As a parent and as someone who cares deeply about elevating the state of our civilization, I rebel against the idea of letting children decide whether they feel like learning today or any day. I believe that adults must take responsibility for childrenâ€™s well-being, for their physical and intellectual growth, and that involves setting goals as well as limits, in other words, acting as the grown-up.
To be useful members of society, children will need to learn a lot more than what interests them, she writes: Examples are science, math, literature, history, civics and the arts.
(John) Dewey wrote in 1926:
There is a present tendency in so-called advanced schools of thoughtâ€¦to say, in effect, let us surround pupils with certain materials, tools, appliances, etc., and then let pupils respond to these things according to their own desires. Above all, let us not suggest any end or plan to the students; let us not suggest to them what they shall do, for that is an unwarranted trespass upon their sacred intellectual individualityâ€¦Now such a method is really stupid. For it attempts the impossible, which is always stupid; and it misconceives the conditions of independent thinking.
Via Core Knowledge.