unlearning

TechSangam » Pratham’s Contributions to Indian Education Policy Debate:
" Close to 35 percent of children in the seven-to-fourteen age group could not read a simple paragraph (first-grade level) and almost 60 percent of children could not read a simple story (second-grade level). Only 30 percent could do second-grade mathematics (basic division). The math results are particularly stunning — all over the Third World, little boys and girls who help their parents in their family stall or store do much more complicated calculations all the time, without the help of pen and paper. Are schools actually making them unlearn?"
Schools break up the learning into packets and steps that fit some theoretical norm (that may not actually fit a single child in a classroom) and proceed to march kids through this system.  It goes against the natural learning patterns of human beings. Gone is the rich experience of relationships and activities that human beings have usually engaged in.

And while schools started out with sessions that were brief and part of the agricultural calendar in order to teach a small set of skills, reading and writing, that time has expanded relentlessly with no change in model. Mass industrialized schools diminish learning by their very structure and length, as John Holt explored in his books before he began advocating leaving schools.

There is now a large and growing group of families who have direct and hands-on experience with kids learning outside of these mass institutions that use the factory model. There are many people who know a lot more about the ways schools make people unlearn and there are families working in the field to see how human beings can learn outside mass settings when they remain in deep relationships within a positive and human social climate.

These families have begun to ensure that learning does not not get lost in the process of schooling.

Schools that were community learning centers, schools that did not work on mass coerced and standardized models could transform our social lives and our communities by providing families with resources and activities that families could choose and use as needed.


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