Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Unschooling Rules

I've just started reading "Unschooling Rules" I'm not sure if I'm in the right head space for it and I feel a bit sloshy with information.
But I do have a quote.
"What a person learns in a classroom is how to be a person in a classroom"
Our local school here I think is trying very hard to be different as they often have 'outings' but what I see is a heap of kids running up and down the footpath and just really enjoying being outside. Not saying that is bad...but am wondering if smaller amounts of children would be better...like small family sized groups so children can really ask questions or be interested without socializing ;-)

Up Date:
I have been able to read more....and I am enjoying this book. I like how its broken down into really small chunks (about what I can handle at the moment with a bit of the weather blues)

I've read about half but have found this one among many others I like so far.

What a person learns in a classroom is how to be a person in a classroom.

The teacher might be talking about history or math, but what the students in a traditional classroom are learning is how to be students in a classroom.

And they are learning it very well.

They are learning how to take notes. They are learning how to surreptitiously communicate with peers. They are learning how to ask questions to endear themselves to authority figures.

It is impressive, on one level, that we spend billions of dollars and innumerable hours creating this perfect, practice-based environment in which children's abilities to sit still in classrooms are honed. Furthermore, we have built a reward structure to praise those students who can sit in classrooms better than anyone else. We let them run our planet.

However, given that this model is economically running economies into the ground and obesity is a global epidemic, it may be time to collectively build and reward different skills. Learning is a full contact sport. To learn something new, a student has to do something new and often be somewhere new.

Rather than viewing and treating students who want to do something new as troublemakers who need to be fixed, we should recognize that they will be the engines of improvements in our standard of living. Point of fact, they always have been.

To make things worse ...

Sitting through a classroom lecture is not just unnatural for most people, it is painful.

Sitting through a classroom lecture is painful for most people most of the time. We all know this, yet so many deny it or view it as a personal failing.

When human beings are required to sit and listen, we squirm. We watch the clock tick slowly. Minutes can seem like hours.

We escape into our own head. We invent activities to either occupy or numb ourselves. The most talented classroom sitters create micro-tasks to busy their hands and the other 80 percent of their minds.

The pain is cumulative. The first hour of lecture in a day is bearable. The second is hard. The third is white hot excruciating. The highly engaging presenter who periodically arises in the classroom does little to soften the physiological impact of the subsequent dull one.

This reality goes beyond a power thing, or even an interest thing, or a quality of the teacher thing. Even when corporate leaders and heads of state attend highly relevant daylong events at which they listen to the highest-tier speakers, they are suppressing their own body ticks 90 minutes into the lecture. The lunch break becomes an oasis.

Students are psychologically ravished daily by this onslaught. And it is costly on all involved-teachers, administrators, parents, siblings.

This last part of the above has also got my mind thinking about something else which I have been questioning for a long time. I'm very interested in Stress and how it affects us (me) in our lives today and why more so today. I've been reading a lot of Jon Kabat Zinn and thinking about what he says in his books and CD's. We keep our minds so busy. We are always thinking.

Is this something that we have learnt to do from our young age at school. We are so often doing things at school which we are not interested in and we end up giving our brains other things to do just to keep happy.

True we have jobs which take up a lot of our lives. We have children. We need to put food on the table....but we've done that for years...what is the change? Did stress become a part of our lives when our cultures became industrialized?

Well more to think about

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