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Dissatisfaction with Testing Leads to Growth in ‘Unschooling' Movement

Dissatisfaction with Testing Leads to Growth in ‘Unschooling' Movement

Even though it occurs at home, ‘unschooling’ is very different from traditional home-schooling in the sense that there are no grades, lesson plans or tests to track achievement.

The Christian Science Monitor estimates that as much as 50 percent of homeschooled children could be taught some version of “unschooling,” " a category that might range from...extreme hands-off approach to that of other parents who incorporate many ideas of self-directed learning but still set some limits and goals for their children’s education.”

Many parents who practice unschooling give their children kinds of freedoms that are unheard of in public schools as they allow children to “follow their own interests, without the imposition of school or even any alternative educational curriculum, because this is the best way for them to learn and grow,” the article said.

The movement has increased more recently because of many parents' dissatisfaction with the current emphasis on rigid standardized testing schedules in America's schools.

Additionally, it "tracks an increase in alternative educational philosophies, such as the Montessori method or the popular Reggio Emilia theory, both of which are based on the idea of children as ‘whole,' curious beings whose education should be guided by their own natural interests and inclinations,” the article said.

Could this growing movement be indicative of a shift in how Americans view “seizing the American dream?”

According to CSM, “self-actualization” has become one of the country’s “most-revered values,” and that this value is reflected in the unschooling movement- a kind of "free-range" approach to education. 

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

2/15/2016

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