Tuesday, August 19, 2008

HE in the Guardian

As yet more home education success stories come through, critics search to find something to say. Alan Smithers tries hard:

"Living our lives is a deeply mysterious business," he says. "The curriculum opens up a number of ways we can understand it: history, science, art, maths. It's very important that we give all young people the opportunity to engage with all subjects, whether they immediately occur to them or their parents or not. Schools have developed ways of condensing canons of literature, for example, and introducing it in sequence to children."

On the contrary, school can easily confuse when it comes to unravelling the mystery of living. Quite apart from the fact that it removes children from the rest of the world, dumps them with people they didn't chose to mix with, all of whom are their own age, doesn't allow them to play to their strengths or to focus on their interests and removes the acquisition of knowledge from the actual stuff of life, some of the lessons and their moral underpinnings are frankly garbled. Last night on the Channel 4 programme "The Genius of Darwin", Richard Dawkins probed some science teachers about their approach to truth-seeking. The results were woeful. A more rigorous approach to truth-seeking is certainly one of the many reasons why we choose to home educate.

Oh yes...and the Brookes family are fab.

3 comments:

Ruth said...

It must have been a slow day at the Guardian, that book was published over 6 months ago. I don't recall any recommendation about HEing only up to age 14 when I read it.

As for Mr Smithers, doesn't he get tired of repeating the same tired old rubbish?

Lisa G said...

Alan Smithers! LOL, that quote, it's a fake name and he's a comedian right?
Loved reading about the Brookes family btw, thanks for the link.

Leo said...

"Living our lives is a deeply mysterious business"

Our lives? My life is independent of yours. My life is my own purpose.

"It's very important that we give all young people the opportunity to engage with all subjects, whether they immediately occur to them or their parents or not."

We who? It's parents who have that responsibility.

Giving someone the opportunity to engage in subjects that they are curious about is good. Forcing them to study and to perform for "the we" to evaluate is not.