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13 May 2013


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School indeed needs to be very different from what it is in general. Some schools are there. Some schools are partially there. A lot are not very close. But there have been good teachers always in schools and they have helped many a child in very important ways despite the school set up.

I think some of the issue is that people are social creatures and we have to figure out how to all live together (form a herd) in a productive way. Given human nature, this is perhaps almost an impossible task but we seem to be getting better at it as a species over time.

Finally (you've inspired me) I think humans are wired to pressure each other to conform. Breaking away from the herd is a two edged sword both for the person breaking away and for the herd, so it should be done carefully. A good understanding of the herd is quite valuable, but often painful to acquire.

And congratulations!!!!

I didn't feel like I learned how to think until law school. My study abroad year came close because I had some classes where it was just 2 or 3 students and a professor and we were taught directly in the museums or historic places if possible, but even then the teachers usually resorted to lecturing. The socratic method though worked for me. Not everyone responds to it though.

I am dreading dealing with schools.

Congratulations! On graduating, and on this thoughtful, inspiring post. And thank you, too, for keeping the blog going all through school -- I don't know if you realize how much it means to your faithful readers, and how happy we are when a new What There's Time For pops up on our readers.

I think it's important to think about what our kids are learning in schools and how they are learning it. I see so many ways education could and should be improved, but I also think that children are primarily influenced by what they learn at home. Even though our sons went to pretty structured schools, they have all grown into very independent, outside the box thinkers. That makes me happy for them. Are there experiences I wish they could have avoided when they were young? Yes.
They very fact that you understood what you faced, once again, in grad school will help you tremendously as you continue parenting your young children. It's clear they are already developing into unique and wonderful little people.
Thanks for this thought-provoking post. Your blog is a gift to all of your readers. xoxo


Congratulations! I'm proud of you. Your post was thought provoking. If you felt like that in school, what about the rest of us poor slobs who could not fathom doing grad school in computer science? Looking back at my children's school experiences, three out of four kids took to school, the other one was miserable. He needed something completely different from what he got. Wish I could do that one over. We did the best we could at the time.

Congratulations, admiration, and love to you. Such a feat in the midst of all your other important commitments. I'm so happy for you and your family.

It's life affirming to see new books improving and modernizing important themes and blueprints from the 70s (and even earlier) that came from John Holt and other great philosophers about alternatives to schooling.

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