Friday, May 13, 2011
Unschooling At You
What do you do when you’re interested in something- say, ‘dark matter’ or rope making?
You go to the computer and start a google search. You go to the library and check out the resources. If you need more expertise you talk to people who have more knowledge than you do- a master in the field. You take specialized courses. You read up on everything you can find about the topic.
By mindfully pursuing what interests us, we gain expertise and mastery over that area of interest.
Even during that period of our lives when we are in school and being schooled, outside of school hours, we continue to go after what really interests us. Everybody does! That is what unschooling is about.
Learning follows this interest-an inevitable offshoot of doing what we want to do.
Why then is it such a leap of faith to allow children to learn in this way, everyday, during those ‘school hours’; that is, to learn without a curriculum- to unschool?
The truth is, if school as we know it shut down permanently, never to reopen again learning would still happen.
Education and learning would not stop- just as we’ve seen when we go about pursuing our interests and learning and acquire education in our everyday lives-without institutionalization.
Should the support that schools have enjoyed for over 200 years be withdrawn or at least unsettled, rather than the predicted pandemonium and ‘outbreak of ignorance’ scenario amongst our young citizenry, a more vibrant, self-sufficient society might have the chance to emerge; creating opportunities for and permitting that locked up part of the population to be active participants and co-creators of culture.
That inclusive society is already happening, eager to fully take root.