Monday, March 22, 2010

Child Development and the School Factor

A recent email conversation with a friend who works in child psychology clarified some thoughts I have about following a rational approach to my children's education. Here's what I wrote. I added a link to the article we were discussing.

"For obvious reasons I'm interested in education, development, and what the evidence really tells us. My frustration has been that, as highlighted in [this post on the Freedom to Learn Blog at Psychology Today], most research about childhood learning assumes traditional school structure as a given instead of deriving it as a preference.
For rational homeschoolers, research about child development would make a lot more sense if it treated the institution as a variable instead of a given. Well, not just for homeschoolers, but for anyone interested in fundamental change in our approach to education, which might be considered if the research net were cast further. What I find instead are polarized views - the school-based view (of what is observed in/works best in schools) and the anti-school view (which is light on evidence and heavy on "common sense" rhetoric and emotional appeal)."

So that's where my head is lately. I'm seeking validation of (or real evidence to challenge) our unschooling methodology, and I'm not totally satisfied with the resources available.