Author Archives: paulr

Year 2020 — Volume 14 — Issue 28

No Amount of Tinkering Around the Edges: A Qualitative Study of Teacher Narratives About Leaving Conventional School Teaching and Discovered Self-Directed Learning Spaces

Pages: 1-27

Abstract:
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.

v14281


Willed Learning and Art as a Way for Young People to Express Their Feelings
Pages: 28-50

Abstract:
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.

v14282


Whispers of Transformative Silence on the Country Road to College
Pages: 51-58

Abstract:
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.

v14283

Year 2020 — Volume 14 — Issue 27

Indigenous Ways of Teaching and Learning as Unschooling: Relevant Studies and Contemporary and Indigenous Definitions of Unschooling
Pages: 1-19

Abstract:
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.
E.D. Woodford

v14271


Creating an alternative dissertation: Learning from the gates of loving inquiry
Pages: 20-30

Abstract:
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.
Ahava Shira

v14272


Sing, O Muse: On the Link Between Creativity and Self-Directed Education
Pages: 31-47

Abstract:
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.
Benjamin Riley

v14273

Year 2019 — Volume 13 — Issue 26

Healing Through Unschooling
Pages: 1-13

Abstract:
A parent of children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), this author began homeschooling one of her children when he was unable to cope in the mainstream system. When the supports that were working for the child at school were removed, he became violent and aggressive causing him to face multiple suspensions. Together she and her child explored homeschooling, then unschooling where they found hope and healing.
Debbie Michaud

v13261


First They Came for the Unschoolers: A Faircloughian Critical Discourse Analysis of Queensland Home Education Policies
Pages: 14-47

Abstract:
Increasing numbers of Australian parents, like me, are choosing to home educate. US estimates suggest, within home educated populations, 5 per cent of home education cohorts (Riley, 2018) follow an unschooling, or self-directed education (SDE), approach. In the past, these parents registered with the government department; however, policy changes made in Queensland in May 2018 make registration almost impossible for unschoolers and discriminate against families whose registration was based on a philosophy such as SDE.
Rebecca English

v13262


In Praise of Illegible Learning: Reasons for and Difficulties of Challenging Artificially-Ordered Schooling
Pages: 48-73

Abstract:
The history of American k-12 schooling can be best understood as an attempt to make illegible processes legible – that is, a process of taking informal and often localized educational practices and reorganizing them in a more formalized way so that they can be standardized and understood by those not involved in those processes. Conversely, self-directed forms of education (such as unschooling and “free”/democratic schooling), are best seen as reactions against this trend toward legibility, as attempts to reintroduce illegibility into the learning process.
Kevin Currie Knight

v13263