If you had a blind spot that caused you to ignorantly put your children’s safety and well-being at risk, you’d want to know about it, wouldn’t you?
As a concerned parent, you’d like to be 100% sure you’re seeing clearly and doing all you can to prepare your children for their lives as adults in a free society.
If that’s the case, then I invite you to join me in taking a look into our cultural blind spot and consider for a half hour the moral, economic and political risks involved in educating our children in a compulsion-based school system. Then, I’ll tell you about a freedom-based school that has been operating for over forty years with remarkable results. Read more…
Tags: children, compulsion, education, freedom education, schools
Hi. My name is Jesse and I’m a recovering public school teacher.
I’m pretty sure that I’ve had more experience setting up real student governments with student-led court systems than probably anyone else in the world. You’d be amazed at what students can do when we trust them to govern themselves.
Once it backfired on me, though. Around 1992, I had been elected the leader of a group of parents who were establishing a private school here in Utah County. Because the school ended up launching in American Fork and I lived in Springville, I did not enroll my children. So, none of the students at the school knew me or my role in founding their school along with their student-run judicial system.
One day, I was asked to substitute for a staff member at the school. To make this long story short, I was put on trial along with 5 young students. Read more…
Tags: constitution, education, freedom education, liberty, self-government
The following are quotes from Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk (You can watch it under “Vids” in the menu above). These many statements call out for a new type of education, which I believe is satisfied by freedom-based education.
“I have a big interest in education, and I think we all do. We have a huge vested interest in it, partly because it’s education that’s meant to take us into this future that we can’t grasp. If you think of it, children starting school this year will be retiring in 2065. Nobody has a clue… what the world will look like in five years time. And yet we’re meant to be educating them for it.” Read more…
Tags: education, schools, Sir Ken Robinson
Lately, I’ve been pondering the changes necessary in our “modern” culture to allow… no, encourage, freedom-based education. My conclusion is that unless and until one specific cultural belief is changed, freedom-based education will forever stay on the sidelines. Read more…
What Child Development Can Contribute
Among other things, child development reveals a better way to help our children become educated. The fact that children by nature are little learning machines suggests certain fundamental elements for helping a child become “educated.” And, in turn, it stands to reason that we may not impose conditions contrary to the natural development of children without causing harm, or at least unhappiness. I propose that by working in conjunction with nature, and not contrary to it, we can best construct environments ideally suited for the education of children. Read more…
Tags: natural learning
A commonly-quoted statistic states that 80% of college graduates are not working in their primary field of study. Another is that 50% of college students change their majors at least once before graduating.
In an online discussion of the validity of the 80% statistic, an appropriately named participant, Eureka, stated, “Also you should remember that many people attend college and choose majors before they really know enough about themselves to know what they want to do with their lives, and thus may end up changing fields.” I couldn’t agree more.
College is the first time we give students the freedom to explore their interests by learning whatever they want. So, it should be no surprise when their first declared major is not what they graduate in. Nor should it surprise us that some push through (due to economic and/or parental pressures) and graduate in a field in which they realize they have no desire to work. Can someone say, “inefficient”?
Tags: changing majors, freedom-based education, freedom-based schools, Prussian education model
The famous poem, “Children Learn What They Live,” states, “If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.”
I would like to ask the author of that classic poem to add two new lines:
· If a child lives in a system steeped in authoritarian principles,
he learns to abandon, and even despise his own freedom.
· If a child lives in an environment of freedom and the rule of law,
he learns to be a responsible citizen.
Our children spend numerous hours each week in a social system that is laden with autocratic leadership and authoritarian structures–the public school. Simply by spending five to seven hours a day in a system which is steeped in non-democratic principles of organization, our children are inadvertently being trained to live in a nondemocratic society. Read more…
Tags: compulsory education, freedom education, freedom-based education
As a former school teacher who saw first-hand the results of years of compulsory education on kids, I’m always amazed at our collective blindness to the damage our coersion-based school systems to our future workers.
Think about how our school districts are structured: The Superintendent serves at the will of the school board, the principals serve at the will of the Superintendent. The teachers, at least until they acquire tenure, can be fired at will by the principal. And then comes the classroom where the teacher, as benevolent a person as she may be, serves as judge, jury, prosecution and executor of laws she arbitrarily imposes on her students — this is the epitome of political and intellectual tyranny — and this system is supposed to be preparing them to be “good citizens” of a free society?! Read more…
Tags: employees, freedom-based education, good citizens, responsible citizens