【Exploration in Education】Children's Self-Education
We adults have certain responsibilities to our children and the children of the world. Our responsibility is to create a safe, healthy and respectful environment for children in which they can develop. Our responsibilities include ensuring suitable food, fresh air, a non-toxic play environment, and plenty of opportunities to interact with people of all ages at will. We have a responsibility to lead by example and to demonstrate human dignity. However, there is one thing we need not worry about, and that is how to educate our children. Children can still learn without going through school When I say that education is children's responsibility and they are born to do it, I
Education to explore
Hunter-gatherer children must learn a great deal to become successful adults.
If you think education is not a big deal for hunter-gatherers because they don't need to learn anything, you'd be wrong. In fact, they have to learn a lot.
To be effective hunters, boys must learn the habits of the two or three hundred species of beasts that the tribe often hunts, must be able to track prey from the most hidden clues, and must be able to make perfect hunting tools, such as bows and arrows, air guns, wool, snares, nets, and use these tools with high skill.
To be an efficient forager, girls must learn to recognize a wide variety of edible, nutritious roots, nuts, seeds, fruits and leaves, know where to find them in what season, how to dig, and how Take the edible parts and sometimes know what to do with them to make them edible or more nutritious. These abilities also include physical skills developed over many years, as well as the ability to memorize, add, and modify information about ingredients transmitted by a large number of oral cultures in order to make use of them.
In addition to this, hunter-gatherer children had to learn to navigate their vast gathering areas, build fur huts, help with childbirth, care for babies, play music, and perform various dances and cultural rituals. Because there is no division of labor in the tribe, at most men hunt and women gather, and everyone must master most of the knowledge and skills of their own culture.
Children are self-taught. While hunter-gatherer children have to learn a lot, hunter-gatherers don't have schools.
Adults also don't set lessons, or try to encourage kids, or teach them lessons, or monitor their progress. When asked how children learn what they need, the adults' response is generally: "They teach themselves through observation, play, and exploration." Occasionally adults may offer a bit of advice, or demonstrate Find out how to do it better, like how to make arrows, but only when the kids explicitly ask for it. Adults do not organize, lead, or interfere in children's activities. They have no worries about children's education. Thousands of years of experience have proved that children are experts in educating themselves.
- Children are free to play at any time and they do not have to do any work until the age of 15.
——Both boys and girls play freely all day long almost every day.
- Boys can play freely until they are 15 to 17 years old; girls, sometimes do chores, or watch the children, and other than that, it is all play.
- Children play from morning till night.
Children of hunter-gatherers have such wide freedom to pursue their interests in large part because adults fully understand that these pursuits are the surest path to education. Another part of the reason is the spirit of equal autonomy that prevailed in hunter-gatherer cultures, both for adults and children. Hunter-gatherers see children as full adults, with equal rights. They assume that once children develop enough to contribute to the tribal group, children will do it voluntarily, and there is no need to force children, or anyone else, to do things they don't want to do. Alas, our instincts to learn and to contribute to our own team have evolved in a world where we trust our instincts.
Children not only observe all activities, but also imitate them in play and become more and more skillful through play. As they get older, their play gets closer to actual activity. There is not a big gap between playful participation and real participation in the activities that the child group loves.
Children often imitate activities that are important to adults: digging roots of plants, fishing, smoking thorn tails out of burrows, cooking, babysitting, climbing trees, weaving rattan ladders, using knives and other tools, making tools, Carrying heavy things, making rafts, building fires, defending against predators, imitating animals (a means of identifying animals and learning their habits), playing music, dancing, telling stories, arguing. Because children of different ages always play together, the little ones can learn from the older ones.
There is no need for anyone to order or encourage the children to do this. They all do it naturally, because just like kids everywhere, all they want is to grow up to be as successful as the adults they've seen. The desire to grow up is a powerful motivator that, paired with the drive to play and explore, ensures that when given the opportunity, children continue to practice techniques and become effective adults.
For the past 40 years, the best kept secret in the American education system is the Symphony Valley School, the vast majority of education students have never heard of it, and the teachers of the education department ignore it, not out of malice, but because they don't. Ways to include it in the framework of their pre-existing educational thinking. The educational model of the Seir Valley School is not a variation of the standard education, it is not a progressive version of the traditional school, it is not a Montessori school, it is not a Dewey school, it is not even a Piaget school of construction. To understand this school, you have to completely abandon the current way of thinking in mainstream educational thinking. You have to start with the idea that adults cannot control the education of children, children educate themselves. But now the secret has been leaked, mostly by students and people who have experienced Sergu School firsthand. I expect that 50 years from now, the vast majority of educators will see today's methods of education as barbaric remnants of the past. One wonders why the world has taken so long to understand this simple and self-evident truth, which is the founding principle of the Seir Valley School: Children educate themselves, we don't need us to educate them. Let's talk about some of the different ways the school operates.
The school does not have tenure-track staff, and all are on one-year contracts that must be renewed each year by secret ballot. Because the student-to-staff vote is 20:1, staff who survive the process and are re-elected are particularly well-liked by students. They are all very kind, moral, and capable individuals who make a significant contribution to the overall school environment, and they are role models that some students feel they can learn from.
The school's statutes are enforced by the Judicial Council, whose membership changes periodically, but always includes an adult staff member representing students of different ages in the school. When a student or staff member is sued for a violation by another member of the school, the plaintiff and defendant must face the Judicial Committee, accept the decision of the committee and, if found guilty, accept appropriate punishment. In all of this, staff and students are treated equally, and no one is above the law.
All regulations have nothing to do with learning. The school does not conduct any examinations and does not assess the progress of students. The school has no curriculum and does not try to encourage students to learn. Classes only take place when students spontaneously organize, and classes stop once students no longer need them. Many students have never attended a class and the school will not see this as a problem. School staff do not consider themselves teachers, they consider themselves adult members of the school providing a wide range of services to the school, one of which is teaching. The vast majority of their teaching activities are everyday human activities: answering questions and giving advice in honest conversation.
For the vast majority of students, the most important resource a school provides is its students, who have an extremely wide range of interests and talents. Because the school is mixed age, children are often exposed to the activities or ideas of older or younger children. Mixed-age play gives the little ones the opportunity to learn from the older ones. For example, many students learn to recognize words because they like to play games (including video games) that require recognition of words with students who already recognize words, and they learn to recognize words unknowingly.
A lot of exploration at school by students, especially teenagers, is mostly through conversation. Students talk to each other, or to school staff, and through these conversations they are exposed to a wide range of ideas and arguments. Since the school has no official authority, all the words in the conversation are treated as opinions to think about rather than correct answers to rote for exams. Talking is quite different from rote memorization for exams, because talking stimulates the intellect. Long ago, the great Russian psychologist Liv Vygotsky argued that talk is the basis of higher intelligence, and my observations of the students of the Sergu School convinced me that he was right. Thinking is internalized talk.