Vlorbik's Diner

son of owen's cooking show

a petri-disch community

Posted by vlorbik on April 4, 2010

florida school reform in WaPo.

now with bloglike pop-up commentation from users:
deschooling society (dot-digress.it).

my life in schools.

primary first.
i was… more than most people even…
the subject of an *educational experiment*:
at university elementary school in the sixties
many of us even as kids spoke of ourselves
as “guinea pigs” for indiana university,
its ed school in particular. there were
great big ungainly boxes like a filing cabinet
on wheels that ran remote controls for
closed-circuit-TV cameras following us
through our lessons. for example.
and we were tested tested tested
you’d better believe… the “iowa test
of basic skills” seems to have come up
pretty often (anyhow the name sticks).
but remember it was the sixties:
we were also getting “the new math”,
a from-the-ground-up approach based
on *set theory*. this approach allegedly
flopped nationwide because its teachers
didn’t understand its principles.
ours sure did and it was far the clearest
thing in school or life then or now
as far as i’ve been able to determine.
there was plenty of (what’s now called)
“discovery learning” going on too:
it was the very *age* of “do your own thing”
and our teachers had breathed in its spirit
at a rich source. (iu bloomington, as we
will see, was my very *garden of eden*,
the paradise i’ve been exiled from
[for my knowledge of good and evil]).

so there was a lot of best-of-both-worlds
and i was right at home. in fact, i was
pretty much at home *anywhere* in those days
and i knew it: my family did two years
(“kindergarten” and “4th grade” for me)
abroad with *lots* of travel time
in croatia and the rest of what was then
known as “yugoslavia”… slovenia, serbia,
bosnia, and so on… plus poland, czechoslovakia
(another name change for the present-day),
austria, and on and on. *we* were together
and it felt it would just naturally always
be so. we five: dad, mom, elder sister
hannah, me, younger brother nathan.

sixth grade was pivotal. i’ll have mentioned
it already in this very blog i think; anyway
i hereby promise to return to this subject.

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2 Responses to “a petri-disch community”

  1. jd2718 said

    I was trailing edge new math. Maybe it was watered down. Mostly I remember sets. Everywhere I went there was freedom, but this was the end of the 60s (most people would correct me and say early 70s, but I’m using 60s as an image, not a time), so everywhere there was freedom, but especially the year in Amherst.

    Anyhow, ALL of the math stuck.

    Jonathan

  2. vlorbik said

    http://deschoolingsociety.digress.it/learning-webs/?paragraph=13#13

    A political program which does not explicitly recognize the need for deschooling is not revolutionary; it is demagoguery calling for more of the same.

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