Principles of Unschooling


Learning Happens

Frank Smith, on page 62 of his book, Insult to Intelligence, offers a “Learner’s Manifesto,” intended to tell schools what they should be doing to support learning. I noticed that it bore a strong resemblance to a list of unschooling principles and I rewrote it into that form. The following is my list of “Unschooling Principles,” and following that is the original “Learner’s Manifesto” by Frank Smith.

Principles of Unschooling by Pam Sorooshian

Learning happens all the time. The brain never stops working and it is not possible to divide time up into “learning periods” versus “non-learning periods.” Everything that goes on around a person, everything they hear, see, touch, smell, and taste, results in learning of some kind.

Learning does not require coercion. In fact, learning cannot really be forced against someone’s will. Coercion feels bad and creates resistance.

Learning feels good. It is satisfying and intrinsically rewarding. Irrelevant rewards…

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