Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Accidental vs. On-Purpose Learning

I think Lissa's post at The Lilting House on "Accidental v. On-Purpose Learning" makes some very helpful distinctions in considering different types of school subjects and weighing different learning priorities.
Where I connect with unschooling is in the understanding that people (of all ages) learn best when they WANT to learn, are interested in the subject, feel joy in the process, and that standard classroom educational methods are not necessarily (or even usually) the best ways to learn. Children have such an eager appetite for knowledge (it is, as Miss Mason says, the food their minds are made to live on) that it is not, in my opinion, at all necessary to turn the experience of gaining knowledge into a drudgery, conflict, or carrot-and-stick experience.

Where I depart from unschooling is in my understanding that adults have a wider perspective than children, are (it is to be hoped) wiser than children, and that this is quite natural and proper. And just as my parental wisdom and experience directs me to provide a nutritious diet for my children, so does it direct me to provide a rich and nourishing menu of ideas and learning experiences for their growing minds.

Read the entire post.

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