“I decided that education is a personal work of art, and therefore it’s my son’s decision how to educate himself. My role is to facilitate and support but not to “educate” in any active sense, unless he seeks that from me.”
Weezie Yancey-Siegel of The Eduventurist Project runs a resource and storytelling site geared for the uncollege crowd (applies to any self-directed learning, including high school and beyond college). How it all started: “Last year, as a 19-year-old passionate student of life, I decided to step out of formal schooling and design my own experiential and self-directed learning journey. I launched The Eduventurist Project in which I have been interviewing countless pioneering young people and adults around the world who are currently taking or have experienced their own “eduventure” in order to gain the skills and knowledge they need for the future.”
The Zed Omegas: six teens who dropped out of high school to explore other, better ways to learn… Ed Zed Omega: this innovative, interactive, immersive public media project explained by the actors behind the Zed Omegas. Check it out on YouTube…
“I refuse to watch my students slouch under the weight of a system that expects them to perform well on EOG tests, which do not measure their abilities other than memorization and application and therefore do not measure their readiness for the next grade level—much less life, career, or college.”
… I’m tired of watching my students produce amazing things, which show their true understanding of 21st century skills, only to see their looks of disappointment when they don’t meet the arbitrary expectations of low-level state and district tests that do not assess their skills.
“Not much has changed since 1968. Dropping out of high school is still labeled a sure path to ruin. That there are students dropping out of school is still called a crisis. It is not a crisis. It is a message.”
I have to say, after looking at some of your clips and a few other things, I can’t imagine what I could say to someone who wants to leave high school. i don’t think that most of them have a place to go that is going to be successful even though staying in school has better odds. It’s kind of absurd, the whole idea. It is so important on so many levels and facets and can be so irrelevant. And it can be neither. Looking to see more.
My son is a straight A student in junior high and they really want him there but he doesn’t have much respect for the schools and they system and says that they areally are not giving most kids what they need or want.
He would rather be in school, but looking at his experience, it would be so easy for him to be somewhere else, and for kids who are just smart but not fitting into the style, culture or personality of an institution— look out. – Clarence
Here’s my question/challenge for all of you: Tell me about your “dream education.” If you guys got to design your own school (or “unschool” maybe?) what would it be like? I’d be interested in hearing your individual responses. Thanks!
Best, Valéria M. Souza ABD PhD Candidate in Luso-Afro-Brazilian Studies & Theory Instructor of Portuguese at UMass Boston
SOOO I decided to make a quick post here instead of posting on my blog since I’m running around like a crazy person today!
BUT…DA DA DA DA! I have finally decided that I want to pursue higher education. I really want to study social work, and eventually be able to become a counselor for high school students. Students like myself, and the rest of the Zed Omegas.
After everything that Mary Johnson and this experience has done for me, I would love to be able to pursue helping future students that I know will have the same issues with education and just need someone to tell them that they’re not drains on society, and they’re not ruining their lives. They simply wish to pursue a different path in life.
So I’m looking online for local schools, checking in on what requirements I still need, and seeing how soon I can get the ball rolling! ANY SUGGESTIONS would be greatly appreciated, until then, as always, stay excellent!
Ever notice that quite a few of the Zed Omegas have artistic aspirations? Recently, we encountered the work of an interesting professional artist of 25 years: “I was not a candidate for college. I did not like nor fit into high school," says Chris Roberts-Antieau in her artist statement. After high school, the fabric artist and gallery owner says she took a formal art class. She walked out on the first day: “The instructor wanted me to draw what he saw—I could only draw what I saw.”
Self manage Learning is a useful method. Work out *what you want to learn and why, *how you can learn it (reading, talking to someone, finding an expert, using the internet, finding a class)
and *how you’ll know that you’ve learned it. That makes up your learning plan. You’ll probably want to change it as you go along, and that’s a good thing. It’s a great feeling, managing your own learning and very different from school (and college too). – Joanna
Nearly every policy adopted by the status quo or proposed by reformers shares the same assumption: the purpose of school is to add to the knowledge, skills, and abilities of individual students with the long-term purpose of increasing economic growth – the human capital theory of education. Even reformers who proposed huge changes to the system still framed the benefits of their ideas in these terms: more college admissions, better jobs, a “smarter” economy.
But what if the highest and best purpose of school was in fact something else? And if it was, how would we even advocate for it in a world where everyone knows what school is “supposed” to do?
"I’m glad we were able to homeschool, though sorry we had to do it. I wish there were were some volunteer-internship based public charter school with a college prep curriculum and time for students to dream.
If I were a different kind of person, I would start that school. But I’m not that person.”
An excerpt from heart-felt confession by “an Urban Public School Warrior Mom has an ongoing internal battle with her value system after deciding to homeschool her brilliant teen daughter with issues."
Photo credit: A homeschool all-ages Canning 101 group by hfabulous