Alternative-Learning Org

Home education, Natural Learning, Unschooling

How Early Academic Training Retards Intellectual Development

  • 28/06/2015 09:23

Academic skills are best learned when a person wants them and needs them. by Peter Gray In my last post I summarized research indicating that early academic training produces long-term harm. Now, in this post, I will delve a bit into the question of how that might happen.  It's useful here to distinguish betweenacademic skills and intellectual skills—a distinction nicely made in a recent article(link ...

Water Fights and Grown-Up Talk: How Dads Do It Differently

  • 20/06/2015 17:59

Simply being a good dad. Credit: Bike fix by Shutterstock Dads toss their kiddos in the air, they roughhouse, and they're always game for a water-balloon fight. Those may be stereotypes about Daddy's brand of parenting, but they have some basis in reality, at least according to research. Thousands of studies have found differences, on average, in how ...

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 ...