Research and support for different ways of learning and teaching
Homeschooling is a great way to help children learn, but not everyone can, should, or wants to homeschool. However, it is pretty obvious that universal compulsory schooling inhibits different approaches to learning, limits teaching methods, and increases costs through ever-increasing demands for credentials and higher grades. For educationists, it appears the ultimate goal is to put us all in school and test us from womb to tomb, placing us in society where test scores decide our roles. Here are alternatives from around the world to this scenario. As always, I welcome your suggestions for additions to this list. - PF
Personalized Education Now
A new publication and website by Roland and Janet Meighan, my favorite education heretics.
A great source of publications and research that challenges the stale conventional wisdom that we are getting dumber and the world is getting more complicated, so we all need to be in school for as long as we can pay for it.
Devoted to the study of informal learning for adults and recent school graduates. One article specifically addresses homeschooling.
Creating learning societies, rebuilding communities, deschooling/unschooling in India. Some fascinating educational activism. Inspiring work.
The United States of America
The Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO) is a non-profit organization founded in 1989 to advance learner-centered approaches to education.
Armstrong details the importance of allowing children time and space to play and figure things out in their own ways. He also describes how to use multiple intelligences in everyday practice, both at home and in school, and why we need to be extremely careful about labelling learning difficulties in exuberant children with the slippery concept of "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
One of the best researchers and writers about how schools and parents can change their standard responses to helping children learn.
John Taylor Gatto
Gatto, an award-winning New York City public school teacher, is highly skeptical of academia's claim that only education can level the playing field for the poor and others to participate in the fruits of our democratic republic. Gatto, citing lots of history and personal experience, has decided our schools are intentionally dumbing us down to accept whatever the captains of capitalism want to get from conventional schools. Gatto's writing will, at the least, make you rethink why school is, for so many people, an empty ritual.