I will kindly ask that you please examine the information presented here with a mind open to the possibility that there may be other ways of educating children and operating “school” than we used to know. We are all in the process of growing and changing and re-thinking our ideas!
“Self-education is the only possible education; the rest is mere veneer laid on the surface of the child’s nature.” Take a look at more thought-provoking quotes by educational pioneer Charlotte Mason!
“… Children need to have stand-and-stare time, time imagining and pursuing their own thinking processes or assimilating their experiences through play or just observing the world around them.” A quote from an article explaining why children should be allowed to get bored.
Here is a great introduction to a beautiful approach of teaching young children called the “Reggio-Emilia method”. Then you can read about how the Reggio teachers want to re-define schools as community centers.
“When assessing and teaching children, the time has more than come for education to embrace the whole child – an approach that calls for schools and educators to curtail the deficit model and replace it with the abundance model. First, unveil the jewels inside each child.” This is how one article caught my eye. Jewels inside children? Hmmm. Tell me more about the Abundance Model.
A doctor from St. Louis (my city!) recently wrote an article which outlined eighteen reasons why doctors and lawyers home-school their children. I absolutely love her final paragraph: “Now that we home-school, everything has become a team effort in our house. Both my husband and I teach, do housework, and make money. Everyone does chores. Walking in each other’s shoes each day has made us more compassionate towards each other. We are less likely to criticize each other when things don’t go right, and we’ve learned to be better communicators. This is, perhaps, my favorite part of home-schooling, that our family is happier together.”
“What would happen if we put more teachers in the position to stop teaching students everything? If we opened the opportunity for teachers to arrange schools so the students want to learn?” Come read about a group of educators who want to give each individual teacher the autonomy to re-arrange the classroom so that maybe students would want to come and learn of their own volition, not because they are forced to attend school.
John Taylor Gatto is one of my favorite authors who searches for what it means to be truly educated, and also explores the current state, history, and purposes of the public education system. Here is a fascinating interview of him. There are so many awesome quotes in this interview that I can’t choose just one to show you, so you’ll have to read it for yourself!
Finally, if you’re feeling brave, check out Gatto’s essay called “The Six Lesson Schoolteacher”. But only read it if you won’t be offended by extreme sarcasm, an intense look at the origins of the American school system, and a very biased opinion of what is actually going on when you send a child to school. I was rather shocked at some of Gatto’s claims, but while I know that he is speaking harshly on many points, I do believe that there are nuggets of truth in his words.
Were you challenged to re-think any of your views by reading these articles? I certainly have been! If we never seek to expand our knowledge or discuss new options, then how will we grow?