Monday, July 09, 2007

College level unschooling

One of the things I've found as I've looked into the various home schooling and unschooling movements is that most of the available sites concentrate on parents teaching their children. A great many are geared toward creating and selling curriculum. Sites intended for self-education for adults tend to focus on various degree-granting programs. There certainly don't seem to be many sites to support college-level unschooling, except in a few special areas.
That bothers me. As I browse the Intenet and see the various discussion boards, I'm apalled by the amount of name-calling, free substitution of personal opinion for verifiable fact, and horrendously sloppy reasoning on the part of supposedly educated men and women. It almost seems that if you want a true education, you just about have to go out and get it yourself.


Pam said...

If, "parents are teaching their children," then you're looking at "schooling at home" rather than "unschooling."

What I've noticed with "college-age" kids who were unschooled is that they view "going to college" as just one option that might serve their purposes. If they do choose to go to college, they often do it much more on their own terms than the more conventional students. For example, the college may have certain requirements, but the unschooler will often actively pursue alternative ways to satisfy the requirements. Also, many unschooled kids will search out colleges that offer the chance to design their own unique programs.

I have one unschooled kid who has graduated from college and is working as a forest ranger in the Alaskan back country (we're from California). She was able to receive college credit for many very "real" activities such as spending two weeks on an undeveloped ocean island, rock climbing at Joshua Tree National Park, and kayaking in Utah.

Confutus said...

If parents are buying a curriculum and assigning homework, no, that's not unschooling. But for some familes and some teaching styles, the difference between schooling at home and unschooling at home can get a little fuzzy. What they often have in commmon is an emphasis on their own children.
For my own part, I've gone the opposite direction from the one you describe. I started out in a very traditional setting, and developed a self-education program later, because I couldn't any one degree program that fit my needs, interests, and budget.
My own interest is in helping those who aren't necessarily my own family, who aren't necessarily children or youth, and who don't necessarily want to take a college course or forty, but who do want to learn. Sometimes that combination leaves me feeling the odd man out.