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ziq OP wrote

Or do away with them altogether and stop measuring people by their ability to perform on tests.


JayGrym wrote

I learned what unschooling was after thinking that very same thing. Its basically the natural way of learning!


anarchoreposter wrote

Can you talk more about unschooling and what it involves in a practical sense?


edmund_the_destroyer wrote (edited )

There's a writer Alfie Kohn that dives into this in great detail. He's not the most interesting writer, but his books are worth checking out if you can get them. There are talks of his on Youtube and such, and he's more engaging there. Short summary:

  • Grades and tests kill interest in learning.
  • Punishments and also rewards also kill interest in learning.
  • People of all ages, including kids, learn better in small collaborative groups instead of when one person stands in front and lectures.
  • People are more interested in learning when the topic applies to them. Learning fractions to help with cooking gets more attention than learning fractions as just abstract math. And so forth.
  • The best educational projects are as self-guided as impossible. Instead of "We will next study George Washington", how about, "How do you think we should decide who are the most important people in 18th century North America?" And go from there.
  • The best educational projects are cross-discipline. An example is having the class design a zoo. The students learn about square footage, budgets, logistics, marketing, animals, animal habitats and their moisture and temperature requirements, animal diets, feeding schedules, worker schedules, parking, and so forth.

Edit: This is all backed up by research, too. America's stronger emphasis on grades and standardized testing in the past 20 years, it's "traditional" and "back to basics" approach to education, is severely hurting kids' interest in learning and their retention of important information.

My kids attend a top-rated public school in our state, and sadly there is basically none of this there. There's a little of it in kindergarten and first grade, and that's it. I got interested in unschooling because my kids have top level grades but two of the four are indifferent to school and two of the four actively hate learning. I am likely to be a parent of four graduates 'with honors' that never read a book again in their lives. :(


JayGrym wrote

Unschooling is basically letting the kid learn based on interest in topic. So if the kid shows interest in a subject the teacher teaches that particular thing until the child finds a new interest. In other words, no forced lessons. The kid learns about things they actually care about.

If it were the primary education method I think the kids would retain more information, be less stressed, and would possibly be some of the best teachers of the next generation.


Nebu wrote

And do more to promote mastery. So that means continued trying until you learn it. I don’t know why we have it set up with a “ah, that’s it, you snooze you lose” when real learning is not like that.What are we teaching students? “Well, you had your shot, ya blew it. That test was your chance to shine.” “You mean, I can’t repair it, or learn from it, or grow and get better?” “Nuh uh, you got to be PERFECT on your first try or it’s curtains!” “Well fuck it. I’m out. Yeah, that’s right, I’m not supporting this system. You make it hard for me, eh, I don’t feel so inclined to make it easy for you. Fuck it. Let me go play Fortnite and smoke some weed. I can’t advance and get better, SO WHAT GOOD IS IT? This isn’t about me, this is about some system cultivating the next crop of minds to use for their own production purposes. Fuck that shit.”


Brick wrote

To protect kids: kill their abusive parents.