October 14th, 2020
By: Jennifer Nelson
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When an army becomes inflexible, it suffers defeat. A tree that won’t bend easily breaks in storms. The hard and strong will fail. The open-hearted prevail. – Tao Te Ching
What does an alternative education look like? There is no one way to answer that. It simply depends on the circumstances.
Some parents may choose to form co-ops or send their child to a democratic school. Other parents will choose to homeschool or unschool their children in a variety of ways.
As for organizations, some independent schools will decide to take the Sudbury approach, others might choose to take the best from a variety of modalities.
The point is that there are choices, and no one should be prohibited from learning about them. The following newsletter highlights some options for providing instruction. It also highlights options for the way we think about schooling, learning, and intelligence.
There is no one-size-fits-all. Find your power aligning to choices that resonate with your overall goals.
The intent of this newsletter is to increase awareness of available educational options in order to encourage environments where students can align to their true gifts and talents. When people are aligned to their true nature and in touch with their loving hearts, they are able to co-create a harmonious world.
May we all reach our highest path and potential.
Classics For Kids
Classical music can be an acquired taste, but why not try to get children to appreciate it as soon as possible? The benefits of listening to classical music include an increase of cognitive performance, a reduction in stress response, and improved moods. (1) Classics For Kids helps you introduce children to classical music with short excerpts and lesson plans.
Educational Videos Organized By Subject
You don’t have to know everything, you just have to know how to find the answers that you seek. Watch Know Learn is a good resource for the homeschooling and unschooling crowds to help explain a variety of subjects.
If you’ve ever thought about using Minecraft for education, here is a discussion thread with some ideas. One poster said, ” We build to scale so they learn how big something actually is and how long it must have taken people to make 300 years ago, or whatever. ”
Another wrote, “Minecraft itself can be educational. You learn about rock types, math is involved when building counting, and if you really wanted to go all out he could learn to code command blocks.”
Why Smart People Make Dumb Mistakes
What does it mean to be intelligent? So often people equate intelligence with academic knowledge or acumen, which is quite unfortunate as there are a variety of ways to express intelligence.
Why Smart People Makes Dumb Mistakes explains, “This narrow understanding of intelligence leads many to believe intelligence is marked by speed of reasoning and quantity of facts – assumptions that make us fully susceptible to numerous cognitive biases and heuristics.”
The Problem with School
There are a lot of problems with schooling – it cultivates a dependence on external validation as opposed to inner strength, it promotes cognitive dissonance enforcing values that people don’t actually enjoy living under, and it limits creativity and innovation that will move humanity forward. Yet one of the biggest issues is that the purpose of schooling doesn’t seem to be education, it seems to be to prepare children for college.
Sir Ken Robinson argues that, “To conflate the complex process of human development to a series of grades for a college entrance exam seems to me to be the most absurd reduction of the enterprise that you can imagine”.
How Should Students Learn Marketable Skills?
Arts Curriculum for the Arts Economy highlights how university art programs do not prepare students for careers in this economy.
The author wants us to imagine, “a music theory course where students learn the theory, compose their own piece and then record, edit and publish the new work to Creative Commons or SoundCloud. .. Or an acting student assigned to set up a YouTube channel for their monologues complete with logo, growth strategy and fundraising asks.”
Those are very good points, and professors should take that advice. However, I would like to point out that you don’t need a university course in order to learn those skills. These are things that adolescents and teens teach themselves on a regular basis. My 8 year old started a Youtube channel with no assistance (or permission!) from me. Perhaps it’s time to start promoting autodidacticism as an option as opposed to promoting acquiring massive amounts of debt as the standard path. If you know how to read, you can learn just about anything. And reading might not even be a requirement.
“Always be yourself and have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and try to duplicate it.” -Bruce Lee
Remember to love yourself and to always follow your inner guidance. Therefore, take what resonates and discard the rest.
Feel free to forward this to anyone that you think will find it valuable.
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