Saturday, March 24, 2012

Education: Unschooling - the new class of learning Many parents are taking their children out of the formal school system in favour of a freer way of learning.

It is not home schooling, where the standard curriculum is taught by parents or tutors. They call it unschooling, where youngsters are encouraged to explore the things they want to learn about or for which they have a specific talent.

In Berlin, we meet a young American who turned his back on school by the time he was 11-years-old. Dale J. Stevens is writing a book that he describes as "a practical guide to learning the skills that school doesn't teach but are requisite for success in the real world". It is based on his experiences as an unschooler but also incorporates the stories of other people who found success in non-traditional ways.

In Paris, we meet the Stern family. André Stern is a well-known name in the world of music but he never went to school. He was raised in a household where passion is considered to be the perfect learning medium and the secret behind competence.

In New York state, the Emerson family are also embracing unschooling. They shun a formal curriculum in favour of encouraging their 12- and 9-year-old children to follow their passions and interests.