Lefty Parent

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Living & parenting without the rule book

Posts Tagged ‘self-directed education’

Can a Hierarchical Public Education System Survive?

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

In his October 14 piece for the Economic Policy Institute titled “How to fix our schools”, Richard Rothstein quotes President Obama as saying…

I always have to remind people that the biggest ingredient in school performance is the teacher. That’s the biggest ingredient within a school. But the single biggest ingredient is the parent.

I agree teachers and parents are two key players in an educational environment, and I think there is way too much money and focus spent building a huge educational bureaucracy above and beyond this nexus. Also, I think Obama here is guilty of getting caught up in the prevailing hierarchical thinking and leaving out the most important player in this actualization model… the student.

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Summerhill and a Truly Egalitarian Childhood

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

I’m in the midst of reading Matthew Appleton’s book, A Free Range Childhood, about his experience in the 1990s being a “houseparent” at the Summerhill independent boarding school in Leiston, Suffolk in England. It is a fascinating glimpse into a more egalitarian (I would argue more evolved) way of adults, children and youth interacting with each other in a living and educational setting. It is also the world’s most iconic, long-lasting and successful democratic free-school that has inspired other such schools around the world. And finally, the account of life and learning at Summerhill recalls similar experiences I have had in my own life, as a youth and later as a parent, that confirm the efficacy and vitality of this unorthodox approach to childhood and education.

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Liberty and Real Learning

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Saw a piece today in Education Week magazine, “Panel Says Ed. Schools Overlook Developmental Science”, commenting on a report released this morning by a panel convened by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. As the title suggests, the panel calls out a disconnect between educational practice and what we have learned about the nature of how human beings develop.

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