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Freedom is the opportunity to live your life as you want to. It is a word that is anti-control-over-others and anti-authoritarian. Unfortunately, it is one of those words that, because it has such powerful and positive connotations, has been redefined by many people over the ages.

In Gorge Orwell’s book “1984” one of the mottos of the “Ministry of Truth” is “Freedom Is Slavery”. The reason behind the Ministry of Truth having this motto was to invoke negative associations with freedom and positive associations with the control enacted by the ministry. According to the ministry then, freedom is evil, and…


As anyone who is somewhat acquainted with my work will know, I’m rather interested in the area of education and particularly its overlap with the topic of parenting. I’m quick to share my thoughts on education and parenting on social platforms, whether they be positive comments or criticisms. There are people who see my criticism as being anti-parent and anti-teacher. I would like to share some of my own background to clarify why I take some of the positions that I do.

I used to be a primary school teacher, and I spent over 5 years teaching in school classrooms…


Many parents and educators spend a lot of time worrying about whether a child is developmentally ready for this, or for that. People either fret about a child learning about something too soon, or they fret that the child is “developmentally behind” because they haven’t reached a particular milestone at a certain age. But is this really something to be worrying about? When is the best time for a child to learn to walk, speak, read, write, or any other number of things?

As a former school teacher, there was always much worry from the school and parents when a…


One of the essential skills humans learn early in life is to talk, to have a conversation. For most people, this early step in life happens through natural learning.

Learning a language happens naturally as children are surrounded by other people speaking a particular language. They also have a close connection to these people, and their curiosity drives them to understand what these other humans are doing. In effect, the speech of the other people surrounding the child inspires the child to begin imitating the speech of others. There are undoubtedly other observations that the child makes regarding language during…


I’m always fascinated with people’s backstory. How they came to do what they are doing and how they came to believe the things they do. The world isn’t just random, and humans certainly aren’t. There’s always a reason behind what we think and what we do. I’ve been rather fascinated by my own backstory as well. That might sound a little bit strange, but it really is quite a curious thing to look back at my journey and see how I came to be where I am today.

I used to be a primary school teacher. The year before starting…


Are you ready to Rumble! I hope so because today I want to talk about roughhousing, wrestling, and rough and tumble play. Roughhousing is essentially any activity such as wrestling, pillow fighting, sliding down the stairs, jumping off the bed and many other such activities. Many people are somewhat hesitant about roughhousing, but without it, you are missing out on a valuable and important way of connecting with your children.

When children are still babies, we can connect with them by holding them, gazing into each other’s eyes, soothing and cuddling them. As they get older though there may still…


The drive to play is found in most mammals and some species of birds. For us, as humans, the role that play has in our lives is far more significant than for any other animal. But what really is play? Why do children prefer chasing games? In today’s episode, I’ll also finish up with some chasing games that you can try.

Young mammals come into the world with certain biological drives and instincts to behave in certain ways. But often these behaviour drives are not enough; we must practice and refine these instincts for them to actually become useful to…


Today, when we think of the words education, learning and children, we also immediately think of schooling. In other words, we think of education as something done to children by adults.

As the education researcher Peter Gray put it,

“Today, in the minds of most people, the onus for education lies with adults, who have the responsibility to make children acquire certain aspects of the culture, whether or not the children want to acquire them. But throughout human history, the real onus for education has always lain with children themselves, and it still does today. Just as children come into…


In my last article, I talked about the importance of simulations, especially games, as learning tools. However, sometimes we get stuck there, making simulations the primary way of learning. But that is not their rightful place. Simulations are “Plan B” when it comes to learning. Our “Plan A” should be direct learning.

One of the things that frustrates me most is when people talk about a child’s education in terms of “preparing them for life”. No, No, No! This is not how we should be thinking about children. Children are already living life! They are not preparing for it! We…


Games are a lot of fun. They are highly enjoyable, and for children in particular. But why is that? What are they getting out of it? Why are games so important? And why should we be both initiating and joining in games with our children?

In my last article I talked about video games in particular but here I want to talk about games more generally.

But what are games essentially? Games are a form of simulation. As humans, we are strongly drawn to simulations and they play an important role in our lives as they allow us to work…

Justus Frank

Justus has a passionate interest in how humans actually learn. He now seeks conversations regarding learning and personal growth at www.frankeducation.nz

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