College life for me

I’ll tell you why I don’t want to go. Things I want to study and major/minor in if possible:

Metaphysics

Activism

Visual Art

Creative Writing

Transpersonal Psychology

French Culture

Music Theory

Guitar

Piano

You see, these are all non-practical now that university is about getting a hot in demand job so that I can make more money and “be successful.”  And yeah, they say college makes you well rounded or “teaches you how to learn.” But any dedicated autodidact or free schooler community can achieve the same. College is now nothing more than an outrageously expensive vacation and an extension to your normalization. No thanks.

Gosh, I’m such an INFP.

More on that later.

Video of the day!

I think that a serious thing to be considered is how to make schools like this operate on a large scale. Likewise, how do you go about introducing such curricula in urban environments? I definitely notice trends amongst democratic schools:

  • Very Small. The buildings are practically houses.
  • In the valley or semi rural areas. Understandable. You can get a more nurturing and diverse curriculum in nature. It seems to encourage freedom and comfort.
  • In each school, the teen population is small.
  • Students at these schools seem to have already been raised by accepting parents.
  • These students tend to grow up to be well-adjusted.
  • The schools are private or nonprofit institutions, monitored by the local community.

After watching more videos based on Sudbury and Waldorf models I realized that for this type of education to exist, it needs to change it’s methods geographically. I could be wrong. It just doesn’t seem like fast-paced metropolitan areas (or even busy-body suburbs) have the time for this. And how can you help minors in economically down trodden areas – “ghettos.” I notice that many kids in that environment have parents who are either to busy trying to provide financially, or they just aren’t used to being intellectually involved in their kids lives. I kind of sense some conflict would errupt if their children were attending free schools. Same goes for parents still in urban areas and not necessarily ghettos. I’m going to have to continue to dish out stereotypes, but in cases like this, I think they are necessary (as well as somewhat accurate).

  1. Industrialized citizens like to know their kids are being practical. Structured time. Grades. Ranking. I doubt that such parents would feel comfy with the thought of their kids directing their own learning at their own pace. It would probably be an issue at home. Urban households operate just like schools do – with scheduling and timing and expected results.
  2. Industrial parents don’t understand what involvement means. Being on the PTA doesn’t help you see what the students face (especially in less fortunate places). Parents rarely volunteer because they don’t have time. I conclude that as a result, a free school would not thrive due to lack of interactive support. These parents are used to scheduling, systematizing and letting the schools do the work. While it’s evident that beautiful urban areas have more involvement, it’s for that very same reason. These parents in my opinion are doing it just to keep up with the beautification of the town.
  3. You see more public schools in the city. As many radical educators know, the government-run systems are failing and turning kids in to a massive uniformed herd. But the only reason people are attracted to them is because public schools are “free.” You don’t pay upfront – you just do your part at tax time. I see that as putting education on the back-burner. That’s not my point though. Urban parents for the most part are very uneasy about private tuition education.
  4. Campus sizes. How do you run free schools for groups as large as 3000? Should these schools be broken up into the “school of such”on the campus? Would it be better to tear them down and build demos by neighborhood? I fear that the nurturing and close-knitness would disappear at a large campus. Then rather than nurturing, people will merely be monitoring and baby sitting, just like at traditional public schools.
  5. Public schools don’t have models like the demos do. This may seem nice…but only to those living in affluent neighborhoods. Other areas suffer. If they all went by a variation of a demo model, then that wouldn’t be such an issue. Under it, we know that every child is getting the same freedom and care in their learning.
  6. By the time urban the public schooled (and private schooled under the traditional model) kids reach teenhood, they get burnout. The rigidity of public schools causes massive disinterest in education. I’ve heard students at my school say that they don’t like to read. Everyone runs from math. Science is treated nonchalantly through the textbook. All we get are tests and rankings. So to introduce such a radical method would throw things out of sync. Although it would have to happen, it would be chaotic at first as most kids would probably sleep and lounge around the first year to get energized and figure out what they want to do.
  7. Troublemakers and kids used to the downtrodden life will have serious issues in the beginning if demos were widespread. They care even less about school for reasons I’m not clear about. There just seems to generally be a lax attitude towards progress, education and life in those places. I do think a demo school will help them find their niche – but would they even be enthused to begin with? I’ve noticed that definitely things such as music and dance are heavily practiced in inner cities, but what about other things. I need more info on these places.

So those are the big issues right now. Still, I find it necessary to adopt this model worldwide. But in addition to that we need specialized schools to go alongside demos and frees. Why? Well, a specialized school can easily be public for those who fear private schools. And let’s face it, everybody’s DIFFERENT. Some children know what they like at a young age and want to pursue that mainly. I think that at a specialized school there would be less focus on grades and more focus on how the child is developing in their craft. In addition to those things, a specialized school allows years and years of time for a person to gain experience in an area before adulthood. I think the demos and frees would more so benefit those who aren’t too concerned or are unsure about what they want.

  • Specialized schools
  • Demos
  • Frees

And the big issue: how do we implement these methods on a scale to which everyone has access?

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Posted on August 22, 2009, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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