Unschooling is a type of education which bases learning on the needs, interests and goals of the student. Unschoolers also refer to unschooling as child-led learning, natural learning, discovery learning, child-directed learning, or autodidactic learning.
Unschooling begins with the child's inherent curiosity and develops onward, as an expansion of the child's own personal needs and interests.
Generally, unschooling is done at home without a curriculum. Unschoolers generally believe that children can learn better at home than in school, namely due to the authoritarianism and lack of individuality in institutional schooling.
"It is possible to store the mind with a million facts and still be entirely uneducated."
"Since we can't know what knowledge will be most needed in the future, it is senseless to try to teach it in advance. Instead, we should try to turn out people who love learning so much and learn so well that they will be able to learn whatever needs to be learned."
In the United States, an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 children are unschoolers.
Proponents of unschooling tend to see curiosity as innate. They believe that children inherently wish to learn what is required for adulthood. Many argue that indoctrinating children with what a "factory model" or "one size fits all" public school is an wasteful use of the time of the children because it involves all the children learning a particular subject matter in a specific manner, at a specific time, and at a specific pace, without regard to the individual interests, needs, goals of the child.
Unschoolers see child-led individualized learning as a more efficient use of the time of the child, Uschooling utilizes the child's interests, which allows the child to explore subjects in more depth than what is achievable with conventional education. Unschoolers tend to see learning any specific subject as less significant than learning 'how' to learn.
The ability to learn on one's own makes it more probable that as an adult, the unschooled person can continue to learn what she or he needs to know to satisfy new interests and needs. The unschooled person can return to any subject that she or he feels wasn't adequately covered, or can learn a entirely new subject.
In fact, many unschoolers deny that there is a specific set of knowledge that everybody needs to possess. They believe that if a child is given access to enough of the world, the child will see what is really important to themselves and to others, and the child will create a better path for themselves than anybody else could create for them.
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