Monday, November 07, 2005

Andres' Definition of Unschooling

Suzie Andres defines unschooling this way:

"Unschooling is a form of education in which the child is trusted to be the primary agent in learning what he needs to know to lead him to happiness."

She qualifies as follows:
"Form of education" means academic education, not moral formation. The "child is trusted" means that the *parents* trust him, ie that the parents use their God given authority to discern and lead, and put themselves in the roles of secondary agents -- "They allow him a leading role in his education, placing more emphasis on his learning than on their teaching:".

Finally the "end" or final goal of unschooling is the acquisition of knowledge and skills.
"The knowledge and skills proposed are not accidental; they are those which the child needs to become truly happy."
(in the Catholic meaning of the term happy)

Pat Farenga's definition is this:
"Allowing children as much freedom to explore the world as you can comfortably bear as their parent."

John Holt used the term "unschooling" in preference to "homeschooling" because he wanted to express the freedom of being outside the walls of an institutional school and the range of ways that people learn outside of the home.

In our case that's not necessarily a distinction that needs to be made and I wonder whether it's possible to still "unschool" when most of our lives do take place in the home or right in the immediate vicinity??

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