August 31, 2011

An Unschooling School?

I just finished reading Sir Ken Robinson's The Element.  He talks about education at the end of the book and mentions the Reggio approach.

"The curriculum is child-directed; teachers take their lessons where student interests dictate.  The setting of the school is vitally important and considered an essential teaching tool.  Teachers fill the rooms with dramatic play areas, worktables, and multiple environments where the kids can interact, problem-solve, and learn to communicate effectively."

He goes on, " Reggio teachers build the school year around weeklong short-term projects and yearlong long-term projects in which students make discoveries from a variety of perspectives, learn to hypothesize, and discover how to collaborate with one another, all in the context of a curriculum that feels a great deal like play.  The teachers consider themselves researchers for the children, helping them to explore more of what interests them, and they see themselves as continuing to learn alongside their pupil."

If we had a school like that even remotely close to us, I would enroll my kids in a heartbeat.  That's the unschooliest school I've ever heard of.


  1. A friend of mine runs a democratically run school based on the Summerhill model. I teach a class there, and my youngest attends part time.

  2. I have read studies about school/classrooms that operate on the ideas you describe, and the research proves that most children excel in this setting. Like you I wish there were schools like this where I lived.