Quotes are a powerful tool to convey complex ideas and insights in a concise and memorable way, making them an effective means of explaining things. So here are some of the quotes I love about unschooling and self-directed learning.
Did you know that Plato himself believed that "knowledge that is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind?"
That's right, good old Plato was against compulsory schooling.
Let us give our children the freedom to explore their passions and learn at their own pace. Learn at their own will. Let them be free to learn.
“All I am saying can be summed up in two words: Trust Children. Nothing could be more simple or more difficult. Difficult because to trust children, we must first learn to trust ourselves, and most of us were taught as children that we could not be trusted.” – John Holt
Trusting children should be simple. But as adults, we often carry the baggage of our own experiences of being mistrusted or not trusted enough as children. We need to deschool ourselves and learn to trust children to grow in their own way. Let's unlearn our own doubts and fears and have faith in the incredible potential of our children.
"Culture replaces authentic feeling with words. As an example of this, imagine an infant lying in its cradle, and the window is open, and into the room comes something marvelous, mysterious, glittering, shedding light of many colors, movement, sound, a transformative hierophany of integrated perception… and the child is enthralled and then the mother comes into the room, and she says to the child, “That’s a bird, baby, that’s a bird,“ instantly the complex wave of the angel peacock's iridescent transformative mystery is collapsed into the word. All mystery is gone, the child learns,“This is a bird, this is a bird”, and by the time we’re five or six years old, all the mystery of reality has been carefully tiled over with words… This is a bird, this is a house, this is the sky, and we seal ourselves in within a linguistic shell of disempowered perception… " - Terence McKenna
I love communicating nonverbally with babies and animals, as you need to be totally present to understand each other. And I have often thought about what gets lost when we learn words. This quote got me to think about this, and I will onwards try to be more in awe of what I see and feel and use fewer words near plants - just enjoying them. Seeing them, sensing them.
One of the things I love about Peter Gray is that he says things the way they are. And that he has his data and research in order.
" Follow your passions. That’s what almost every commencement speaker says to the new graduates. It’s almost cruel. If all you’ve been doing is school and school-like stuff, how do you have any idea what your passions might be or how to follow them? To find and follow your passions you need lots of time and freedom to play. Play, almost by definition, IS following your passions. But we’ve pretty much removed play from young people’s lives. Over the past several decades we’ve continuously increased the amount of time that children spend at school, and at schoolwork at home, and at school-like activities outside of school. We’ve turned childhood into a time of résumé building. You don’t build passions by building a résumé, trying to impress other people. You build passions by doing what you love, regardless of what others think" - Peter Gray
I just love this quote from John Holt's book 'How Children Learn'
"The best way to learn a skill is to be driven by passion and a strong desire to do something, and then you just need to learn what you need to know to do it. It is actually quite simple to learn once you are motivated, and very different from compulsory schooling, where you are forced to learn and where you often even don't know why... The danger of compulsory schooling is that it can kill a child's lust to learn. And once that has happened, it is really hard to get the fire started again. Passion is such a strong motivator for learning skills. “We think in terms of getting a skill first and then finding useful and interesting things to do with it. The sensible way, the best way, is to start with something worth doing, and then, moved by a strong desire to do it, get whatever skills are needed.” - John Holt's book 'How Children Learn.'
I will continue this list and make nice images for the quotes; if you have a quote you love - please send it my way :)