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1-16-2008 @ 9:05AM
Tzal, the proposition is not only controversial, it's unworkable on its face. Who defines "the basic skills to function in society"? What are the skills you've decided to "force" on all children everywhere? Why do you think those skills are necessary to function in society? (Hint: for many of them, it's because someone decided that they were necessary, not because they actually are.) And once you've got a skillset that will allow growing children to function in society - a skillset that you're assuming an "unschool" setting won't give them - why do you think it needs to be forced on children?The American school system is based on the Prussian system, which was explicitly designed during the Industrial Revolution to prepare the lower class for factory work and to prepare the upper class for sitting around and trading Shakespeare quotes. It generates good, obedient workers - not people who can function in society. (Ask yourself how many people you know whom the public school system taught to balance a checkbook or operate a computer with proficiency.) The system hasn't been applicable to the lives American children will lead for decades. It's ridiculous to assume that it's the best model simply because it's been the only model for over a hundred years.(And I say this, mind, as a product of the American public school system, and as a father whose son is in the American public school system - much to my chagrin, some days.)You're right, though, that I used the wrong term yesterday. I should have said "home-learners", since that covers both homeschooling and unschooling.
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