Talk of “education reform” is viral all over the internet. Despite multiple failed attempts at “reform” over the past decades, society refuses to think outside the “box” of schooling and consider a radical return to how children learned for millennia- By playing, living and doing! Teachers and others in the field of education continue to propose that the oppressive, prison-like institution where children are forced to stay seated in a building all day pumping out paperwork can and should be reformed! When democratic schooling, homeschooling and unschooling advocates attempt to join the conversation and offer models that are successful and truly radical, they are often met by educators and their supporters who dismiss these models as idealistic and not “realistic” for “everyone”. Additionally, people seem not to be aware of the fact that despite talks of reform, the needs, voices and leadership of the people who are the most adversely affected by public schooling- youth- are left out of the conversation. [...]
A post on Care2 states that the demise of school recess hurts student learning. It advocates that children should have “even 15 minutes” to “run around”. I believe that this article misses a major point- A few-minute gesture of respite or “recess” from hours of mindless busywork is not “recess” at all. The value of outdoor play is in realizing that children’s natural state of being is play and movement. Reversing the ratio of active playing vs. sitting down would be a wonderful start for schools: Freedom to play and move should consume the child’s day and “15 minutes” to sit in discussion (if children so choose) would be more in line with a child’s natural development. [...]
Have you ever pondered the redundancy of certain quotes commonly used by the education institution? For example, “Try to learn something new every day”. Have you ever tried NOT to learn something new every day? Is it even possible to NOT learn something daily? How about, “Children need to arrive at school ready to learn”. In my opinion, it is precisely when children arrive at school that beneficial, relevant learning stops! [...]
In the womb, babies are blanketed in a blissful neurological expectation that when they finally are born into the world, their needs in every manner will be responded to lovingly and met immediately. There is an inborn agreement with nature that because nature intended it to be so, it will be. In many peaceful indigenous tribal societies, this will be the life for most babies that come into the tribe: Love, affection, joy, play, freedom and happiness.
In our industrialized, disconnected culture, we are born into something very different. We are born into a world-view in which nature’s agreement has expired, is disrespected and long forgotten by the majority of the culture. We are born into the firmly established expectations of wounded parents and families who survived their own malnourished childhoods, and of a society that has one motivation in mind: Money. Despite all of the carefree childhood myths, before we even scream our first screams into the world of being born, our entire childhood has been decided for us- It is a preparation for “success”: Productivity, the workforce, a money-making machine. [...]
No one has to (or should) teach children anything. Children are wired from birth to learn everything they need to learn to reach their full potentials. They just need adults to get out of their way and instead guide, mentor and expose children to the resources they want and need in order to explore, create, play and invent. Children need to be free in order to learn. Public school destroys children’s innate passion for what they were individually born to do and forces them to be something they are not. Those who can hold onto a piece of themselves will then spend the next 20+ years trying to undo the damage that the school did. [...]