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The history of alternative schooling and homeschooling

photo of Michel Bauwens

Michel Bauwens
16th November 2010


In this brilliant lecture, film director Astra Taylor does not only describe her own homeschooling, but contextualizes it by reference to the history of alternate education, especially the public conversation on it in the sixties or seventies:

“Raised by independent-thinking bohemian parents, Taylor was unschooled until age 13. Join the filmmaker as she shares her personal experiences of growing up home-schooled without a curriculum or schedule, and how it has shaped her educational philosophy and development as an artist.”

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4 Responses to “The history of alternative schooling and homeschooling”

  1. StefanMz Says:

    No, Astra Taylor does not describe her homeschooling, but her unschooling. This is a difference! Thus, also your title is a bit misleading. Basically, homeschooling is about having school at home, unschooling is about unfolding of each persons abilities without having any kind of »schooling«.

  2. Michel Bauwens Says:

    point taken!

  3. Paul Bonneau Says:

    An impressive lady.

    I found myself mostly in agreement with her, except when she went into the supposed downsides of unschooling. Many of these things, it was a bit much to blame on unschooling! For example the inequality of govt. “education”; she had the example where one set of kids only has $8000 spent on them, and another set got $18,000. Perhaps she is not familiar with the Kansas City Desegregation experiment?
    www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-298.html
    The point is, having government money spent on indoctrination of children is never a good thing. The thing to hope for is when government stops spending any money at all on it.

    Also her comment that she “supports the cause of public schooling”, left a taste of cognitive dissonance. After all, here she is talking about unschooling, something undeniably better than any government “education” and also something that literally anyone can do. I don’t know, the “liberal guilt” that came out didn’t seem to add much of value to the talk.

    But these are picking nits, of course. Everyone’s got a worldview, and some have pretty silly worldviews. It doesn’t mean they have nothing of value to say. It just means you have to filter that stuff out.

  4. Olivier Tryba Says:

    Unschooling can also be called non-coercive learning because it is NOT based on adults deciding what children need to learn but rather trusting our children’s innate sociability which leads us toward mastery of the way of life that surrounds us – unless it thoroughly frustrates our nature, and thus the rest of nature as well. The difference between homeschooling and unschooling is profound.

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