Saturday, February 11, 2012

Unschooling: "Growing Without School" -- Beyond Childhood Competence

Almost every parent wishes their children to become skilled, competent, confident, accomplished adults. But almost no parents in the modern world understand how to help their children to achieve such a happy result. Instead, parents almost inevitably turn their children over to the governmental school system, with increasingly dismal results.

John Holt wrote several books on the state of modern education and its alternatives -- including "Unschooling" and "Growing Without Schools". Besides his books, he founded and published "Growing Without Schools" magazine. Growing Without Schools has provided free access to 24 years of the magazine's issues.

Holt was particularly interested in how to endow children with the competence to face the challenge of an ever-changing world. He understood that children developed this competence themselves, when given the opportunity. Unfortunately, modern government school systems represent the antithesis of the ideas that Hold discovered and wrote about.

The video above was presented at a homeschool conference by parental practitioners of "unschooling," with their own children.

Al Fin educational theorists are grateful to John Holt for his contributions to the field of childhood competence. But if children are to help build a better world -- and not to simply keep the current world from collapsing under its own weight -- they must go beyond mere competence.

Our children must be allowed to learn to become not merely competent -- but to become truly dangerous. Dangerous to whom or what? More about that in future entries.

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