Friday, April 23, 2010

Where are all the unschooled doctors?

What's with the comments about unschoolers not being doctors and scientists and lawyers but end up in the 'the softer' professions-musicians, earth-lovers, cooks, writers?
I'm seeing this recent tendency popping up continuously on some blogs I'm following-undoubtedly, as an off shoot of Good Morning America's unschool trashing.
A video that radiofreeschool produced of unschooler Kate Cayley has been the target of similar type of commentary.
Basically what these commentators are implying is that if you are home educated or unschooled, you end up doing something that is not 'hard core.'

What these people don't realize is that those who are encouraged to pursue their passions do just that; and if we hear about people for whom being a doctor is low on their list then it is more of a reflection of their choice than of their ability.
Maybe because unschooled kids are encouraged to be in touch with who they are, they feel less pressure to perform or go into professions that will give them monetary advantage but might not be their calling.

Did you know that the head of the prestigious Human Genome Project was unschooled by his mother? Or that a professor of mathematics at MIT started teaching there at age 19 was unschooled by his father; never having touched formal mathematics until he was 12 (google Erik Demaine or listen to an interview radiofreeschool did with him a few years ago).

Any unschooler knows that if they want to be a doctor they will go to University. If they don't have the papers yet, they will get them (unless they prefer to enter as a mature student at age 19 and then switch majors).

My question then to those schooled 'nay sayers' is are you a doctor?

Is everyone in that huge pool of people you went to school with a doctor or a lawyer? If you answer is no then tell me why not?


Rebecca said...

You know, I really appreciate people who become doctors. Personally, I've never been able to see the appeal of looking at people's orifices all day long.

I read that comment (about unschoolers/doctors/lawyers/etc.), too, and found it ridiculous.

You've made some great points here.

rfs said...

Thanks Rebecca. We want to see people choosing professions that they fill called to right?

Anonymous said...

can you post a link to the Human Genome Project guy's unschooling? would be super helpful to share w/ certain folks in my life :)

rfs said...

Francis Collins heads the Human Genome Project and started off his education curriculum free, living on a farm with his 3 other brothers and educated by his mother.

Stella said...

Great post! I, an unschooler, actually am toying with the idea of becoming a doctor, which most of my school-friends can't believe, the reason being "you'd have to be in school for so long!" Well, quite honestly, medical school sounds amazingly interesting to me, and I wouldn't be so interested in becoming a doctor if I wasn't happy with the stuff it takes to become one. Medical school and the precursors may end up taking a ton of effort and hard work (actually, I'm almost sure it will) but it seems worth it to me.

I got your comment on my blog and I'd totally be keen on sharing my story, as long as I could have a bit more info on what exactly that would entail.

rfs said...

Hi Stella!
Please email me at for more information.
By the way, my sister is a doctor and although it was a ton of work to get there,(and she took all of her courses in a foreign language-Polish!) she is very content in her work as a neonatalogist. She wanted to be a doctor from the time she was little.

Andrew said...

Thank you. Great commentary. Quite relevant.

Anonymous said...

Thanks loads for the link :)

The Shitzizle said...

the people making the comments that you wrote about are just grasping at straws. they are having to look at the reality of their own lives and the lives they've forced on their children and it gets under their skin to see so many adults who were unschooled rockin' their lives full of passion and zest.

rfs said...

it must be hard to learn about people that know what they want, go after it and love their lives besides-while you've been told all your life there is only one type of 'successful' lifestyle (available to the very few-on top of all that).

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...