Unschooling: what it is and what its way of understanding education proposes
Aug 24, 2022
According to alternative learning methodologies, young children are already connected with their interior. Adults and the environment are the ones that disconnect the little ones from their true selves and their motivations.
the unschooling, as a learning methodology, is based on respecting the genuine interests of children. This alternative pedagogy emphasizes free and undirected play as the main component of children's education. In its proposal it is more radical than homeschooling.
Unschooling, in its most basic form, is not based on bringing school home, nor on leaving children to their free will. Unschooling is about creating a learning environment that fosters learning ability of children, based on the idea that the more we learn is when something calls us natural. Actually, it is the innate interests that keep us motivated and committed.
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What is unschooling?
Unschooling, also known as deschooling, establishes the idea that the main method of learning is the activities chosen
Unlike the lessons and curricula provided by schools, unschooling supporters believe that personal experiences are more meaningful for learning than formal education. They also believe that more meaningful learning - based on experience - equals more useful and extensive knowledge.
Based on this methodology, children do not usually take classes or attend fixed times in which they must learn a certain subject. Instead, they explore different activities that they initiate and pursue.
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Origin and criticism of unschooling
John Holt is considered the father of unschooling; the term was coined in the 1970s. Homeschooling has received a lot of media attention due to public debates about it. Unschooling as a methodology has not received as much interest; however, its popularity has increased in recent years, as has that of other alternative pedagogies.
This pedagogical trend suggests that its educational method is a more efficient and child-friendly version of traditional schooling. Advocates of unschooling believe that self-directed education in a diverse, often natural, environment is a more effective and sustainable way to educate than school. The ability to self-direct allows children to retain their innate curiosity and desire to discover new things.
Also enables them to understand why certain norms, values, skills, and properties are important. This encourages children's creativity and individuality, while also rewarding them for being innovative. In addition, unschooling works on children's ability to orient themselves and manage themselves in unknown environments, allowing them to quickly acquire and develop new skills.
However, this educational methodology is not exempt from criticism, its detractors believe that unschooling is a philosophy extreme: They worry that out-of-school children will be neglected, miss out on important things, or lack the skills social. Also they worry that children lack structure and discipline or who are unable to cope with difficult situations or adapt to a rigid environment in adult life.
On this last point, from unschooling it is argued that children are better prepared for life outside of school due to their ability to face new situations and often uncomfortable. It is evident that preparing in real world settings helps to face real life, probably more than textbooks.
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Methods and philosophy
In unschooling, learning arises naturally or autonomously, so that the child really understands and remembers something, he must be intrinsically motivated by it. This may stem from a need or curiosity, or from a passion or interest in the subject. Learning is driven by intrinsic motivation and curiosity rather than someone else's extrinsic motivation deciding what to learn, when to learn it, and how quickly. There are a number of methods and philosophies for the practice of unschooling.
1. natural learning process
From unschooling it is emphasized that learning is a natural process that occurs all the time. Curiosity is seen as an innate quality in everyone, and it is believed that children constantly want to learn spontaneously.
This reasoning can be used as a basis for the idea that putting children in schools designed for a single approach is inefficient. Traditional schools require that each child learn specific subjects in a specific way, at a certain pace and at an exact time. This is regardless of your needs, interests, present or future goals, or any prior knowledge you may have on the subject. In the classroom, students miss out on hands-on, real-world experiences that cannot be found in that context..
In addition, people have different ways of understanding and processing new information. This is called 'learning style'. Psychological research shows that children have different ways of apprehending. Unschooling tries to respond to these intrinsic differences.
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The child at the center of the learning process
The essential knowledge set is a collection of facts and skills considered essential. Unschooling states that learning to learn is more important than learning any specific subject.
John Holt believed that children should be exposed to the world around them. By interacting with their environment, children are able to know what is really important to them, and to others. Therefore, they can choose their own learning path, according to him, better than the one that anyone else could choose for them. However, many disagree with this notion and believe that there is a specific set of knowledge that we should all have.
Also, children develop at different rates, for example, children can learn to walk between eight and fifteen months of age. Their ability to walk, talk and learn things is not determined by when they were born. Unschooling is about adjust to these differences.
Children who learn through self-directed learning are thought to have a greater chance of continuing to learn as adults. They can also learn any new topic naturally, or delve into topics that they feel are not covered enough.
The paper of the parents
Parents have the job of facilitating their children's understanding of the world by sharing books, articles and activities with them. Also help them meet their interests by locating knowledgeable people to go further, these people can be teachers or also professionals in a certain field, for example a mechanic or a computer scientist. Parent involvement is especially important for younger children; Little by little, as they get older, they need less help to find resources and create plans to learn. The unschooling approach to education is not hands-off; It is interest based.
Change of educational paradigm
It is almost impossible to understand the principles of unschooling without making a significant change in mindset. the unschooling goes against many common beliefs. Consequently, trying to understand this philosophy of learning can cause some friction in thinking. This process can be uncomfortable for children and parents as they adjust to the new way of learning. It is difficult to realize that what we do is not so important, but why we do it.
Few things are more important than understanding the reason for our actions. Doing so helps us change our perspective and overcome assumptions made about education.
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Unschooling and homeschooling
Unschooling is considered a form of homeschooling; it is usually held in a place other than a school. Nevertheless, unschooling differs significantly from other homeschooling methods.
Instead of being led by a teacher or curriculum, children learn by exploring their natural curiosities. These methods are similar to the open classroom concept of the 1970s, without the classroom, but also without the grades.
Children receive resources from their parents. Parents facilitate their children's education by helping them navigate and make sense of the world around them. They also help them implement learning plans and goals for the near and far future.