I am featured in one of the chapters of a new book,
Natural Born Learners: Unschooling and Autonomy in Education.
My part is an edited transcript of a radio interview in which the topics were strewing and spirituality. (Here is access to the original sound file, and the chapter will be a longer version of this: "Living Unschooling".)
Natural Born Learners: Unschooling and Autonomy in Education
January 2014—Natural Born Learners: Unschooling and Autonomy in Education edited by Beatrice Ekwa Ekoko and Carlo Ricci.
We are pleased to announce that our reader is live.
Humans are natural learners. This collection of essays challenges much of mainstream beliefs about how people learn, encouraging the reader to consider deeply the need for learners to be trusted and listened to. Many of the authors in the book begin from a learner-centered, democratic perspective. Divided into three sections, the first part of the book deals with what constitutes a learner-centered approach to education. The second section addresses how some have implemented this approach. In the last section, learners who have lived learner-centred learning share narratives about their experiences.
“For those who want to restore natural learning—whether for themselves, their children, or all of society—this book is a great resource. We can all learn here from contributors who have helped to explain how natural learning works, from those who have helped to make such learning more possible in today’s world, and from those lucky individuals who grew up learning naturally.”
- Peter Gray, Research Professor of Psychology at Boston College and Author of Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self- Reliant, and Better Students for Life.
“This book explores the roots of self-direction and offers a series of highly insightful and creative ways to help people be open, peaceful, natural learners. The roots of democratic living are fostered by what is said here. School administrators, teachers, parents, students, politicians and virtually all citizens will benefit from reading this. I most highly recommended this unusually fine and stimulating book.”
- Conrad Pritscher, Professor Emeritus, Bowling Green State University
Most of the pieces in this book are derived from interviews aired on the Radio Free School program that ran from 2002 to 2008 on 93.3 fm CFMU in Hamilton. It is divided into three sections:
1. What is unschooling/natural learning/self-determined learning;
2. What does it look like in practice, and;
3. The stories of those who unschooled and are now adults.
Contents Foreword i Introduction v Part 1 What is Self-Determined Learning and Unschooling? 1 Chapter 1 Schooling: A Highly Questionable Practice 2 John Taylor Gatto Chapter 2 You Don’t Have to go to Grow: 14 Growing Without Schooling Pat Farenga Chapter 3 An Education in the Age of Climate Change 31 Satish Kumar Chapter 4 A Learning System Fit for a Democracy 40 Roland Meighan Chapter 5 An Interview About a Sense of Self 50 Susannah Sheffer Chapter 6 Trust, Not Education 71 Aaron Falbel Chapter 7 A Conversation About the Magical Child 88 Joseph Chilton Pearce Chapter 8 Hold Onto Your Kids 99 Gordon Neufeld Chapter 9 The Price of Praise 105 Naomi Aldort Chapter 10 The Words We Use: 116 Living as if School Doesn’t Exist Wendy Priesnitz Part II Lights. Camera. Action! (This is How it Works). 121 Chapter 11 We Don’t Need No Education, We Don’t Need No Thought Control: Reflections on Achieving Musical Literacy and the Importance of Unschooling 122 John. L. Vitale. Chapter 12 What Does it Mean to be Educated? 138 John Taylor Gatto Chapter 13 Democratic Schools 149 Jerry Mintz Chapter 14 Aware and Alive 164 David Albert Chapter 15 From Albany to Now 173 Mary Leue Chapter 16 Guerrilla Learning 179 Grace Llewellyn Chapter 17 Getting Kids on the Streets 188 Matt Hern Chapter 18 Improving Unschooling through Strewing and Spirituality 199 Sandra Dodd Chapter 19 Learning Together by Starting an Educational Co-operative 215 Katharine Houk Chapter 20 The Everyday Lives of Black Canadian Homeschoolers 221 Monica Wells Kisura Chapter 21 The Praxis of SelfDesign as a New Paradigm for Learning 233 Brent Cameron Chapter 22 Home Education in Quebec 256 Christine Brabant Chapter 23 Learning From Within and From All That is Around Us 264 Seema Ahluwalia and Carl Boneshirt Part III They’ve Grown Up 285 Chapter 24 Life is a Field Trip and You don’t Need a Permission 286 Slip Dale Stephens Chapter 25 Pioneer Unschooler 292 Kate Cayley Chapter 26 Growing up Weird 300 Kate Fridkis Chapter 27 I Love my Life 305 Eli Gerzon Chapter 28 I’m Educated 314 Candra Kennedy Chapter 29 Redefining Success 324 Jessica Claire Barker Chapter 30 Unschooling Experience 329 Peter Kowalke Chapter 31 I’m Unschooled and Yes, I Can Write 336 Idzie Desmarais Chapter 32 The Subtle but Radical Frame of Being a Contributor Versus Being Successful 340 Sean Ritchey Chapter 33 More Time is More Freedom 348 Brenna McBroom Chapter 34 Motivation, Method, and Mastery: How I learned 352 Music Without Being Taught. Andrew Gilpin About the Editors 360
Beatrice Ekwa Ekoko is a free-lance writer and blogger. She blogs extensively at Natural Born Learners (radiofreeschool.blogspot.com) and has founded Personalized Education Hamilton to facilitate self-determined learning in her community. She works for a not-for-profit environmental organization as a project manager and coordinator. She lives in Hamilton, Ontario with her husband and three children who were all unschooled for a time.
Visit her website to see other writing at bekoko.ca.
Carlo Ricci is a professor of education and currently teaches in the Graduate Program at the Schulich School of Education, Nipissing University. He edits and founded the Journal of Unschooling and Alternative Learning. He has written and edited a number of books including The Willed Curriculum, Unschooling, and Self-Direction: What Do Love, Trust, Respect, Care, and Compassion Have to Do With Learning; and Turning points: 35 Visionaries in Education Tell Their Own Stories (AERO, 2010) with Jerry Mintz; and The Legacy of John Holt: A Man Who Genuinely Understood, Trusted, and Respected Children (HoltGWS, 2013) with Patrick Farenga. He has also written numerous articles on unschooling and self-determined learning. He lives in Toronto, Ontario with his wife and two children.
Beatrice Ekwa Ekoko
905 529 7408
Dr. Carlo Ricci
(519) 752-1524 ext. 7510
NATURAL BORN LEARNERS
Follow our blog
Join us on Facebook
Follow us on twitter
Over 200 half hour MP3 radio free shows searchable for download/podcast at www.radio4all.net
Personalized Education Hamilton
Natural Born Learners