Starting self-starters

Brian Micklethwait, who’s starting as a reading tutor, wants his students to become self-starters. He links to a story on home-schooled children learning to take charge of their own learning. Daryl Cobranchi, who teaches chemistry to a group of home-schooled children, has more thoughts.

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Comments

  1. dr. cookie says:

    This is all very nice for upper-middle-class people to lead the chorus of applause about self-starters and about how having a college education doesn’t mean anything. Unfortunately, if you are a very poor, minority kid living in a big city, progressive education stuff doesn’t work.

    Poor kids don’t come to school dying to learn. They’ve got challenges that these homeschooling folks can’t imagine.

    There is a load of evidence that sitting disadvantaged kids in a room full of books is not enough to encourage them to read. No. It’s a huge disservice to them to pretend that it is enough.

  2. 1)I don’t think most people would agree that: homeschooling = “progressive education.”

    2)Is there a load of evidence that sitting *highly advantaged* kids in front of a room full of books is enough to encourage them to read, or that these kids come to school “dying to learn?”

    3)Is there evidence that teaching disadvantaged kids in the *present* big-city systems–bureaucratic, rigid, unimaginative while subject to gales of unproven theory–works well?

  3. …There is a load of evidence that sitting disadvantaged kids in a room full of books is not enough to encourage them to read. No. It’s a huge disservice to them to pretend that it is enough.

    I’m sure that’s true, but it has nothing to do with the articles. The point was not that kids automatically come to class knowing how to be self-starters, the point was that this is something that should be taught so that they don’t start employment without knowing what to do when confronted with a room full of books.

  4. The article isn’t about self-starting. It’s about trying to define what is and isn’t “education.” We have compulsory attendance laws in this country. We don’t (and can’t) have compulsory ed. Home educators often face the criticism that we cannot provide an education equal to that in the government schools. The Sierra Times article is arguing that if our kids become self-starters (or, more accurately, auto-didacts) they are, in fact, better educated than those kids in the regular schools.

  5. Bad news for Brian: Public schools don’t assign tutors to anything but their worst failures, and those kids are definitely not self-starters. If he can change the defeatist attitudes that they either began with or had hammered into them through several years of school, he’ll be a miracle worker.