Monday, February 13

Homeschooling and the Creative Class

My son Slater was included in this week's BusinessWeek piece on home-schooling. Some nice phrases:,
  • vowed he'd never put his kid through the eye-glazing lectures he endured in school
  • done by a growing number of creative-class parents
  • No longer the bailiwick of religious fundamentalists or neo-hippies looking to go off the cultural grid, homeschooling is a growing trend among the educated elite
  • The No. 1 motivation, research shows, is concern about school environments, including negative peer pressure, safety, and drugs. In some circles homeschooling is even attaining a reputation as a secret weapon for Ivy League admission.
  • conventional education: a mass-production institution that is failing to adapt. Schools, critics say, are like old industrial assembly lines, churning out conformists who could function well in rote factory jobs or rigid corporate hierarchies but not in New Economy professions that demand innovation and independent thinking

Evolving the formal learning model is incredibly difficult and complicated. Everything needs to change, from curricula to expectations to content providers to role of parents and businesses to teacher training and promotion to lawmakers.

As I have mentioned here, when a SimuLearn team went to China to begin the localization process of Virtual Leader, they were invited as guests of the State by the Ministry of Education, and put up in the same suite that is used for Presidents and other Heads of State.

When thinking about the revolution, I sometimes think that, a la Quality, it will happen overseas first, and then after ten years of economic pounding, the US would be forced to respond. While I still think that is the probably scenerio, movements like this one, and people who are dedicated not at an intellectual level but a lifestyle level, give me hope that it can not only start but also happen at home.


Anonymous said...

It has always seems odd to me that so many industry "experts" who critique traditional classroom models so loudly are still happy to send their own children to the same places, often with the flimsy justification of "my children's teachers are the exception."

doof von daddious said...

Good BusinessWeek article although I am inclined to dismiss the socialization element.

I'd be interested to hear more about your approach to homeschooling. Have you written or posted anything?

Clark Aldrich said...

I have not yet, but will some day.

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Bryan Menell said...

Phrase overheard the other day: "Public Fool System"

michael anderson said...

Great article Clark- we have been homeschooling our son(13)and daughter(16)their whole life now. They along with their other 10 or so homeschool mates get a lot socialization opportunities which pretty much debunks the "lack of socialization" myth.

Clark Aldrich said...

I agree, Michael. Anyone who argues for public schools on the basis of socialization should ride in the back of a school bus for the first week, and then be a playground monitor for the second.

I personally like the diversity of ages that homeschooling groups represent, which seems more interesting than a more homogeneous age cluster.

Anonymous said...

My wife homeschools our six year old in association with a local charter school (and plans to homeschool our other 3). The school handles the administrative issues required by the state. It also provides enrichment programs like swim lessons at the local YMCA and art classes. We are pleased with the "best of both worlds approach."

I take issue with the religious fundamentalist comment. It is true that we are devoted Christians. That does not mean we are motivated exclusively by the influences to which are children are exposed. We considered sending our children to Christian school but were concerned that the same issues that are present in public school (i.e., mass education) exist in Christian schools as well.

We see homeschooling as an opportunity to give our children the best learning opportunity possible. That means taking into account their unique learning needs, interests, and abilities and giving them learning experiences that are best for them.

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