Category Archives: contrarian

“Schools should be on the edge of chaos”

“We are inspired by the way kindergarten students learn through a spiraling process in which they imagine what they want to do, create a project based on their ideas, play with their creations, share their ideas and creations with others, and reflect on their experiences – all of which leads them to imagine new ideas and new projects.”

From: A case for life-long kindergarten, Mitch Resnick

http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2011/09/a-case-for-lifelong-kindergarten/

Sounds like Sudbury Valley School, except that it *is* that way for all ages.

SEE ALSO:
Every day is show-and-tell day at SVS (or not)

https://ehaugsjaa.wordpress.com/2015/01/13/every-day-is-show-and-tell-day-at-sudbury-valley-school-or-not/

“Schools should be on the edge of chaos”
from SchoolsForTomorrow: Session 3 – The Students

Learning Spiral:

From article:
All I Really Need to Know (About Creative Thinking) I Learned (By Studying How Children Learn) in Kindergarten
Mitch Resnick

http://web.archive.org/web/20140722153124/http://web.media.mit.edu/~mres/papers/CC2007-handout.pdf

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Filed under contrarian, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

Save me from high school

“I’ve never watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but the idea that high school is a portal to hell seems pretty realistic to me.” –Peter Buck, R.E.M.

from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everybody_Hurts (Every Body Hurts by REM)

OK, so I appreciate that many HS experiences are less than ideal shall we say, and I understand part of this is brain development and hormones and such, but I think very often (95%?) it is largely institutional.  Instead, people look back at their HS days and often blame themselves and/or think “well, that’s just the way it is”.   Kids are actual people.  But schools do not treat kids like actual full human beings who want autonomy, freedom, responsibility, etc, etc.  It should not be so.  And it is not so at Sudbury Valley School.

But hey, he can write a song if he wants to. I will report back once our kids are teenagers (at their school Sudbury Valley School http://sudval.org/) but seems like there is absolutely no reason why most teenagers can’t be perfectly happy too.

UPDATE: SEE ALSO:
SVS: Where does happiness come from?

http://blog.sudburyvalley.org/2015/02/where-does-happiness-come-from/

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Filed under contrarian, happiness, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

ENViROnMENTAL FAIL: review: Briggs & Stratton Smart-Fill Spout vs…

1.9 stars. Typical 1-star review excerpt: “I’d like to discuss this matter with the numb-skull who though that it would be more friendly to the polar bears to pour gas all over oneself rather than venting the can as it has been done for years…through a vent hole.” LINK

So stick with the vent hole method if possible! 1 spill is worth 1000 ventings. Go with the ventings.

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Filed under contrarian, erik-green, green, reviews

Just depends…

4 Reasons You Should Not Send Your Child to College

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adam-rico/4-reasons-you-should-not-send-your-child-to-college_b_6544344.html

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An aside: Everything I’ve heard on college “yes/no” or college “which one?”

1. Incomes are correlated not caused by people who get into fancy schools
2. Incomes are correlated with STEM sorts of careers
3. Happiness is not caused by incomes, beyond a certain base level which is needed to not be poor
4. This base level for income might be affected SERIOUSLY by student loans.
5. Lots of careers which pay well have nothing to do with college
6. Many careers which do pay well also have other entry points (programming/software engineers)
7. For jobs requiring certification, all the employers typically care about is the cert (not the school). And sometimes state schools are favored.
8. Not everyone is a “book smarts” kind of person. Who the heck cares. There are about a million types of smarts in the world.

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Filed under college, contrarian, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

Competition and climate change

http://scripting.com/2015/01/18/howToGetSmaller.html

“Our programming has led us to where we are. Evolution, survival of the fittest, competitiveness. All this was good for the first 99 percent of human existence. But now we need a new kind of mind, one that does not view the self as all-important. It’s such a foreign idea, so hard to explain in words, precisely because our minds were designed to reject the idea of personal sacrifice. Our goal, which was a good one from an evolution standpoint, was to suck up as much resources as we can, so our offspring will have a better chance when fighting with nature, and competing against the other people’s offspring. This can no longer be the way we do things.”

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Filed under climate change, contrarian, erik-green, green

Play not fear

““We know how kids learn; we know what classes should look like, and yet our classes look almost the opposite,””

http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/12/how-deprogramming-kids-from-how-to-do-school-could-improve-learning/

““Students clearly learned in Mr. Holman’s class, and he never pushed fear,” wrote a former student, Kate Nunke, in an email. She described the rest of her high school experience as one long fear fest: “Fear of not getting into college, fear of not passing, fear of disappointing parents, fear of looking like a fool in front of your peers,” the list goes on.”

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Shimer College AND Why I Am Teaching a Course Called “Wasting Time on the Internet”

Shimer College: the worst school in America?

This tiny, eccentric institution in Chicago was just voted the worst place to study in America. But does Shimer, which shuns lectures and has no societies or clubs, deserve such an accolade? Jon Ronson went there to investigate

http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/dec/06/shimer-college-illinois-worst-school-america

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Why I Am Teaching a Course Called “Wasting Time on the Internet”

“The idea for this class arose from my frustration with reading endless indictments of the Web for making us dumber. I’ve been feeling just the opposite. We’re reading and writing more than we have in a generation, but we are reading and writing differently—skimming, parsing, grazing, bookmarking, forwarding, retweeting, reblogging, and spamming language—in ways that aren’t yet recognized as literary.”

http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/wasting-time-on-the-internet

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Filed under college, consumer society, contrarian, creativity, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School