Tuesday, September 07, 2010


We were invited to write the weekly message for the Learning Revolution facebook group this week and this is what I wrote;

Dear Members,
with freedom in education comes responsibility.
We have to be responsible for our learning; we have to take responsibility for being in this world. That's my message to you. I think it is the most important message you can 'teach' a kid.

John Gatto has said it over and over; you don't get an education.
"Nobody can give you and education. Education must be taken by those who want one. The will and dogged persistence of the seeker are the only essential tools needed to become educated. Teachers, text, money play only minor roles and papers, pencils, tests play no role at all."

And that means taking here, there, everywhere from the world around us, according to what we are interested in and passionate about and not what some one prescribes for us.
Learning in this way -Gatto calls it 'open source learning'- "allows everything under the sun as a possible starting point on the road to self mastery."
If as parents, educators, people interested in learning revolution we can help a child or young person see that they have abilities, they have potential, so that they truly believe it, then they will take on that responsibility for themselves.
The challenge is one that they will want to accept.

Take very young kids; it's, "No. I do it," and "Let me!"
They want to do things; they want to challenge themselves. They are deeply insulted if you try and do it for them.

So in our commitment to revolution in education, let's nurture that compulsion for self autonomy. Let's not allow that urge for self sufficiency and inquiry be quelled or squished in our zeal to provide education.

I think we would do well to remember that when talking about autonomous, self- directed learning, our children are not the ones who need it the most. Our kids are perfect beings before the schooling mentality reaches them.
It is we, the adults, who need to divest ourselves of unexamined beliefs and the imprisoning expectations of society's well meaning people.
We who are heir to a schooling mentality that extends into all aspects of life (be it in the way we defer to' the experts' to tell us how to be in this world- from what to wear to how to the best way to spend your time) need to unschool ourselves.
So the battle to regain our own minds is top priority. And this group offers an opportunity to do just that.
What a wonderful group!


Anonymous said...

This is a brilliant post. Thanks so much, and it's delightful to see yet another piece of writing gold from John Taylor Gatto, especially one I hadn't seen before.

I love your blog.


rfs said...

@Danae-thank you for these kind words.They mean a lot to me.

Anonymous said...

Is it fair to dump responsibility on a kid though? Isn't this expecting too much of a kid?

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