Increasing Collaboration between Homeschoolers and Counselors
An estimated 1.8 million students are homeschooled in the United States, and interest has only increased during the pandemic. To provide appropriate services, counselors must understand the contexts and characteristics of homeschoolers. The history of homeschooling provides insight into vulnerabilities and mistrust of public systems which may exist. Reasons and methods of homeschooling differentiate the diversity within the homeschool community, while examining known challenges reveals a possible space for counselors. School counseling history and structure can serve as a template for building counseling services within homeschools and can lead to clinical implications for consideration. Children in public and private schools have access to an array of counseling services within their schools, while homeschooled children and families may not. It may be helpful to explore whether there is a desire for greater access to counseling services within the homeschool community. Unfortunately, there is little literature available on the topic of counseling within the homeschooling community. The purpose of this paper is to review the available literature as well as provide clinical and research recommendations.
At Risk and Silent: Giving Voice to Students Participating in an Alternative School-in-School Program
Students are placed in alternative educational arrangement for a variety of reasons. Some programs exist outside of the regular school district; however, some exist as part of the school district and on the same campuses as the main schools. These schools provide students with the opportunity to succeed in a different environment. The current investigation examines the alternative school from the perception of the student. This qualitative investigation includes four students who completed their high school education through an alternative school located on the campus of the local high school. Student feedback provides insight to school leaders on the role that alternative education can play in the student’s success and what the students believe can be improved so that they are successful beyond the classroom. Results indicate that students were positive about their alternative school experience and believed their programming provided them with opportunities that supported both academic and person growth.
Racism Against Japanese Canadians in British Columbia: My Reflections on Racism Inspired by John Holt
Racism against Japanese Canadians in British Columbia (B.C.) has been an ongoing issue with its roots ingrained in the past. The province of B.C. has a history of putting Japanese Canadians into internment camps during World War II due to their ethnic background and are still refusing to include this tragedy into the current B.C. curriculum. This reflective autoethnography guided by John Holt’s Learning All the Time, explores the history and current issues that Japanese Canadians face in B.C. Through the lens of the researcher’s own experiences with racism, the issues of being a “model minority”, the difficulties of cultural identity, and the current state of racism towards Asian Canadians are discussed. The study concludes that, the lack of historical recognition from the government and with the rise in hate crimes towards Asian Canadians due to COVID-19, racism towards “model minorities” is very much alive in today’s society.
A Curricular Framework for Traversing into the Valley of Vocation
This article introduces a U-shaped curricular framework for people to traverse into the valley of vocation. In addition, I present three educational orientations related to life and work and discuss the relationship between one’s work and the larger whole of life. The framework and the discussion are useful to support alternative education’s aspiration to unfold the potential of the whole self over the whole of life, as well as my personal vision for people to become more fully who they uniquely already are to mend a specific ache in the everyday world.
Learning at Home: Exploring the Benefits of Homeschooling in Pakistan
Homeschooling is a form of experiential learning which is fast picking momentum worldwide as an alternative educational choice driven by motivations unique to each family. No matter what the motivation, the end is to make learning more meaningful and value laden. Subject to much controversy by critics, especially in the realm of socialization, identity formation and academic performance, it is thought of as a bold and deviant ideology by mainstream society. Guided with a phenomenological approach, through in-depth interviews which were analyzed qualitatively, this exploratory study explores the benefits of homeschooling as experienced by six families from Karachi who decided to pull out their children from elite private schools to homeschool them due to dissatisfaction with the given schools. Findings revealed that the most conspicuous benefits derived from homeschooling were strengthened familial bonds, better socialization, improved academic learning, better social and moral instruction, and increased opportunities for self-discovery apart from other aggregate benefits.
Culturally Sustaining Practices in Public Montessori Schools: A Landscape of the Literature
This literature review provides a broad examination of the importance of culturally sustaining practices in public Montessori schools. For the purpose of this paper, culturally sustaining practices refers to any pedagogical practice or framework that prioritizes the racial and social identities of children of color, and/or the work that educators must do to strengthen these culturally sustaining practices. Culturally sustaining practices include but are not limited to Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy, which Paris (2012) adapted from Ladson-Billings’ (1995) Culturally Responsive Pedagogy. Specifically examining the experiences that children of color experience in public Montessori education in the U.S., the author proposes that culturally sustaining practices combined with the Montessori method will lead to more humanizing and uplifting school experiences for Montessori families and educators. The research questions guiding the review are: (1) How does public Montessori education intersect with racial justice, social justice, and CSP, specifically as it serves children of color? (2) What is the internal work required of adults who want to employ CSP in their practice with children? The themes that arose from the literature were: the racial and economic challenges facing public Montessori in the U.S.; the varied experiences of Montessori students of color; the need for more social justice and culturally sustaining practices; and the aspects of culturally sustaining practices already existing in Montessori. The paper ends with recommendations for schools and Montessori teacher preparation.
Is Alternative Schooling Associated with Lower Bullying Incidence?
Bullying is a serious problem in mainstream public schools. One purpose of this article is to review the literature to investigate whether other types of schools, such as Steiner schools and Montessori schools, have a lower frequency of bullying than mainstream schools. Another purpose is to determine if bullying is a common factor leading to decisions to homeschool children. The article also includes a discussion of some lessons mainstream schools can learn from alternative schools about bullying prevention. There is evidence to suggest that bullying is more prevalent at mainstream schools, and bullying is a commonly cited reason to homeschool.
What is so Alternative about the Alternative Education in Israel? The Scale of 11 Challenges set by the Alternative Education None-Mainstream
The Israeli education system consists of public state schools and an alternative education system. This article reviews the unique characteristics of the alternative educational frameworks and analyzes the challenges they pose to the traditional and conservative state education system. The text offers a distinction between “Alternatives in education” vs. “Alternativeness in education” based on Ivan Illich others.
Managing and Disseminating Indigenous Knowledge: The Case of LIO’s Climate forums
This study explores the complexity of managing and disseminating Indigenous knowledge. UK-Based International Organization (LIO)’s Climate forums provide a practical example of knowledge management since they capture the voices of people who have been affected by climate change in order to put pressure on governments to act on climate change. While the Climate forums are an admirable attempt to give people a ‘voice’ on climate change, the full potential of ‘voice’ is overlooked since Indigenous knowledge is not explicitly recognised as part of LIO’s knowledge management strategy. Development communication is explored as an approach for Indigenous knowledge management.
Transformative, Intercultural Learning from the Indigenous Teaching Circle: Creative autoethnographic reflections on dialogic, holistic education with place
This reflective, creative autoethnography explores an intercultural, dialogic pedagogy of transformative learning that has historically been taught as a teaching circle in indigenous communities. The focus is on what this alternative learning process means to a non-aboriginal learner, artist/teacher, and whether the circle pedagogy can be collectively engaged in the classroom by non-aboriginal and aboriginal teachers/learners. Through a visual and poetic autoethnography, the researcher presents her thematic reflections on her learning experience. The study concludes that aboriginal and non-aboriginal teachers/learners may benefit from the teaching circle process because it is a participatory model of transformative education that is grounded in the holistic pedagogy of place.
Doctor Stockmann and Greta Thunberg: Some Implications of Intellectual Resistance, Eco-activism and Unschooling
This paper ascertains how Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg and Doctor Stockmann of Henrik Ibsen’s play An Enemy of the People (1882) represent an intellectual activism in two different contexts of world realities. Greta (2003), a Swedish teenager, singlehandedly embarks on a “School Strike for Climate” (SSC) in August, 2018 (Swedish: Skolstrejk för klimatet), which subsequently develops into a global movement being broadly labeled as “Fridays for Future” (FFF). She has now spearheaded this strike towards a worldwide climate movement. She has thus forged her identity as an eco-intellectual or climate activist but endured the backlashes and controversies of the development pedagogues and totalitarian world leaders. On the other hand, Doctor Stockmann, an alter ego of Henrik Ibsen, functions beyond his own profession to serve his intellectual responsibility. He detects fatal infection in the spa of the fictional city which garners a substantial financial sustenance for the city. He strives to disclose the diagnosis of bacterial contamination to avoid the health and economic hazards of his locale. But in so doing, he is converted into a foe of the city and finally forced to go for a social estrangement by the city mayoral administration. This paper concentrates also on all the socio-ethico-political compulsions, which pose threatening inhibitions to Dr. Stockmann but lead him to evolve himself into an intellectual rebel. By exploring these two contextual instances of intellectual activism and confrontation, this paper also locates Greta and Stockmann within a broader spectrum of eco-ethical resistance that can designate them as a thematic content in the unschooling learning spaces. This paper hinges on Greta in a particular light by presenting Greta’s resistance as a call for re-visioning the societal ideologies on children and their relationship to environmental consciousness.
The Commodification of the Female Body on Instagram: A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis
No Amount of Tinkering Around the Edges: A Qualitative Study of Teacher Narratives About Leaving Conventional School Teaching and Discovered Self-Directed Learning Spaces
In this paper, I qualitatively analyze written and audio (podcast) accounts from eight teachers who left the field of conventional school teaching and went on to found or work in self-directed learning centers. Studies on teacher attrition tend to focus on teachers who leave education entirely (or continue teaching by working through hardships). The experience of these teachers – who neither remained in conventional schools or left careers in education – highlight an interesting middle-space. I review the similarities and differences of these former-teachers’ journeys, as well as compare their reported experience to existing literature on teacher attrition.
Willed Learning and Art as a Way for Young People to Express Their Feelings
The homeschooling of my 6-year-old son during the school closures due to the pandemic outbreak of COVID-19 has become exceptionally easier when, after a few failed attempts, I decided to give willed-learning a try. I have been brought up in a very different educational system, and my biggest fear was to lower my standards. I thought without a fixed daily plan and a rigid curriculum, my son would waste his time, but soon I realized that my style of homeschooling is more damaging than helping. After trying the willed-learning approach, his stress subsided and he became more confident and happy in his learning journey. In this paper, I will share my story while drawing on the willed-learning approach by Carlo Ricci (2012) to argue that children will feel empowered when they have the freedom to choose when to learn,
what to learn and how to learn.
Whispers of Transformative Silence on the Country Road to College
A doctoral dissertation that sought to illustrate the country road to college involved traveling thousands of miles to interview rural and indigenous students about their collegiate experiences. Whispers of transformative silence pointed to a distinct reality beyond what was actually said. The research involved writing-up what was actually spoken by study participants (i.e. exterior realities), not what I was actually listening into (i.e. interior realities). Reflecting on this odyssey, it seems participants were pointing towards what is often missing in mainstream higher education.
Indigenous Ways of Teaching and Learning as Unschooling: Relevant Studies and Contemporary and Indigenous Definitions of Unschooling
Many Canadian homeschool families use different methods of learning at home, including unschooling. The methods and definitions can be challenging. The author’s review of the literature identifies both contemporary and Indigenous definitions of unschooling. As a Metis family that is learning at home without a curriculum, the researcher questioned where are other Indigenous families who are learning the same way. Using auto-ethnography to illustrate how the author’s family came to learning at home, this paper explores relevant North American studies of homeschooling. The research reveals that most data are limited to enrollment data by provinces and territories. The concluding result of the study determines that Indigenous ways of teaching and learning is unschooling.
Creating an alternative dissertation: Learning from the gates of loving inquiry
My alternative PhD dissertation documented my practice of Loving Inquiry during a year of
living in my new home on Butterstone Farm, Salt Spring Island. Using the arts-based practices of poetry, narrative and photography, I learned to pause, breathe in and open my heart into
relationship with the human and natural beings there.
Sing, O Muse: On the Link Between Creativity and Self-Directed Education
This article explores the connection between self-directed education and creativity.
Creativity is characterized as having the ability to produce ideas or creations that are innovative,
original, and imaginative. Self-directed education refers to a type of education in which what,
where, and how a student learns is chosen by the student, rather than strictly following a
predetermined curriculum. There are currently three primary means of self-directed education:
unschooling, democratic schools, and free schools. This article discusses five ways in which the
concepts of creativity and self-directed education overlap. These connections are: the connection between life and learning, the crucial role of play and experimentation, increased personal autonomy, a strong sense of personal initiative, and an egalitarian social structure.