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Interests Dictate Studies For 'Unschoolers'

At a time when schools are fixated more than ever on standardized tests and accountability, more parents are turning to alternatives, saying their kids need less structure and stress. One of those alternative is unschooling, the idea behind which is that children will learn faster if they choose what they want to learn instead of a teacher choosing for them.
At a time when schools are fixated more than ever on standardized tests and accountability, more parents are turning to alternatives, saying their kids need less structure and stress. One of those alternative is unschooling, the idea behind which is that children will learn faster if they choose what they want to learn instead of a teacher choosing for them.

Some educators warn that the approach isn't right for every child. Children who aren't self-motivated may not function well because no one makes them do the work. Likewise, students who flit from topic to topic within a few minutes won't benefit as much as those who focus and are persistent, said Thomas Hatch, associate professor at Columbia University's Teachers College in New York City.

This article, written by Anne Ryman, appeared in the May 24th, 2006 publication of The Arizona Republic.

Published Friday, May. 26, 2006

Interests Dictate Studies For 'Unschoolers'

At a time when schools are fixated more than ever on standardized tests and accountability, more parents are turning to alternatives, saying their kids need less structure and stress. One of those alternative is unschooling, the idea behind which is that children will learn faster if they choose what they want to learn instead of a teacher choosing for them.

Some educators warn that the approach isn't right for every child. Children who aren't self-motivated may not function well because no one makes them do the work. Likewise, students who flit from topic to topic within a few minutes won't benefit as much as those who focus and are persistent, said Thomas Hatch, associate professor at Columbia University's Teachers College in New York City.

This article, written by Anne Ryman, appeared in the May 24th, 2006 publication of The Arizona Republic.

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