Monday, October 16, 2006

Saturday Quote

I should have known that the instant I decide to make it a regular "Saturday Quote" that I would never get it done on Saturdays! The quote below is from a neat book called Guerilla Learning, and I feel like it explains rather well why we are homeschooling Reese right now. I have been wrestling lately with the question of when, if ever, we do enroll Reese in a school, how will that mesh with my feelings about experience, exploration, freedom of choice in studies, etc. I have learned so much from my reading lately, and I feel conflicted because most schools I have experienced (either from teaching or attending) really go against what we feel to be the best for Reese. I just hope when it comes time to enroll Reese in a school of some sort, that it will be one that meets our new found goals.

“Here is what we think lies behind the mysterious power of homeschooling: Real learning requires meaning. Meaningless information can be memorized and repeated, but that’s not learning. It’s more like programming, or what writer Joseph Chilton Pearce calls “conditioning.”

For information to have meaning, there must be a meaningful context for the information. Information without a context is not actually information at all but data. For example, a computer stores data, but it doesn’t understand the data. For the data to become information, a human being has to get involved.

For real learning to take place, the information must occur in a world. For medical students, for example, the world in which learning occurs can be seen as the world of healing, the lab, and the hospital. For auto mechanics, it’s the world of the garage. People can be asked to absorb a certain amount of meaningless data in good faith, on the promise that eventually it will be related to a larger world and transformed into information. But most people can’t absorb meaningless data on good faith for twelve years.”

Guerrilla Learning: How To Give Your Kids A Real Education With Or Without School

by Grace Llewellyn & Amy Silver

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