9. Your first unassignments
"there's nothing inherently wrong with the term 'school;' in the beginning it was a Greek word—'scole'—that meant l... http://tl.gd/a4gocp
Any unschoolers or their parents out there that can speak to this? "Unschooling generally seems to make parents int... http://tl.gd/a4grrd
@anderscj I'm a grown unschooler, and that quote is definitely accurate in my experience!
This makes me think of a clip from a movie preview I saw for the documentary Schooling the World (a documentary, by the way, I would love to see). In the clip families from developing countries reflect on the difference in their lives between before western schooling was introduced to their communities and after. Most of the elders expressed regret of loss of the close nature of their familial relationships.
Here is another clip from the film:
"No law is an issue until someone tries to enforce it." Llewellyn
Likewise, a law without a consequence is just a suggestion.
"School activities take most of their shape from rigid schedules, bureaucratic logistics, and limited access to the... http://tl.gd/a56717
"It does seem rather absurd to require testing as an evaluation of homeschooling—after all, if you're in school and... http://tl.gd/a569pe
"Unfortunately, bad confusing writing impresses most bureaucrats more than clear writing does." Llewellyn
I think a lot of us know this to be true. If you want a grant to get funded, make it as confusing to understand as possible. If you use heavy jargon you are more likely to get people to have confidence that you are and "expert" and have the skills and intellect to make good use of their money. The sad thing is that projects and programs with the most potential are ones that are best described in layman's terms.
"In the U.S. and Canada, some states and districts work put programs where they continue to enroll homeschoolers, g... http://tl.gd/a56qf6
I don't think we do enough of this. If you take this point of departure, you could interpret Llewellyn's book as a means not simply to do away with schooling but to remove the negative effects of it's compulsory nature. Attend school on your terms, not someone else's is a power concept.
"Of course homeschooling can't offer a comprehensive education. Neither can school. 'Comprehensive' is a huge word.... http://tl.gd/a56t33
"Forget the lies that school taught—forget that learning is separate from your life, that you can't teach yourself,... http://tl.gd/a5rhfp
Two of the schools I am currently working with are year-round schools. When I came into this assignment I had no strong feeling either way about year-round school. Those who advocate it point to summer learning loss and teacher burnout as reasons for it. However, Llewellyn makes a real good point in this chapter that year-round schooling advocates out to address. Year-round schooling doesn't allow enough time between terms for any deep and meaningful self-guided learning to take place.
I keep thinking back to my own schooling, especially in grades 7-10, and what transpired in the summer breaks. Usually the first week or two I did nothing except play Attari, watch movies, sleep in, and veg. But, after I got board with my vacation, my natural curiosity and drive to learn new things kicked in. That is when the projects began. That is when I began writing my own video games. That is when I made my own missles out of my Estes model rockets and the gun powder from last year's fireworks. That was when I started reading books that I wanted to read, not that I had to read or that someone required me to read. That was when I made my own artwork that was fed by my own desires, not some requirement or in response to some else's assignment prompt. With the current schedule I am on, in my intercession breaks I never get beyond this vacation time. I suspect kids on a year-round schedule never do either. The question becomes, is immersion in informal learning as important as structured learning? Are kids in a year-round school deprived of something very important for their development? Does the same apply for teachers and their staff development?
"If you set about your business believing (politely) that anything is possible, you will prove yourself right." Llewellyn
I have 1 major problem with this book I'm reading. Grace Llewellyn seems 2 think it's better 2 give up than work 2 make changes 2 schls.
Seems it would be better to de-institutionalize schools than devote energy to escaping it.
@anderscj If un/other-schling, there's no place to "escape" from. Not giving up; choice to direct energy to creation, not "fixing," escaping
But, this book was written for teenagers, not educators. I wonder how she would address educators. Would she try to convince us to quit too?
"To reach your fullest potential, you need mentors, role models, and teachers." Llewellyn
@anderscj love when you unfold a book..... this one is different -
@pammoran yeah, quite different. I was a bit apprehensive about tweeting quotes from it given the demographic of follower I have on Twitter.
@pammoran I find myself thinking of students I knew when I taught at an ALC who dropped out. This book paints them in a new light.
"the Eskimo people, who have no word for 'teacher' or 'wise man' but instead recognize people who play the role of ... http://tl.gd/a6ek2q
@amichetti Grace Llewellyn (1991) The Teenage Liberation Handbook
"Mentors are not easy to find...You can't just advertise in the help-wanted section—anyone who thinks of himself as... http://tl.gd/a6eo3f
The way schools approach mentoring is quite contrived. Every school I have worked for has had a new teacher mentoring program. In this program the incoming new teachers are paired with a teacher who has been with the district for many years to serve as their mentor. As Llewellyn points out here, these are not really mentors since a mentor-mentee relationship must develop naturally. It is more like a deep friendship than an assigned position. You can't be assigned a mentor, that relationship must develop naturally. What school mentorship programs really are are "go-to person" programs. School mentors are people you go to who have been assigned to answer your administrivia questions so district administrators don't get overwhelmed with orientation matters.
There is nothing wrong with these programs, except, they are not mentorships. Similar problems happen with student mentorship programs. I just know that somewhere some school district has setup the equivalent of speed-dating for mentor-mentee match-making. Likewise, someone out there has probably setup a computer program that matches you on 7 level of compatibility with your mentor or mentee.
"After all these years of living with other people's curriculums, you can get a big thrill designing your own perso... http://tl.gd/a6eurs
"No one speaks wisely without having first listened. No one can listen happily if they aren't heard also." Llewellyn
"schools rarely encourage you to direct your writing to a real audience, but actually, writing is essentially a way... http://tl.gd/a6f5mm