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I Don't Like School!

Well I said to my six year old daughter "Yes, but why don't you like school? If you can tell me why then I will be able to do something." Of course she had no answers but it made me think how I might have answered the same question at her age. I hated school after kindergarten until I left from age 6 to 16. So what was my answer to why?

I think it was that it was blackboards talk and chalk. We copied endless stuff about this and that and sometimes we got to actually do something like use the Plastercene, draw or paint, that was better. The lessons I did enjoy were practical in nature, woodwork, metal work, games.

Why was it so dull? Could I do better? Perhaps perhaps not.

Is Education is Upside Down?

I think as adults we teach from the wrong end. Start in the class room talk all about it and then perhaps venture out or to another room to do something practical. For children it doesn't work that way. It starts at the practical end and works its way back from there. That's why it was so dull.

When I dragged an old radio chassis home at four I explored electronics and electricity with bulbs and batteries and by taking that chassis apart. Only later did I learn what the components were called and even later what they were for. At university I did the maths for it but had already built little gadgets by then and had a lot of fun.

If education could work that way around it would be so much better 8 year olds should be taking a car apart or cooking real food, camping to learn to use a map and navigate, trigonometry in the field literally. On a trip to Paris calculate the height of the Eiffel tower. Anyway here are some films.

Sugata Mitra: Build a school in the cloud

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Gever Tulley teaches life lessons through tinkering 

Gever Tulley uses engaging photos and footage to demonstrate the valuable lessons kids learn at his Tinkering School. When given tools, materials and guidance, these young imaginations run wild and creative problem-solving takes over to build unique boats, bridges and even a rollercoaster!

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Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?

A former teacher talks about the problems of education. Very funny indeed. Though I think by creativity he means the arts and I feel very strongly that there is as much of a place for creativity in maths and the sciences, its just that at school level it seems to have been all squeezed out. Why?

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Charles Leadbeater: The rise of the amateur professional

Perhaps not so much about education but interesting view of the alternative way and how people who were never formally trained can at times do better then those programmed by formal education.

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Not all children are born normal, some are a little odd and some are very odd. If your child is very odd they might be an engineer! Mechanical, electronic, software, it doesn't matter. If they've got "the knack" Dilbert explains in this excerpt. take a look at youtube for the full episode;

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Free Schools

BBC: Swedish Free Schools
The Telegraph: Starting a free school in the UK
The Independent: Why we're starting our own school


Below is from Wikipedia - Unschooling

Unschoolers often state that learning any specific subject is less important than learning how to learn. They assert, in the words of Alec Bourne, "It is possible to store the mind with a million facts and still be entirely uneducated", and in the words of Holt:

Since we can’t know what knowledge will be most needed in the future, it is senseless to try to teach it in advance. Instead, we should try to turn out people who love learning so much and learn so well that they will be able to learn whatever needs to be learned.

This ability to learn on their own makes it more likely that later, when these children are adults, they can continue to learn what they need to know to meet newly emerging needs, interests, and goals.[citation needed] They can return to any subject that they feel was not sufficiently covered or learn a completely new subject.

Many unschoolers agree with John Holt when he says that "...the anxiety children feel at constantly being tested, their fear of failure, punishment, and disgrace, severely reduces their ability both to perceive and to remember, and drives them away from the material being studied into strategies for fooling teachers into thinking they know what they really don't know." Proponents of unschooling assert that individualized, child-led learning is more efficient and respectful of children's time, takes advantage of their interests, and allows deeper exploration of subjects than what is possible in conventional education.

College Bills

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(C)2010 Tom de Havas. The information under this section is my own work it may be reproduced without modification but must include this notice.