Alternative-Learning Org

Home education, Natural Learning, Unschooling

Early Academic Training Produces Long-Term Harm

  • 23/05/2015 16:23
Google images approved for reuse

Research reveals negative effects of academic preschools and kindergartens. By Peter Gray on May 05, 2015 in Freedom to Learn Many preschool and kindergarten teachers have told me that they are extremely upset—some to the point of being ready to resign—by the increased pressure on them to teach academic skills to little children and regularly test them on such skills.  ...

How ‘digital natives’ are killing the ‘sage on the stage’

  • 06/05/2015 21:55

Digital technology, and those who have grown up with it, are forcing the venerable lecture to adapt to the times. uniinnsbruck/Flickr, CC BY-NC Enlarge The idea that teachers should teach and students should listen presumes that teachers know more than their students. While this was generally true back when textbooks where a rarity, and may have been partly true since the invention ...

Disney Competition Challenges Kids to Design Futuristic Tech

  • 07/04/2015 16:24

Inspired by the upcoming film "Tomorrowland," Disney and X Prize are inviting kids to submit their ideas for future inventions in a video competition.Credit: Disney Enlarge Whether they're designing flying cars or teleporters, aspiring young inventors will have the chance to share their visions for the technology of the future, as part of a nationwide challenge hosted ...

San Francisco Schools Transformed by the Power of Meditation

  • 05/04/2015 22:12
Image: Students at Visitacion Valley School in San Francisco meditate

Students at Visitacion Valley School in San Francisco meditate, as part of a program in which students meditate for fifteen minutes twice a day. Silence isn't something people usually associate with middle school, but twice a day the halls of Visitacion Valley School in San Francisco fall quiet as the sixth, seventh and eighth grade students ...

How do Unschoolers Turn Out?

  • 16/03/2015 10:22

Peter Gray has studied how learning happens without any academic requirements at a democratic school. The Boston College research professor also wrote about the long history and benefits of age-mixed, self-directed education in his book Free to Learn. Over the years, as he encountered more and more families who had adopted this approach at home (these so-called “unschoolers” ...

Why You Should Start Unschooling

  • 14/03/2015 17:06

I'm seeing a tag going around, proclaiming today to be National Start Homeschooling Day. In honour of that, I figured I'd share my top reasons to start unschooling. I understand that, for any number of reasons, unschooling just might not to be doable in your life. If that's the case, I hope you can still glean ...

Cognitive Benefits of Playing Video Games

  • 11/03/2015 11:06

Research shows that video-game play improves basic mental abilities. by Peter Gray  In two previous articles  (here and here), I summarized evidence countering the common fears about video games (that they are addictive and promote such maladies as social isolation, obesity, and violence).  I also pointed there to evidence that the games may help children develop logical, literary, executive, and even social skills.  Evidence ...

You Don’t Need an Ideal World to Unschool: Why the Concerns of Progressives are Misplaced

  • 16/02/2015 15:16

There’s a frequent criticism of unschooling that comes from progressives, liberals, and even anarchists of various stripes, which is that, by removing children from schools, parents are hurting the schools themselves; lessening the quality of said schools (since they’re no longer involved in school improvement); and taking money away from where it’s most needed. I’ve always ...

Depression in Teachers Impacts Classroom Learning

  • 11/02/2015 15:45

Credit: iraua/Shutterstock.com Enlarge Elementary school teachers who have more symptoms of depression may have a negative influence on some students' academic performance, a new study suggests. In the small study, third-grade teachers who were struggling with symptoms of depression — such as poor appetite, restless sleep, crying spells and feeling like a failure — were generally less likely to create ...

Babies Understand Friendship, Bullies and Bystanders

  • 04/02/2015 20:29

Credit: Nina Vaclavova/Shutterstock.com Enlarge Babies who are just over a year old already comprehend complex social interactions — they understand what other people know and don't know, and expect them to behave accordingly, new research shows. In the new study, 13-month-olds who watched a puppet show in which one character witnessed another behaving badly expected the witness to ...