Alternative Schooling Methods That Will Transform Education
The Mission News: October 24, 2017
“I’ve concluded that genius is as common as dirt. We suppress our genius only because we haven’t yet figured out how to manage a population of educated men and women. The solution, I think, is simple and glorious. Let them manage themselves.” -John Taylor Gatto
News that matters
➜ Researchers at Michigan State University have developed transparent solar techonology that has the potential to produce 40% of US electricity demands.These transparent units could harvest a massive source of currently untapped energy. Future applications include building exteriors, car windows, and device screens. The future is now!
➜ Scientists at Purdue University have developed and tested a new “mind-reading” program able to decode what a person is seeing based on brain activity. This could be a step towards developing ‘smarter’ AI and bettering our understanding of how the brain functions.
➜ Whether or not grades and standardized tests are effective at measuring a child’s intelligence is debatable, but this is an interesting study that shows the ‘A’ average of high school seniors is up, yet SAT scores have fallen. Grade inflation and lower classroom standards is one suggested cause for these stats. Further proof that our current grading/testing system is horribly flawed?
What we’re reading
John Holt is known for his exploration into education, schooling, and learning. He believes that “learning is as natural as breathing” for children.
This book covers how young children learn to talk, read, count, write, and reason. He also discusses how adults can create environments that encourage this natural learning. Download a PDF copy of the book here.
If you aren’t familiar with all the various forms of alternative schooling out there, here is a brief overview of the different histories, options, and philosophies. Ron covers the conventional model, freedom-based learning, social constructivist models, critical pedagogy, spiritual developmentalism, and integral or holistic education.
What we’re listening to
This is an eight-part series designed to “heal the fifteen thousand hour infliction of public school.” Zak and Jeff address what schooling does to the young person, the bad habits you learn in school, and how to reverse the effects of school.
What we’re watching
Peter Hutton is a principal at an unconventional secondary school. For the five years they are there, each student is entirely in control of their education. Peter discusses his educational philosophy, the results of this type of schooling, and some of the very inspiring students he has had the opportunity to work with.
Talking about alternative forms of education makes people uncomfortable. It is difficult to stomach new ideas, especially ideas that put education entirely into children’s hands. Matt Beaudreau discusses different forms of schooling and why we should trust children’s natural drive to learn.