Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Topic of the Day


This concept of child-directed "at home" schooling was first proposed by John Holt. This is different from the traditional classroom or home schooling approach because the curriculum and time table is set by the child.

This CNN article describes it a bit more.

Here is a debate on the issue at David Friedman's Blog.

North Carolina actually has an Unschoolers Group.

Some info and resources can be found here and here.

I just saw this commentary on the topic of 'unschooling' here:
When it comes to the choice, I am all for it. Especially since no one size fits all - i.e. the same reason public education doesn't work well (one of many reasons).

The other side, is that the parents have to know their children and see if that is what is best for them. If they have the individual self-control and interest to pursue different areas, then it might be a very successful approach.

Who are any of us to say what is best for anyone else?
Choice is the key word here. The government school system's top-down, one-size-fits-all approach is destined to fail for many, many families. While I understand that the unstructured approach taken by "unschoolers" is not for everyone, it may be the absolute best way for some. I say the more choices, the better.
Saw your comment on HoT and commented there. I personally think that unschooling would be a fine way to learn. Travel to Italy or read about it in a book? It may actually be the most libertarian of all education options as the child would experience self-ownership.
Good Point. Absolutely.

Currently we have the problem of the parent maximizing their own utility (location, neighborhood, friends, job) via 'school choice'. Generally that decision might not involve what is best for the child.

So, instead of having to figure out whether the parent's decision is utility maximizing for the child as well, letting the child (if able) make the decision for themselves could be the best solution.

Now how do we work out whether or not they are capable of making that decision? Is it an age issue? Can there be a standard approach?
How about when you stop blowing your nose into your shirt? Perhaps then I'll NEVER grow up.
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