Culture of Schooling

Culture of School
Carol Black is awesome sauce. Read her article A Thousand Rivers as proof. No really, go ahead, I’ll wait. I would simply provide you with a few of my favorite quotes but the entire article is one big favorite quote.

Today I wanted to share something with you that I heard her speak to here in a podcast with Pam Laricchia.

She discussed the culture of schooling, and in so doing was able to articulate something I have danced around for many years. The culture of schooling is based in the following principles.


Separation of children from nature and community.
Children learn naturally in the natural world around them and in their family and home community. This is the true playground of learning where experience runs rampant and connection runs deep.


Segregation by age.
Children learn naturally in mixed age groups where they can look to the role modeling, leadership, and guidance of older children and have a turn doing the same for younger children. This dynamic propels growth and fosters all the qualities of personal success.


Dominance, non consent, and coercion.
Children learn naturally with freedom and respect. Under control they learn obedience, not knowledge.


Competition and ranking.
Children learn naturally in collaboration.


Learning is expected and forced on a universal timeline and in a universal way.
Children learn naturally in incredibly unique ways with a wide rate of developmental growth.


Abstract text based.
Children learn naturally through everyday activities.


Learn through explicit instruction with explicit evaluation.
Children learn naturally through experience and experimentation.


All of these cornerstones of the culture of schooling are interconnected and go beyond impeding learning to truly violating a child’s inherent human rights while impeding the evolution of the modern world toward peace and intellectualism. They are based on the view of children that existed when the modern school model was established: children are sinful beings and property. The thing is, we have evolved and learned a lot since those times. We have spent decades studying and researching how children learn and tuning in to children as autonomous yet connected human beings.

We now know better. Yet the system can’t do better.

So that leaves it up to us as parents to shift our entire mindset around education, which also means parenting and lifestyle (What is Unschooling? Why Unschooling?). One child at at time, one family at a time, one network at a time, and the movement grows and continues moving forward.

Are you ready to take the leap? The Unschooling Family Adventure Challenge can help.

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