"Unschooling" Threatening Conventional Education?

Interesting article by KQED about "unschooling", basically a highly unstructured approach to home schooling.  The article asks whether "Public School" (as if this is an organization... so diverse, too fractured to refer to all Public Schools in general) is "scared of unschooling".

I don't think so.  But I do think career educators and researchers are wary of new approaches to teaching, wondering if what appears on the surface to be a very unstructured process (it doesn't really look unstructured to me) will prepare students for successful transition to the workforce or to higher education.

Interesting idea, "unschooling".  I'm not sure I'd support it, and I don't think the general world of Education is "ready" for it, but it seems to be a growing trend.  With oversight and structure it does make sense that this approach will work for at least a subset of homeschooled children.  I do have to say, from the article, I like the articulation of learning objectives and tracking progress, regardless of the path the home learner takes to acquire the knowledge.

Here's a New York City Department of Education resource on home schooling.  Doesn't really address "unschooling", but if you're interested, give a look.  And, of course, I think Google's education productivity would be an awesome adjunct/facilitator to home schooling.  Not sure how the economics of that work... are Google Apps for Education somehow accessible for free to home learners?  Interesting question...

p.s. when in Northern California, or listening to NPR anywhere I have always found KQED articles and reports insightful and thought provoking.  Found the article on Twitter today.  Good on you, KQED!

Christopher J. Church, Managing Partner
Technology Planning & Consulting, LLC