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  1. FREEDOM

    March 17, 2013 by Tunya

    Today freedom has different enemies.

    It must be fought for in different ways.

    It will take very different qualities of mind and heart to save it.

                                                   – John Holt (1923-1985 home education pioneer)

     


  2. Defining Home Education

    October 9, 2017 by Tunya

    Defining Home Education

    I agree: The term “unschooling” is a bit problematic. Unschooling is like deprogramming. Like you’re trying to decontaminate or undo something. Also the terms “to school” or “schooling” have connotations of indoctrination or training.

    When Ivan Illich first proposed “deschooling” in 1971 he was talking about the “planned process which tools man for a planned world . . . Inexorably we cultivate, treat, produce, and school the world out of existence.” (1971) Deinstitutionalization is also a term he used. His book — Deschooling Society — is free to download off the Internet.

    Increasingly in the literature and research you will see the term “home education” being the preferred term. My article “Home Education: The Third Option”, 1987, is available for download from Academia. The Global Home Education Conference will happen May 15-19, 2018, in Moscow & St Petersburg, Russia. For a quick read on how the movement got rolling with John Holt’s help read: https://gaither.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/john-holts-conversion-to-home-education/

    [ comment sent to FEE — https://fee.org/articles/schooling-was-for-the-industrial-era-unschooling-is-for-the-future/?utm_source=zapier&utm_medium=facebook ]

    [ also posted on my FB — Homeschooling, unschooling, deschooling — What? First see this incredible interview with a 13yr old homeschooled student —https://twitter.com/twitter/statuses/916429930321317889  ]

     


  3. Quit or persist with ed reform?

    October 9, 2017 by Tunya

    Paul Bennett is a long-time education reformer.  He just posted on Facebook his photo of 30 years ago as a school trustee candidate. He also has the blog, Educhatter   https://educhatter.wordpress.com/   I wrote this note on his Facebook page:

    Thanks, Paul.
    On this Thanksgiving Day I am so grateful that you have not dropped out of the ed reform efforts. You have such a stockpile of experiences, insights and knowledge it would be a pity for us to lose your perspective and continuing zeal. It’s so tempting to quit. So many I know are so, so relieved to leave the pain and hopelessness. Ed improvement sabotage is so frustrating, infuriating, exasperating, maddening, sad . . . Thanks for being there and not giving up. Hope to see visible responsiveness in our lifetime!

     

    [Discouraging is another word I should have used.]


  4. Is Illiteracy the goal ?

    August 21, 2017 by Tunya

    What if illiteracy is the goal after all? Shouldn’t parents be informed which schools are committed to literacy — and which are not? Then parents could choose if they want their children to be able to read and think for themselves or just be a member of a collaborating community?

    Kevin Donnelly has just raised the question of Marxism in Australian schools and Greg mentions “Marxism-inspired critical literacy”.

    Please read the Australian, Aug 21, Wear it Purple Day and other cultural-left moves sending us puce — http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/wear-it-purple-day-and-other-culturalleft-moves-sending-us-puce/news-story/7c3252539f51320173ef3ab78aa38718

    It’s important for people who do value reading, and who believe in proven methods, to appreciate the climate that prevails in some schools. From Kevin’s story and the comments it seems that, according to a former Education Minister (Joan Kirner, 1983), that education should not be “an instrument of the capitalist system” but “part of the socialist struggle for equality, participation and social change.” What chance is there for phonics in such a climate?

    [published as comment to Greg Ashman’s blog, Filling the Pail, topic What Australian Parents Need to Know About the Reading Wars, August 12 ]

     


  5. Effective Schools – Cassandra Effect

    August 9, 2017 by Tunya

    Cassandra Speaks on Education . . .

    Cassandra Speaks on Education . . .

    As a parent, now grandparent, activist in the traditionalist camp from the northern hemisphere (British Columbia, Canada) I can attest to the truth of these observations by Greg from Australia. But will his insights be heeded?

    Fads and defensiveness seem to be perennial features in the education industry.

    Fortunately, for future generations of kids, we are seeing a surge toward evidence-based practice. Organizers behind the researchEd programs currently spearhead this move. I know Greg has been active in helping this movement in Australia. Canada will soon see this event here.

    Tom Bennett from the UK has been the leader in this movement and in April I found myself comparing Tom’s work and articles with the leading lights of an earlier era. You might want to visit my short essay — Effective Schools Movement: 40 Years Ago  http://www.parentsteachingparents.net/2017/04/effective-schools-movement-40-yrs-ago/

    I referred to the remarkably discerning work done by Ron Edmonds on Effective Schools and noted that #8 of his checklist was imperative: “Avoidance of Pitfalls — Up-to-date awareness of good educational practice plus retaining currency in the field concerning promising and discredited practices.”

    I applaud Greg for bringing forth his arguments again and again. What will it take for those in the education field to practice what they preach?

     

    [my comment to Greg Ashman blog, Filling the Pail, 5 ways to damage a good school]

     


  6. Evidence-based education — When?

    July 30, 2017 by Tunya

    Desperately Seeking Evidence-based Practice In Education

    There are at least two reasons why we should study the Whole-language experience if evidence-based education practice is a goal.

    ONE
    Dress-Rehearsal: The entire, long, frustrating experience of how this now generally discredited method was initiated and sustained can be seen as dress rehearsal for the fads and untested methods being thrust upon us now. There is considerable literature on this topic, though unfortunately, few confessions by those largely responsible for the error of their ways. This would add considerably to the insights needed to understand how these movements gain traction and overcome opposition. For those opposing some of these new methods for the 21st Century the insights from this study would be enormously beneficial. Is there, maybe, such a book or article already?

    TWO
    Characteristics of the Followers: Not everyone falls for the latest trends and fancies in education. But, during the Whole-Language debates Patrick Groff (1924-2014) did identify six such characteristics:

    “The Special Attractions of Whole-Language (WL)
    1 . . . educators historically have been notorious for their inability to resist the lures of educational innovations, regardless of whether or not they have been empirically validated.
    2 . . . WL relieves educators of much direct personal accountability for the results . . .
    3 . . . WL appeals to many educators’ romantic and/or humanistic interpretations of what is healthy child development . . . honoring children’s freedom and dignity is held to be more essential than how literate they become.
    4 . . . in the past, educators have ignored or rejected most of the empirical findings in practically all aspects of their field of endeavor.
    5 . . .the apparent simplicity of WL is alluring for teachers . . . With WL, teachers do not have to submit to pedagogical discipline that a prescribed course of direct and systematic instruction demands.
    6 . . . educators who have liberal social, economic, and political views doubtless are charmed by WL’s decidedly left-wing agenda . . . ”

    I will find a link for this Groff article and post it later in case current teachers might be seeking ways not to fall for the enticements placed in their way.

    [posted on Filling the Pail blog, topic: Problem-solving does not exist, July 30, 2017]

    Desperately Seeking Evidence-based Practice In Education – Supplementary

    I said I would provide the link to the full article by Patrick Groff — http://www.readinghorizons.com/research/whole-language-vs-phonics-instruction#special

    His more complete article on Whole-Language and how it spread is worth reading for those who are interested in how shaky theories in education proliferate. By going to the link above there is a “click” provided at the bottom for his fuller article plus more from a Journal in 1997 concerned about language and spelling.

    I know this post by Greg is about problem-solving as a shaky theory, but generally it’s also about how the education field seems to glom onto unproven fads so easily. There’s a lot of that going on right now. It’s important to call out these questionable practices, and Greg does a fine job of it, but is there hope to squelch bad practices?

    Self-esteem was a huge phenomenon pushed in the schools in the last decades. Is current exposure, calling it a “con” or “hoax”, going to sway anyone? See:http://www.educationviews.org/it-quasi-religious-great-self-esteem-con/
    and http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2017/06/21/why-are-schools-still-peddling-the-self-esteem.html

    [2nd comment posted 31 July, 2017]