Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Unschooling = Dropout

Webb Eggerton, a clinical psychologist, and Pat Farenga debate the merits of unschooling on Fox and Friends (video at link). Farenga does an excellent job defending unschooling as a legitimate means to an excellent education. However, it is troubling to listen to the psychologist make the subtle transition from unschooling, as Farenga described it, to UNschooled students - those that drop out of tradition school.
[T]here's a huge difference between home schooling and unschooling. And in this country alone there are over a million teens that drop out of school every year, a million teens. And those teens drop out because they're under educated under prepared. And there's no structure so it's very hard for a lot of unschooled kids to be prepared later in life. And if they've never been exposed to calculus to how on earth that they want to be an astronaut can they do that later in life.
Her argument against unschooling is weak and can easily be used against public schools as well. After all, just how many children who graduate from a public high school are exposed to Calculus? In my senior year, I was one of only 30 students out of a graduating class of over 700. I have to wonder, if we are supposed to educate our children to participate in the global economy, why on earth we would want to confine them to a single institution for over a decade?

Unschooling may not be for everyone but it is a legitimate form of homeschooling.

The dropout crisis and parents "claiming" to homeschool are frequently used arguments by "experts" and legislators to increase regulation on all forms of homeschooling. Homeschoolers (no matter the method) should be aware of the wrongful comparison and, like Farenga, object when it is used.

(HT: Kathy B. via Facebook)

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