His points are all valid though I think he needs a bit more context.
There's education happening in the elite boarding schools and at independent institutions like democratic schools, waldorf schools, etc. The lynchpin for all education is that it has to be non-compulsory. If a child wants to go to school no one can stop him or her either; it's their right. If we made that 1 change, schools overnight would all go belly up as we know them. Within the month, the town will have created a school open to children with teachers that are paid who are qualified and it will be a choice. You might have to pay a daily fee to go to school at that point or it might be a communal town tax - depends on how that month shakes out. If we lost the compulsory component of schools, the teeth would be removed and the inappropriate federal and state influences would evaporate.... I teach at a hybrid school that's almost allows you to teach like Gatto... almost... I've tried
Anyway, imagine the powerlessness of a teacher: you can't MAKE them do ANYTHING - they can leave ANYTIME. Changes everything. I guess at that point you'd teach something... valuable?
That song is very nice, and they make good points. I can't help but say that it is a little more annoying for the people who aware of how flawed the education system is. Especially, considering that some of us know how the system works and a lot of it is just tedium to meet requirements of grades and other standards set by legislature. Frankly, it drives me insane at the moment, having spent my time, my nights, and my energy on things that do not matter so much to me. I think the world could be better off if people got hands-on education and learned through a combination of initiative-based learning approaches. There is so much I could be doing, and spending my time on but I know with the way things are setup, at the moment, I must meet certain guidelines to get where I want to be. Yes, I will be doing what I need to do to get myself in position to start changing things. Just, *sigh* I want to start changing things now!!! I don't want to wait, but I know I have to. *sigh*
I am just SOO annoyed that my time and energy is being wasted. That is probably my other major complaint; I have a great disdain for inefficiency. *rawr! crazy face*
Hey Dave, Im assuming you are a teacher? maybe at a public school?
Well, now that my daughter is dawning on her second year, im faced with the reality of school enrollement (which pre-ed starts at 3 here in FR, and mandatory at 6). Most parents throw their kids in school at three, as studies have shown that preschool helps children adapt and become more successful learners later in life.... WHATEVER THAT MEANS
I suppose it depends on what our kids are learning... like the first video states, school curriculum is a hodgepodge of old world, rushed information. even if proven helpful in life, the lack of choice children have during the entirety of their childhood stifles creativity and creates stress babies.
And, like Dave, I too feel quite frustrated and stiffled by my choices. I have friends in San Diego who are Un-Schooling their kids (different from Home Schooling, its HS w/out participating in the required state tests) and I find this EXTREMELY motivating, especially when you consider the endless possibilities of learning on a Permiculture Based Home/Farm/Life project! Like J.Salatin mentions in You Can Farm, why send your kids to baseball practice to wreck their tiny bodys and instead hand them ten chickens and a calculator and ask them to sell some pastured eggs for profit and see how many they can sell each week. MATH!
Waldorf Schools are quite interesting as well, but thru the roof expensive and therefore limited to those with higher incomes.
From what I understand, a child in the United States can refuse to go to school, but can still aquite a GED later in life, assuring that young person that they can have the opportunities to go to college or higher education later in life if they choose. Its not the case in FR, from what i understand. If i decide to un-school my children, then they will not have the same opporunities as their peers, and will undoubtedly be locked out of any professional opportunities later in life (you know, cuz maybe they might want to get off the farm). On that note, FR is much more education-based (EDUCATION IS FREEEEEE!!! but on the flip coin, required, and once you choose a 'profession' you are locked into it, you cant, say, be a chef and then decide to be a farmer and just raise a few chickesn and sell them at market, you need the Certificates first)
I would be VERY interested to hear from some permi-parents who integrate what they learn thru their projects and transform them into suplimental studies with children. I love my daughter, and I want her to grow up loving our lifestyle by participation and appriciation!
No, I'm actually a high schooler (senior), not a teacher, though a few of my friends have suggested that to me. Instead, I am going into research (biochemistry) first because I will need some capital to get started and some credentials, too. I have an idea and a plan, but I don't want to reveal anything too soon. Anyhow, I love biology and chemistry, so naturally, why not combine the two? Sometime in the next 5 to 10 or 20 years, I am hoping for ten, I will have the basecamp for my idea established. I have vaguely alluded to my ideas/plans in my college applications to see what other people think, and I have gotten one positive response out of ten college applications. So maybe, if I do well at the interview, the idea can be advanced quicker. Though, with the long-game in mind, a few years is slightly trivial. I've waited 18 years which is part of why I have so much angst to get things moving, but patience is a virtue I am willing to use if I have to. My eyes are open to any opportunities to get things done more efficiently.
I know planning so far in advance may seem absurd to others, but it can be done and contingencies and the plan itself are constantly being reassessed to check for possible ways to get things moving sooner.
My oldest son spent a semester in kindergarten, we could already tell he was not going to do well in school. We wasn't stupid, he wasn't the troublemaker, but he wasn't a follower either. He struggled to learn, as the teacher spent 90% of her time with the 3 worst students in class, and he didn't see the point to the lessons. We started homeschooling him, and it took a year or two to get the rhythm of his learning style and speed. Then it was easy. Second son was much easier because we knew what we were doing.
We bought the farm because they needed space to play, explore, and, well, be boys. That fueled their learning-plants, animals, science, construction, you name it.
When we adopted our girls from Haiti, we taught them English in about a month--with really only a few hours of work. Made them a few read along books with tapes that my wife read. The orphanage played them as long as we could keep them in batteries, the girls played them when they got home. Didn't really have to teach them to read, either. Books on tape and just reading to them was all we had to do. They both read about 6 grades above their age.
The kids we adopted from foster care are much harder, they have lots more bad habits to unlearn. The way schools pander to kids with IEP's really does the kid a disservice. Getting them to think for themselves is a real struggle. School today does much more harm than good. Of course, public school was never about education.
We teach them BASIC reading, writing, and arithmetic. Enough math to balance a checkbook and know they aren't getting taken on a price. Enough writing to get along with basic email and letters. Reading to get to the basics, after that they tend to devour books for fun. So we have a not so small library of good books, lots of historical books, a little classic fiction, and just about every natural science subject they could get. After that it is unschooling, their curiosity and passion drive the learning. I don't care what they learn as long as the learn HOW TO LEARN.
"You must be the change you want to see in the world." "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Mahatma Gandhi
"Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words." --Francis of Assisi.
"Family farms work when the whole family works the farm." -- Adam Klaus
I'm one of those stories and I feel like somebody should have noticed that there were so many of us that didn't "school" well. In part I feel guilty for not speaking up but at the same token I never felt like I had anyone in my corner...or any other corner to go to for that matter.
I look forward to the future. We live in interesting times, and I cannot wait to help making things happen! He does make a very very good point that people should be allowed to study and learn whatever they want and feel will benefit themselves the most. I need to do more reading, but so far, I really like the German public education model. There are many other great public education systems out there, too, and I do have to agree that the USA is behind in quite a few things regarding our nation's efficiency/practicality/nature (e.g. how the government functions, how public education works, handling social issues, passing common sense laws). One of the things I am curious about is the different methods of change: change from working within a system, change by working beyond a system, and change inside a similar system to outcompete a current system.