The 'Unschooling' Movement: Letting children lead their learning

Is a child who spends the day watching videos or playing in the backyard actually learning?

NPR,

Kids learn at home
Kids learn at home
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Is a child who spends the day watching videos or playing in the backyard actually learning? Yes, say advocates of the "unschooling" movement.

Maleka Diggs, founder of Eclectic Learning Network,unschools her 11- and 13-year-old daughters.

"Every day has a different tune, and for our family, unschooling or self-directed learning is something that we've embraced over the years. It allows them the freedom to be able to explore ideas, thoughts, whether it be read a book or maybe start off and kick off the day watching television. Either way, it's their decision and my focus becomes to guide them through whatever decisions that they make to ensure that their experience is as fruitful as they'd like it to be", she said.

Peter Gray, psychology professor at Boston College thinks it is also important to properly define the phenomenon.
"I have to say, 'unschooling' is not my favorite term. Because it's kind of a negative term. It says what you're not doing, and it terms to put other people on the defensive - 'Oh, you're not doing school? You're not doing what we're doing?' - instead of saying what you are doing. So I prefer the term 'self-directed education.'"
Gray added that, "It's not that we don't believe in education. We believe in education, we just think it works best when children take charge of their education".




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