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Friday, August 27, 2010

15 Models that are Better for Childhood Learning than Schools'

Here are 15 organizing models for communities and individuals that are better for childhood learning than schools' lectures, papers, tests, grades, and transcripts:
  1. Summer Camps: Be engaged outdoors, not coerced indoors

  2. Libraries/YMCA: Pick what interests you today

  3. Internships/Volunteering: Spend time with smarter people and do meaningful work

  4. Family Trips: Go on journeys with the people who matter most

  5. Pick-up Sports: Experience existential play and find balance

  6. Organized Sports Leagues/ Chess competitions/ Spelling bees/ Multi-player computer games: Raise your own game through competition

  7. Meaningful Jobs: Understand what work is and can be

  8. Self Study: Explore a passion

  9. Tutor with small class or individual/ Music class: Learn at the right pace

  10. Community theater/ Improv: A common goal for a disparate group under strong leadership

  11. Book clubs/ Discussion groups: Learn to be as well as learn to know

  12. Writing groups/ Photography groups: Peer review and learning to improve individual outputs.

  13. Garage band/ Movie making/ Start-up business: Self organizing peer to peer small groups around common interests and collective output

  14. World of Warcraft/ Facebook/ Blogs: Learn to do and Learn to be remotely

  15. 4-H/ Future Farmers of America: Learn stewardship and authenticity
The current model of school, with "tests" and "accountability" being all important, means that teachers are financially motivated to dissuade students from all of the above.

1 comment:

  1. Most of these are great, and we pursue many of them in our homeschool. Human nature being what it is, however, I would recommend that parents set limits on childrens' use of video games (whether educational or not), as they have a tendency to suck time away from all of those other important endeavors you mentioned, at best, or result in an addiction at worst.

    As soon as people start rationalizing an all-consuming game like World of Warcraft as an educational pursuit, who would ever bother to crack a book or step outside into nature again? There has to be a balance (heavily weighted against sitting in front of a computer all day, IMO), and unfortunately many people don't appreciate that.

    I've seen some unschoolers do just that -- justify their kids playing video games all day as being a form of learning -- and such children risk ending up being as intellectually stunted as those in the public schools you decry.

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