pat farenga

Cooperative catalyst has grown fast and has some strong bloggers.  This is a post by longtime unschooler Pat Farenga.  Pragmatic suggestions for schoolers from unschoolers (Guest Post by Patrick Farenga) « Cooperative Catalyst:
"The reality of learning is that the learner must want to learn, and no amount of requirements and expectations can create this interest. Requirements and expectations can create fear and compliance, but the chances of them creating learning that is remembered and used once the class ends depends totally upon the learner and how they perceive their learning experience. Illich defined education as “learning under the assumption of scarcity,” but, as anyone watching an infant or a preschool-age child can see, learning is abundant. This is why education is not the same as learning."
Farenga gives advice for teachers caught within the system and some of it is about how to keep your job (as Gatto did).  John Holt went through it:
None of this easy, I know. John Holt got fired from some of his teaching positions because many teachers and parents felt his students were having too much fun, even though he could prove his students’ grades improved in his classes. Ironically, as Holt notes in Instead of Education, while some of his fellow teachers complained how their students wanted their classes to be more like Holt’s, it was ultimately the parents who demanded that Holt stop making his classes so engaging and be more like school.”
It makes me wonder at the wrongheaded drive for austerity we are seeing by politicians feel is required lately:  is it a legacy of our training in schools where we are convinced we must do a lot of unpleasant and boring stuff in order to learn something when in reality, a great deal of science of the past 100 years has proved otherwise?
Post a Comment