DIY Schooling is already happening, but it’s under the guise of homeschooling: outsourced classes for Independent Learners held at churches, community centers, or in the freelance-educators’ homes. Young people go to places where classes are being held for Independent Learners.
(See Learning Tribe and LEAD in Decatur, Georgia, and Metro Academic Studies in Atlanta, Georgia. There are many others too.)
Freelance-teachers are not in a school building. They’re saying “I’m teaching biology at this place on Tuesday and this other place on Thursday.”
This also solves the “problem” of “socialization” that some people fret over when they consider homeschooling. The young person is not at home–they are in gatherings with peers multiple days a week.
DIY Schooling takes advantage of this phenomenon and develops it in order to encourage autonomy. Why?
Visible Learning, by John Hattie is subtitled “A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement.” Here’s the kicker:
The remarkable feature of the evidence is that the biggest effects on student learning occur when teachers become learners of their own teaching, and when students become their own teachers. (page 22)
So the more we encourage autonomy, the sooner the students become their own teachers, and you get the biggest impact on student learning.
When you are your own teacher, you’re always doing what’s important to you, not what someone else says is important. You’re creating your own curriculum. (This gets back to the original title of this blog: Pull Not Push education as described by Charles Leadbeater in his TED Talk. You pull to you the things that matter most–the people, media, or resources that are most relevant to your life, interests, or needs.)
Now this doesn’t mean you work in a vacuum, of course. You find communities of practitioners, or experts, or mentors to learn from. Independent Learners have always met regularly for shared classes or for just to play/socialize. When you teach yourself, you’re always listening and reading and talking to others. “School is connections.” (HT to @boadams1)
DIY School may be about acquiring knowledge and expertise and skills in order to land a desirable job, but that just fuels the world of division and hierarchy and status. This is a way to educate for wisdom. We need avenues of learning and ways to cultivate wisdom. This is one avenue.
Progressive businesses care about What can you do, and What have you already done. (Also very important: superior writing skills and exceptional “soft skills”–patience, empathy, compassion, genuine deep listening, communication, people skills).
But this isn’t even about getting a good job.
This is about becoming an integrated person who cares about the world, who cares about others, who is exploring how to make the world a better place.
I just came across this Alice Walker video on youtube. She says:
It’s so important to do work that you absolutely love. It’s the only way you really grow; is who you’re meant to be.