Magazine article Reason

Guerrilla Unschooling

Magazine article Reason

Guerrilla Unschooling

Article excerpt

Author Grace Llewellyn is an influential advocate of "unschooling"--learning from the world rather than in a classroom. After negative experiences in both public and private schools, the former English teacher published The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education (1991), a popular guide for adolescents who want to take learning into their own hands.

Now, with co-author Amy Silver, Llewellyn has written a book for parents who can't take their kids out of school but still want to play a larger role in their education. Llewellyn says that Guerrilla Learning: How to Give Your Kids a Real Education With or Without School (John Wiley & Sons) suggests "seeing the school system not as something that owns your kids' education, but rather seeing yourself, or your family, or your kids, as directing their education."

REASON intern Rhys Southan spoke with Llewellyn via phone in mid-July.

Q: How does school damage kids?

A: People learn passivity. People are controlled and become accustomed to control. So it constricts people into not thinking for themselves, not making choices for themselves, and not imagining very large possibilities for themselves and for the world.

Q: How effectively can you work within the school system?

A: I think the system is harmful. It's a bad system. For a lot of people, the ideal situation is just to get out. But my views have shifted in the last 10 years. …

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