Cut on the Bias

20 12 2006

(That’s a sewing pun, for any readers unschooled in traditional home ec)

While I was checking out the “reason for the season” at Pharyngula, this came up. It’s the opposite type of dangerous academic bias decried by David Horowitz and debunked by new Wizbang Best Education Blog winner Michael Bérubé in his new book (that I just started reading yesterday and am thoroughly enjoying, alongside unschooled-into-college Thinking Student Favorite Daughter) —

hence plenty to think about, at least for those who actually like that sort of thing!

David Paszkiewicz, the history teacher recorded while proselytizing to his students, has made the NY Times. Here’s the familiar part:

Shortly after school began in September, the teacher told his sixth-period students at Kearny High School that evolution and the Big Bang were not scientific, that dinosaurs were aboard Noah’s ark, and that only Christians had a place in heaven, according to audio recordings made by a student whose family is now considering a lawsuit claiming Mr. Paszkiewicz broke the church-state boundary.

“If you reject his gift of salvation, then you know where you belong,” Mr. Paszkiewicz was recorded saying of Jesus. “He did everything in his power to make sure that you could go to heaven, so much so that he took your sins on his own body, suffered your pains for you, and he’s saying, ‘Please, accept me, believe.’ If you reject that, you belong in hell.”

The story also documents some of the reactions in the community. It’s mostly

Read the rest of this entry »

Can’t Argue With This

20 12 2006

I’m chuckling merrily to think it’s true however one takes it

“Proper handwriting is as relevant today as it ever has been.”

Can Unschooled Kids Make World “Less Miserable”?

20 12 2006

EDUCATION WEEK December 20, 2006

This child-led method of home schooling means that what children do during a typical school day is entirely up to them. In an era of increased standardized testing, top-down curricula, and the mandates of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, unschooling is attractive to some parents, who say learning should be a more organic, curiosity-inspired exercise. Advocates say it allows children to become passionate about, and invested in, their own learning.

. . .Of course, those from more traditional education circles worry that such free-form education could make it difficult for a child to adjust as an adult to the more structured world of college or work.

But Ms. Noddings of Stanford, despite her reservations about unschooling, believes just the opposite.

“Perhaps these kids may help the world be a less miserable and less structured place,” she said. “Perhaps they’ll have something to say against the overly bureaucratic system we have now.”

Pat Farenga, Alfie Kohn and Sandra Dodd are quoted, btw. I hope regular Education Week readers are paying attention this week, though it would be understandable if they are rushing off campus for their own homes and families and real lives instead, just as soon as the last bus rolls out for the holiday break.

Join a related discussion “To School — or Unschool?” here.