nothing in the World but Youth
"The exhibit starts with works that JMW Turner painted when he was a teenager and ends with modern works commissioned just for the exhibit. Included with all this are some amazing insights into what it means to be young in a society where school dominates their time and choices and the real world is all too often off limits to youth. The curators capture some significant moments in both art and literature about what it means to be a teenager in the past and present. If you're in Britain I hope you'll be able to visit the exhibit. If not, here are some thought-provoking excerpts from essays in the catalog."
adolescence  adolescents  johnholt  unschooling  deschooling  society  tcsnmy  kentbaxter  danahboyd  patfarenga  2011  history  children  ageism  1974  1904  gstanleyhall  escapefromchildhood  childhood  agesegregation 
november 2011 by robertogreco
Pragmatic suggestions for schoolers from unschoolers (Guest Post by Patrick Farenga) « Cooperative Catalyst
"None of this easy, I know. John Holt got fired from some of his teaching positions because many teachers and parents felt his students were having too much fun, even though he could prove his students’ grades improved in his classes. Ironically, as Holt notes in Instead of Education, while some of his fellow teachers complained how their students wanted their classes to be more like Holt’s, it was ultimately the parents who demanded that Holt stop making his classes so engaging and be “more like school.”

It isn’t educational techniques that will ultimately help children learn, but rather sincere relationships with other people. As my friend Aaron Falbel said in an interview several years ago, “Indeed, it is a great joy and privilege to help someone do something that he or she wants to do, if you are asked to help. It’s when that help or teaching is not wanted that the ambiguities and unequal aspects of our relationships come into play…"
patfarenga  johnholt  unschooling  deschooling  tcsnmy  relationships  fun  lcproject  schooldesign  johntaylorgatto  self-promotion  schools  schooling  schoolsurvival  teaching  learning  education  ivanillich  trust 
july 2011 by robertogreco
patfarenga.com — John Holt Speaks to Swedish Teachers About How Children Learn
"talk John Holt presented to Swedish teachers in Gothenberg, Sweden on March 22, 1982…As Holt notes forcefully on this tape, unasked for teaching actually impedes learning, particularly for young children, a lesson confirmed by research that Holt notes in 1982 and quite recently confirmed again by new research cited in the Boston Globe (Front page, 3/29/11). However, a point often lost among today's unschoolers is that when a child of any age asks to be taught then "Go for it!" John provides an example of how a baby or toddler might ask for or invite teaching from an adult.

Like most of the audio tapes I have, this was recorded by John while he spoke, so the quality is a bit rough. I've removed as much hiss as I could, and the entire speech is here, though part 4 ends abruptly during the Q&A section. However, you are able to grasp John's final point, one he made often: schools should be more like public libraries, in spirit and in organization."
johnholt  unschooling  deschooling  education  learning  teaching  1982  sweden  schools  politics  patfarenga  libraries  organization  tcsnmy 
april 2011 by robertogreco
patfarenga.com — The More Things Change the More They Stay the Same
"I recently transferred this video interview with me about homeschooling and unschooling that I did for Christian Science Monitor television in 1991. It is almost exactly 20 years ago to the day (2/16/1991) when I filmed it, but since so much of the information is still relevant I thought it would be of interest. I'm struck by how in those 20 years we went from the estimated 500,000 homeschooled children in 1991 to nearly 2 million today, and yet we are still being asked the same questions, particularly "How will homeschooled children be socialized?" What I like about this interview is how thoughtful and prepared John Parrott, the interviewer, was. He handled the socialization question differently than I expected and I was pleasantly surprised."
1991  patfarenga  unschooling  deschooling  homeschool  education  learning  socialization  children  parenting  lcproject  teaching  schools  schooling  schooliness 
february 2011 by robertogreco
patfarenga.com — Homeschooling is officially illegal in Spain
"Homeschooling was declared illegal in Spain in December 2010, mainly because there is no language in the Spanish constitution that permits it. Madalen Goiria, a Spanish citizen and a law professor, notified me that this case “comes after an appeal to the Constitutional Court numbered 7509/2005 against a previous decision by the Audiencia de Malaga, put forward by two families: Antonio Gómez, Maria Socorro Sanchez, Florian Macarró and Anabelle Gosselint. The Constitutional Court decision has come five years later and it is dated 2nd December 2010.” The essence of the constitutional court decision is that homeschooling is not a right under Spanish law and therefore all children must attend formal school. The court notes that laws can be made that allow for more flexibility and choices for families, but until then homeschooling is illegal in Spain."
patfarenga  spain  españa  law  unschooling  homeschool  policy  education  learning  schools  teaching  2011 
january 2011 by robertogreco
patfarenga.com - Sweden Bans Homeschooling: What would Pippi Longstocking say?
"The fierce independence and unconventional philosophical views of Pippi Longstocking, one of Sweden's most famous fictional characters and an autodidact, certainly seem diminished in light of this law. Indeed, a modern-day Pippi would have to flee to a country with more educational and personal freedom than Sweden in order to have her adventures now. Perhaps we should encourage all homeschoolers to boycott travel and goods from Sweden until they allow families the educational freedom to raise and teach their children in accordance with their religious and philosophical views?"
sweden  law  patfarenga  pippilongstocking  education  policy  legal  homeschool  schools  learning  autodidacts 
july 2010 by robertogreco
patfarenga.com: Helping older homeschoolers learn to read
"As Dr. Raymond Moore noted in his work in the seventies and eighties, and as Dr. Alan Thomas noted in his work in 2007, homeschooled children who are late readers learn to read quite well when they eventually do learn to read. Once they decide to learn to read, they learn quickly, catching up to their age-mates reading abilities in months, not years. Further, children who haven’t been forced to read by 3rd grade also appear to read more for personal pleasure and information as they get older than do those who were forced to learn to read at a particular age."
raymondmoore  patfarenga  reading  learning  literacy  readiness  homeschool  unschooling 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Unschooling the University - Pat Farenga's Blog
"Teenage homeschoolers and unschoolers and their parents would benefit from reading DIY U in particular, if only to give them pause before going to college. After years of learning without attending elementary or high school, homeschoolers and unschoolers who decide to continue learning in their own unique ways without going to conventional college will find DIY U a valuable resource. Indeed, the last section of the book is a very useful resource guide for creating your personal Do It Yourself University."
patfarenga  anyakamenetz  diyu  unschooling  deschooling  books 
june 2010 by robertogreco
patfarenga.com - Make Math Illegal
"There are many ways to approach learning math, we do not have to all use the standard drill. As the above shows, you can even more or less ignore math for years and not harm a child’s ability to calculate or learn higher math concepts. But, for some reason, many unschoolers worry about whether or not their children will learn math properly. There is some idea that the math curriculum is so logical, so necessarily step-by-step, and so demanding that it must be approached piece by piece in the most carefully orchestrated manner or the student will become helplessly lost. This is conventional wisdom that just isn’t true."
math  learning  unschooling  teaching  linear  conventions  deschooling  education  schools  schooling  logic  patfarenga  linearity 
may 2010 by robertogreco
patfarenga.com: Unschoolers Will Not Learn To Do Things They Don't Want To Do
"There are plenty of books and videos and studies we could have discussed, but instead it all got bogged down in, "Isn't it the job of the parent to teach the child to do things that they don't want to do?" What a negative way to think about learning & work: "I have to do things I don't want to do only because someone with power over me tells me I should." So much for self-starters, questioners, think-out-of-the-box employees; no, according to this concept we want to primarily educate our children to become adults who Obey. The world is full of opportunities that teach us how we must sometimes do things we don't want to do in order to accomplish something we do, so I don't think that's a lesson parents, or schools, need to endlessly drill into kids. I think the job of parents is to show how joy for life and love of learning can be sources of discipline & hard work, not fear, bribery and misery."
patfarenga  unschooling  society  education  tcsnmy  learning  schools  schooling  schooliness  control  authority  intrinsicmotivation  rules  parenting  well-being  discipline 
april 2010 by robertogreco

Copy this bookmark:





to read