the network for radical unschooling families
Principles of Unschooling
By Pam Sorooshian
Learning happens all the time. The brain never stops working and it is not possible to divide time up into "learning periods" versus "non-learning periods." Everything that goes on around a person, everything they hear, see, touch, smell, and taste, results in learning of some kind.
Learning does not require coercion. In fact, learning cannot really be forced against someone's will. Coercion feels bad and creates resistance.
Learning feels good. It is satisfying and intrinsically rewarding. Irrelevant rewards can have unintended side effects that do not support learning.
Learning stops when a person is confused. All learning must build on what is already known.
Learning becomes difficult when a person is convinced that learning is difficult. Unfortunately, most teaching methods assume learning is difficult and that lesson is the one that is really "taught" to the students.
Learning must be meaningful. When a person doesn't see the point, when they don't know how the information relates or is useful in "the real world," then the learning is superficial and temporary - not "real" learning.
Learning is often incidental. This means that we learn while engaged in activities that we enjoy for their own sakes and the learning happens as a sort of "side benefit."
Learning is often a social activity, not something that happens in isolation from others. We learn from other people who have the skills and knowledge we're interested in and who let us learn from them in a variety of ways.
We don't have to be tested to find out what we've learned. The learning will be demonstrated as we use new skills and talk knowledgeably about a topic,
Feelings and intellect are not in opposition and not even separate things. All learning involves the emotions, as well as the intellect.
Learning requires a sense of safety. Fear blocks learning. Shame and embarrassment, stress and anxiety—these block learning.
© Pam Sorooshian
:I dont' act like a radical unschooler, I am a radical unschooler."
LOVE LOVE LOVE that. Thank you!
I don't act like a radical unschooler, I AM a radical unschooler.>>>>
Thank you for that. I've been feeling like I'm just not doing it right a lot (we started unschooling in October). This really helped me to understand how it works. I'm changing my mindset and slowly my change in thinking is changing the way I act.
Again, thank you. :)
Katherine, from one of the yahoo unschooling lists, just posted this as part of a longer post and I thought it would be a great addition:
"Maybe one very loose starting principle could be in the neighborhood of
"not-knowingness." Of wonder and wondering.... How often is it that people have no idea about the things they think they know? Maybe unschooling is one big Learn Nothing Day when people realize how
much indeed there is to know."
Turn and softly look at your child to see what is fresh and new. Look at your child with awe. See your child with curiosity. Admire your child. You will be amazed. Learn to be content with your own puzzlement, and to nurture the puzzlement around you. It's okay not to have all the answers, but to let the questions confuse you for a while as you move in new directions. Let new ideas and experiences astonish you. Find delight in small, everyday things.
Turn and softly look at the world to see what is fresh and new. Look at the world with awe. See the world with curiosity. Admire the world. You will be amazed.
This essay may shed some light:
Yes, that is my blog. What is a 'security error'? I've never heard of such a thing.
Jon, is that your blog? I get a "security error" for that post - do you have another or a pertinent quote? I had fun scrolling through your old posts looking for the entry by other means though... er, maybe need to warn off some of our more sensitive readers - got that, y'all? Jon's not for everyone!