the network for radical unschooling families
I was yahoo today, surfing through videos, and I was pleasantly surprised to find this:
First time I saw something unschooling related on the news. From this video, I'm glad to hear that unschooling has grown a bit more. I also found the reporters' reactions a bit funny, but what you can expect? It's a small group. Any opinions on this video?.
I am not sure how I feel about glen beck supporting homeschooling. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EsGZOGQIqI&feature=channel
This is a very typical media representation of a different idea, complete with creative editing. I am sure they chose specific clips and different bits to feature in their text blurb to manipulate the portrayal of unschoolers. Anything that appears to portray a group that is "not in compliance" in a bad or suspicious light, will garner better ratings. The reactions tell the whole story. The media knows that they will get better ratings and higher viewer/readership if they tell the majority exactly what they want to hear. The majority of the public does not want their ideas about traditional education and traditional parenting styles to be challenged by the non-traditional being portrayed particularly positively. That would be seen as too threatening.
Society at large is not ready for unschooling. It is different from anything most of us have ever heard of, it is unknown. Things that are unknown, no matter how good they may be in principle or how good they are in reality, are very scary to most people. The result is fear, anger, and a desire to squash whatever is making them uncomfortable in order to reassure themselves that their comfortable, traditional idea is the right one and the ONLY right one. It's threatening to consider things differently when you are so emotionally invested in tradition and don't know anything else.
I saw the follow-up of ABC's interview with the Biegler family, and it did shed more light on how the family directs learning, and they mentioned how it wasn't "anything goes". It wasn't shown so much as a "crazy" or "dubious" concept as portrayed by the reporter's reactions from the first segment when they had a more thorough interview with the parents. I liked how they answered questions brought up by viewers who weren't familiar with or had uncertainties with unschooling. And that, I believe made it more lucid and cleared some misconceptions, or misunderstandings of unschooling. However, I was disgusted with The Young Turks' takes on unschooling. I found Cenik Uygur's initial reaction even worse than reporters' from ABC. He was very flippant and ignorant towards the premise. It was not unlike some of the people's fears and bias. With such declarations that a child would not or cannot "automatically" learn by his/herself. He did describe himself as a perfect example of one receiving formal education.
It is nice it is getting noticed... sadly the reaction is pretty negative from the "experts". These news clips are also very biased. They try to make it look like the kids do nothing but "play" so in the mainstream parents eyes the kids learn nothing... obviously this isn't true. To be honest... as unschooling gets more attention I can bet some state is going to try and create legislation to get it banned or make it harder to successfully accomplish. I have a friend in the UK who says that is happening there (he was unschooled).