Self-directed learning: How ‘unschoolers’ control their education

The factory model of education is outdated, so what's next?

  • Conventional schooling was largely designed with an industrial-revolution mindset.
  • However, this factory model of education doesn't hold up today. Our access to technology allows learning to happen beyond the conventional classroom.
  • Unschooling serves as a reinvention of education that invites students to indulge in their natural curiosity on their individual path to knowledge.
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Sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies
  • The internet is parasitic on traditional media sources, says Keith Whittington. Traditional news outlets do the hard reporting to generate the facts and notable opinions that other outlets respond to.
  • The greatest challenge to truth in journalism is that social media presents news stories out of context; we no longer see news among other news articles, and we may only ever see the headline without the detail and nuance required.
  • Media institutions are working to tackle these challenges, but until then it is our responsibility as citizens and consumers to get smarter about how we navigate news feeds and the hyper-partisan press.
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Why top-down reform won't save the education system

Countless top-down reforms haven't improved the U.S. education system; can community-based education make a difference?

  • A new report from the RAND Corporation details another top-down initiative that failed to improve student achievement.
  • Community-based education reform creates coalitions of stakeholders to support lifelong learning.
  • Though barriers exist, such reform could synthesize the best of top-down and bottom-up reform.
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Sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies
  • For society to stay open and free, you don't need to eliminate prejudice. You need the opposite: All kinds of prejudice pitted against each other.
  • Intellectual diversity helps society as a whole learn the truth. And as long as society has rules that force ideas to be openly tested, the intolerant will not gain the upper hand.
  • "In America it's legal to be intolerant. It may not be right. It may not get you accepted or respected. But absolutely it's legal and it should be legal," says Jonathan Rauch.
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If America's education system is outdated, how can we evolve?

Specialization in education is just one way of optimizing the system for the future.

  • The current education system wasn't designed to accommodate the dynamism required today.
  • Derrell Bradford of 50CAN points out that, while education reform in the past has done some great things for many students in America, there is a definite need to evolve. That evolution involves maintaining the positive aspects of the education system and overcoming the negative.
  • This video is supported by yes. every kid., an initiative that aims to rethink education from the ground up by connecting innovators in a shared mission to conquer "one size fits all" education reform.
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Revolutionary K-12 education might look like a creative incubator

What can a learning space achieve when it's optimized for both student and parent expression?

Sponsored by yes. every kid.
  • As America's mainstream education systems continue to disappoint both parents and students, schooling alternatives present a fresh opportunity and revolutionary approach to teaching children.
  • Collaborative learning communities help students to discover themselves and their passions while parents play an active role in their education. Inspired by Montessori, Catherine Fraise founded Workspace to provide children the opportunity to learn and grow outside the four walls of "school."
  • This video is supported by yes. every kid., an initiative that aims to rethink education from the ground up by connecting innovators in a shared mission to conquer "one size fits all" education reform.
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What NASA can teach us about education reform

If teachers weren't taught to fear failure, could they see greater success in the mission of education?

Sponsored by yes. every kid.
  • Matt Candler, founder of 4.0 Schools, questions why school has stayed overwhelmingly the same the past 100 years. As a teacher, he sees the future of schools embracing mutual curiosity in both students and educators.
  • He points to the example of NASA scientists, who approach missions with the idea that failure is welcome and necessary. Failure during preparation ensures the mission will succeed when the time comes to perform.
  • Candler suggests that this idea should hold up in discussions of education reform and how teachers are trained in their approach to learning.
  • This video is supported by yes. every kid., an initiative that aims to rethink education from the ground up by connecting innovators in a shared mission to conquer "one size fits all" education reform.
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