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Unschooling gets a lot of publicity on Good Morning America

I just read this on Idzie's blog:

If you're an unschooler, or a homeschooler, or interested in alternative learning, and are even *slightly* involved in any of those communities online, you've most likely heard about the Good Morning America segment on unschooling.

Unschooling has been moving steadily into the mainstream awareness in the last few years. I've seen a marked increase in people talking about unschooling since I started paying attention to that type of thing a few years ago. But never have I seen this level of attention.

Read more here:
Unschooling Gets Publicity...In a BIG Way!

Here are some of the news articles about unschooling:
Extreme Homeschooling: No Tests, No Books, No Classes, No Curriculums

The Biegler children live as though school doesn't exist.

They're at home all day, but they're not being homeschooled. They're being "unschooled." There are no textbooks, no tests and no formal education at all in their world.

What's more, that hands-off approach extends to other areas of the children's lives: They make their own decisions, and don't have chores or rules.

Christine Yablonski and Phil Biegler of Westford, Mass., are self-described "radical unschoolers." They allow their teen daughter and son to decide what they want to learn, and when they want to learn it.

"They key there is that you've got to trust your kids to … find their own interests," Yablonski told "Good Morning America."

Defending Unschooling: 'It's Not Anything Goes'

A couple who practice "radical unschooling" said their hands-off approach to education and child-rearing is about exploring the world and living on principles, and is not "anything goes."
The Biegler family explains its decision to let their kids educate themselves.

Christine Yablonski and Phil Biegler appeared live on "Good Morning America" today to defend their controversial education method, which prompted an overwhelming response from viewers.

"There's a huge difference between having no rules and having arbitrary rules," Yablonski said. "We live in a world of principles. The principles of trust, honesty and respect. That's how we make all of our decisions. It's not anything goes. We are instilling proper values, good values in our children."

Yablonski and Biegler, from Westford, Mass., describe unschooling as living as if the school system doesn't exist. They don't homeschool their children -- they allow their teen daughter and son to decide what they want to learn, and when they want to learn it. There are no textbooks, no tests and no formal instruction.

Read the rest here.

Unschooling : How Good Morning America Got It All Wrong

I know I'm naïve to expect the mainstream media to cover a subject like "radical unschooling" as anything other than a freak show, but the recent hatchet job that George Stephanopoulos and Good Morning America did on the topic was so hopelessly biased that it'd make Rupert Murdoch blush.

Unschooling is a type of homeschooling that promotes organic, self-directed learning without the structure of traditional education. My family has unschooled our kids for over a decade. I'm working on a film about the subject called Unschooling: The Movie that explores the subject and includes interviews with people like unschooling advocate Sandra Dodd.

Read the rest here.

So... what do you think? I think it's good that it's gaining some publicity, but of course the general population isn't really grasping the concept too well. At least not yet. Maybe that'll get better in time, the more they hear about it.

Where to next? Pick one!

Posted in: News on April 20, 2010 @ 9:21 PM

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