Unschooling is about learning through living. As unschooling parents we want to open up the world for our children to explore. But what if your child is passionately interested in just one thing? Doesn’t that close off his access to the world and limit his learning? I have two children who have discovered passionate interests. Instead of spending my time trying to convince them to try new things, I decided to explore their interests with them. I was amazed at how much of the world came to life when they were free, and encouraged, to immerse themselves in their deep, passionate interests.
The Mystery of Pleasure: Thoughts on Teaching and learning Sex and Gender Relations in a Democratic Montessori Elementary Environment
Dr Maria Montessori (1870-1952), saw the child as a ‘spiritual embryo’ naturally gravitating towards a state of ‘normalization’ through the evolving discovery of a ‘cosmic task’ that emerged from inquiring into one’s identity and role in the universe. Although she laid a philosophical framework for this ‘educating of the human potential’; she never openly discussed sexuality and sexual knowledge as a necessary part of this development. Dr Riane Eisler is a contemporary feminist systems theorist whose ‘partnership model’ of sexual politics embraces (and, in fact, openly endorses) the tenets of the Montessori approach.
Matthew Henry R. Rich
War Against the Imagination: Technology, Kids, and Autonomy
All children’s movies produced, marketed and distributed by corporations are carefully designed sales delivery systems. They exist to sell. Secondarily, but of no less importance, they transmit ideology: even the most banal animated features transmit the social values and expectations of dominant culture. War Against the Imagination begins to develop a critical understanding of how the growing technological sophistication of story-telling media is changing both what and how stories teach young children. How are the boundaries between fantasy and reality disintegrating in the digital age, and of what impact on the lives of kids growing in our communities?
Apprenticeships: When schooling means more than doing
This paper is theoretically grounded in an educational movement known as unschooling. Unschooling is a learner centered democratic approach to education. Jerry Mintz (2004) defines learner-centered education as “an approach that is based on the interest of the student rather than curriculum driven, where someone else has the idea of what you ought to be learning,” and he defines democratic education as “education where students are actually empowered to make decisions about their own education and if they are in a school their own school.” This paper is about apprenticeship programs and how schooling and paper certificates have become more important in determining if someone can do a particular job than them actually doing it.
Carlo Ricci and Lisa Hill