Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Deschooling

I was reading a comment by a German-speaking blogger about 1000Sunny, a father in the process of deschooling (and one of my favourite bloggers). She is rather annoyed that he goes on about how bad school is and how wonderful unschooling is (of course it is wonderful, I agree ;-) ). She takes umbrage at the fact that he seems to reduce having children who are in the school system to the equation, "I don't love my children and I don't want to understand them".

Whilst I think that there is a bit of button pressing going on there and that this blogger might also want to take this as an opportunity to examine why she feels so annoyed by the stance he is taking (or seems, to her, to be taking) I can also understand (and maybe I, too, am just projecting) where he might be coming from. My mother-in-law says that people who give up smoking generally annoy her more than lifelong unsmokers. She calls them "reborn lungs". She is referring to people who are so taken up with the new joys of non-smoking that they have strong negative reactions to people around them who still smoke - who campaign loudest for anti-smoking legislation. (I, by the way, am a lifelong unsmoker, except for one occasion when I was 15). I have also seen this attitude in new mothers who come to my breastfeeding support group and go through a period of perceiving bottlefeeding as a form of child abuse, even though they had considered breastfeeding and bottlefeeding to be equal choices before they had children.

When making big, life-changing, philosophical decisions, most people tend to swing like a pendulum from one extreme to the other before settling somewhere in the middle. Maybe it is important for people to go through this stage of experience strong revulsion against and rejection of their previous lifestyle choices. Maybe deschooling truly happens when one can look at school and teachers and schoolpupils and their parents without having an emotional reaction.

3 comments:

freiebildung said...

Hi, thank you for naming me as one of your favorite bloggers.
I must really have misformulated a few things... I thought I was taking the side for the parents of Tim (a new amok-runner)- and all school-parents go at me, as if I would have said such an equation.
Thank you for defending me a bit :)
I noticed that my whole blog isn't any more about unschooling - it's just another platform to discuss school. So now I hope, I start a real unschooler blog - because the last weeks with my children taught me, that I still knew too little about unschooling itself and that wide horizons open.

scatty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
scatty said...

Hi, 1000Sunny. I tried to be careful not to say that you think in this way, which was why I said that the other blogger was annoyed at what you seem (to her) to be saying and suggested that this might also just be her projecting her own unacknowledged feelings onto your words. I see this kind of thing with breastfeeding too, where some mothers who have bottlefed for a variety of reasons that are usually out of their control perceive breastfeeding advocates as belittling them. It's very hard not to step on toes, especially when some people have very long toes.