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Jeffrey Howard
Editor in Chief | I adore the watery nature of ideas. Joseph Campbell and William James took turns being my wet nurse.
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Jeffrey Howard 12h
"School choice mechanisms...seek to eliminate these barriers by expanding the education options available to low- and middle-income families. Championing mandatory school assignments based on a family’s zip code is hardly progressive."
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Jeffrey Howard 13h
Given the many exchanges I've been having with Twitter folks the past few days about traditional schooling and unschooling, here's this piece I wrote a year ago after my first in-person visit to a democratic free school: one form of .
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Jeffrey Howard 13h
Replying to @bwarnock
Great point. I don't have the data for the frequency/estimates of instances like this. Depending on that, I'm inclined to say the damage done to families (and ultimately, society) because of mass schooling outweighs outliers like this.
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Jeffrey Howard 13h
Replying to @gueroJeff
Yeah, absolutely. A lot more research needs to be done. Finland, for example, seems to be a bit more flexible, more play-oriented than the US. Beyond that, I don't know how much more they focus on self-directed learning or employ conventional schooling methods.
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Jeffrey Howard 13h
Replying to @gueroJeff
Most of the time, in school (including higher ed), we're being "educated" for a world that will not exist: "do this, know this, and you'll succeed. Trust me, I'm an authority." When our learning is self-directed, we seem to be more capable of adjusting to the changes in society.
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Jeffrey Howard 13h
Replying to @gueroJeff
A lot of things factor into ADHD. Mass schooling seems to worsen it: being forced to sit still, and have somebody talk at you about a bunch of things that don't interest a kid all day. A kid may hate fractions one month and then the next, he somehow can't stop talking about them.
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Jeffrey Howard 13h
Replying to @bwarnock
Is domestic abuse more of a child protective services/law enforcement concern or do we have to burden schools with that responsibility as well? Schools have sadly been referred to as the "willing workhorse" of society because we keep putting more things on their plate.
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Jeffrey Howard 14h
Replying to @gueroJeff
"Produce specific outcomes" is a key philosophical difference between schooling and unschooling. I think it's patronizing of me to think I know what a successful life looks like for you or your children. And, there are "unschooling schools."
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Jeffrey Howard 14h
Replying to @gueroJeff
Unschooling doesn't mean "no teaching." It requires trusting ppl and allowing them autonomy. Moments of teaching can come in the form of kids of other ages (older & younger), available parents/staff, youtube videos, books, museum guides, etc. 2/
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Jeffrey Howard 14h
Replying to @gueroJeff
ADHD is complicated and still little understood (I can't speak to your son's unique instance). We shouldn't find it a coincidence that ADHD diagnoses have gone up with increased schooling. 1/
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Jeffrey Howard 14h
Replying to @bwarnock
If abuse is happening at home, that seems much more like a child protective services/law enforcement concern than an education/schooling question.
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Jeffrey Howard 14h
Replying to @bwarnock
I'm not suggesting we throw out traditional schools at all. I'm recommending we maintain options for all kids so they can decide what best fits their needs. The many shouldn't be harmed by/languish in traditional schooling because a few kids are saved from their families.
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Jeffrey Howard 14h
I read about an unschooled kid who learned fractions because he needed to know them to play video games (it was something like Warcraft). He taught them himself as a means of organizing his armies.
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Jeffrey Howard 14h
I'm asserting that meaningful learning doesn't happen unless a certain curiosity threshold is crossed. The "Summer Slide" hints to the fact that imposing memorization and recitation doesn't equal learning. Teacher a kid fractions doesn't mean he'll learn them.
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Jeffrey Howard 14h
Replying to @bwarnock
How often does a traditional public school equal a high-quality education environment? What if mass schooling has become so wasteful of $$$, yet we keep siphoning $$$ from families into conventional schools believing they are effective ways for ppl to become educated?
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Jeffrey Howard 14h
Teacher-directed models are grounded in the idea that learning is linear, the same sbjcts should be taught to the ppl at the sm time. It disregards the necessary curiosity threshold for mnngful learning to occur. How would I know when a child is curious enough to learn something?
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Jeffrey Howard 14h
Having been trained, I wouldn't say it directly helped in any way, and probably hurt, given the philosophy of ed. it imprinted on me. A few abilities like being patient, actively listening, and trusting kids are important. 1/
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Jeffrey Howard 14h
Replying to @gueroJeff
How much do you trust that you or I know better what is curious to an individual child and how they should become educated? Thoughts on teacher-directed vs. self-directed education? What would equal access look like? Tax-funding goes directly to schools or directly to students?
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Jeffrey Howard 14h
Replying to @bwarnock
How are you defining achievement? Why should "we" define what a person defines as educational/life success? How do we qualify whether someone is educated or successful? Equal access to public funds? Funds go to families or to schools?
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Jeffrey Howard 14h
Replying to @bwarnock
It's on my list! I have read summaries/reviews of it. Tragic stuff, but also inspiring what happens when one is allowed to follow their curiosity. How much of an outlier is it for non-convent. schooled? How does it compare with awful things that happen at home to schooled kids?
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