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View Diary: What happens in Texas does not stay in Texas - “strengths and weaknesses.” (258 comments)

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  •  the unscholling paradigm is not universally accep (1+ / 0-)
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    Nova Land


    Though there have been great movements toward it. . . one of my favorite sayings in education is "Instead of being the sage on the stage be the guide from the side."

    However there are certain principals in science, biology, chemistry, and anatomy that do not change, that over view courses (like the first biology class) cover.  It is more practical from a cost point of view to have a textbook that can last 5 years than to be buying consumables every year or Xeroxing everything.

    However having a system which utilizes both - a textbook with standard concepts, with an annually updated consumable with new information would be perfect.

    In a large 25 to 30 member classroom where parents and leaders want tangible testable results the unschooling model simply will not satisfy.  Plus it also depends on motivated learners and in our inner city schools where we have children who have not had that educational model, it would be very difficult to maintain. (IMO)

    If u will not vote for the Dem. nominee, no matter who that is, go apologize 2 the youth of this nation. U've helped put in "100 years of war no Choice McCain."

    by Clytemnestra on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 06:39:23 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  principles .. doh, I hate when I do that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SecondComing, Nova Land

      fragging homophones

      If u will not vote for the Dem. nominee, no matter who that is, go apologize 2 the youth of this nation. U've helped put in "100 years of war no Choice McCain."

      by Clytemnestra on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 06:58:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  motivated learners (0+ / 0-)

      Unschooling actually does not depend on "motivated learners" the way you are thinking of this concept.  People are motivated to live and find meaning in their lives.  They aren't necessarily motivated to follow some teacher's agenda, but they are all motivated to learn and find meaning in their lives.  People like J.T. Gatto figured this out teaching inner city kids in the NY system, and got a lot better results treating kids as if they are all motivated.  

      It has been written over and over again in the homeschooling literature that children who were labelled "unmotivated" "inattentive", or similarly defective in things determined necessary for school success, turned into completely different creatures when treated differently from an unschooling perspective once they were removed from traditional classroom settings.  The problem does not necessarily lie within the child.

      As to the tangible, testable results issue, that is definitely part of the problem with the educational system.  We keep worshiping test scores while this approach continues to give us bad results.  

      I understand that unschooling as is practiced in families cannot translate in identical form to a classroom setting.  But elements of it can, and I have read some interesting ideas. Roger Schrank, AI expert, certainly has a lot of good provocative ideas on transforming education for the 21st century.  

      Also there are unschoolers who lead fairly conventional classroom groups for other homeschoolers in subjects like math and science, and they post about their experiences and the resources they use. Kathy Wentz is quite popular in the north Chicago suburban area and I have read a lot about what she is doing and am quite impressed.  So there are successes in a group setting possible.  Conventional educators keep overlooking these beautiful, free experiments in education.

      I realize that if you are in the system you are stuck with the hand you are dealt, unless you are willing and able to be a total maverick like Gatto was.  But he got smacked down a lot, was in trouble with his employers more than once, and eventually decided the public schools were not a place he could be effective in helping children learn.

      But I still think conventional textbooks as they are currently constituted are not necessary and you can find better substitutes.  I don't mean you don't use books at all!  But, for example, I recall a nice little slim book called The Game of Science that was used in a research psych class I had in college that was excellent at covering the basics of what science was all about.  That kind of book was nothing like  a conventional textbook.  

      btw we had a controversy here a few years back in one county where the school authorities actually ripped out some pages from a science text that referred to evolution before giving the texts to the students, because of "community values".  I think maybe they ended up replacing the texts with pages intact, as there were a very few parents who were not happy.  

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