“It scared me. I thought I was in free fall,” he said. “These kids are just playing—they’re playing all day, they’re playing all week, they’re playing for years.”
Then he got to understand the school’s philosophy: Play can be an essential way to learn, and “here was an example where people weren’t using that as a platitude. It was purely operational. It was protected; it was championed; it was made room for.”
“These kids…seemed centered, they seemed emotionally less stressed, they seemed terribly sophisticated in how they could talk, and they were willing to immerse themselves in subjects like chemistry and classical literature,” he said. “They were some of the best students I’d ever encountered.”
There’s some good stuff here, but if I never have to see another headline including “no books, no classes” in relation to unschooling or other self directed learning, I will be a happy Idzie (not to mention the “teaching themselves” thing. *Sighs*)!
Also, while the projects mentioned may have taken inspiration from unschooling, from the description they’re not fully unschooling. That’s fine, but this article isn’t super clear about there possibly being a difference. I also didn’t like this bit: “self-directed learning isn’t for all students, particularly those who he says are ‘over-institutionalized,’ have emotional issues, or have a strong need for structure.” *I* have “emotional issues,” at least by my definition of the phrase, and I’m quite happy I unschooled! Self directed learning IS for everyone, I believe, just in different ways for different people (i.e., some kids will be happier in a freeschool type situation than unschooling, some kids will want someone to help them hash out and plan a very structured “curriculum” to follow, etc.). This is the second time this week I’ve been bothered by seeing people seemingly implying that people with mental health issues/emotional issues shouldn’t be unschooling parents or unschoolers themselves. This is not pleasing me!
“The iPod, like the Walkman cassette player before it, allows us to listen to our music wherever we want. Previously, recording technology had unlinked music from the concert hall, the café, and the saloon, but now music can always be carried with us. Michael Bull, who has written frequently about the impact of the Walkman and the iPod, points out that we often use devices to ‘aestheticize urban space.’ We carry our own soundtrack with us wherever we go, and the world around us is overlaid with our music. Our whole life becomes a movie, and we can alter the score for it over and over again: one minute it’s a tragedy, and the next it’s an action film. Energetic, dreamy, or ominous and dark: everyone has their own private movie going on in their heads, and no two are the same….Theodor Adorno… called this situation ‘accompanied solitude,’ a situation where we might be alone, but we have the ability via music to create the illusion that we are not.”—from How Music Works, by David Byrne (via girlfromtralfamadore)