Thursday, May 27, 2010

Read Radio Free School/ Grace Llewellyn:Substitute 'life' for 'education.'

Grace Llewellyn is the author of the famous Teenage liberation Handbook; How to quit school and get a real life and education. She is the founder of Lowry House Publishers and Not Back to School Camp.This is an excerpt from a phone interview we did a few years back for radio on Radio Free School.

So would you call your approach to living and learning, if you had to define it, anarchistic? 
Anarchistic? Ten years ago I probably would have; but no. I don’t think I would use that term now. I’m not sure what term I would use. I would call it natural. Like looking for what is natural in a human being and even in creating a healthy society I would call it creative.

I don’t know if you are familiar with a book called Cultural Creative?
It’s kind of a hot book in this country in the last few years and it makes a point that we often tend to think in terms of classes. There’s the professional class, there’s the working class but that there is sort of a separate class- the creative class that’s shaping some new directions, that really doesn’t think in terms of conforming or fitting into society as it’s already established but rather thinks in terms of ‘how can I live my life?’ or ‘how can I learn in such a way that maybe I’m pioneering new ground, and creating a new society.’

So in that sense I would call it creative, natural- wanting to support a really natural way of learning and developing. I mean I could use the term anarchistic in the sense that it’s so much about leadership from the ground up.

You know, individual people discovering what’s right for them and following their own path rather than top down, rather than following a system dictating how we should live our lives and how we should learn.
I would love to see us as a society not thinking in terms of education but rather thinking in terms of life. I would love to see a very broad spectrum. I would love to see all of the fruits and vegetables in the grocery store are grown organically.
I think that we tend to see things in boxes, in categories that really don’t belong in boxes and categories. When people say ‘education’ I like to say, well if you substitute the term ‘life’ for education, or every time you say the word ‘education’ and ‘learning,’ substitute the word ‘life,’ and see how that makes you look at things differently.

In terms of our society, I would love to see us think less in terms of categories- over here we have health, over there we have learning, over here we have work. I would love to see a less institutional society, a more integrated society.


Anonymous said...

Why would the interviewer ask her if her approach to life and learning is anarchistic? Anarchy is chaos, no government rule in place and complete lack of order. What has this got to do with learning naturally??

mark said...

Remember, public education grew out of the industrial revolution to develop more skilled workers. It is a system to promote economy, not personal happiness. So let's change that.

In India, the pursuit of learning is equal to the pursuit of God(s)... I think they have this right.

Anarchy is just the opposition to a particular organization, not all organization... so let's make a new organization.

best wishes for success :)

rfs said...

Thanks Mark for the comment. By anarchy we mean 'from the roots up'- people taking charge of their own lives-empowering and supporting one another to be self reliant and cooperative.

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