10 Jun UNschooling
My wife and I (well, more-so my wife) are looking into unschooling our daughter Jamison. It is a form of homeschooling that follows your child’s interests, therefore not killing the desire to learn in the child. There is no curriculum, but a way of working different subjects into your child’s interest at the moment. I’m pretty excited about this because I really feel the public education system is stuck in a paradigm they cannot get out of. It’s too big and only seems to be deteriorating more and more.
But ultimately the idea is that exploring the world and absorbing knowledge is something we inherently want to do. Funneling everyone through the same curriculum kills that energy and desire – or at least it can for many people. I know school was certainly not set up for me as I thought I was dumb until I took a philosophy class in college. It was also hard for me to focus on school with the craziness of what was going on at home but that’s another story.
So this brings me to my whole decision making process about getting my PhD. With getting into web design recently, and wanting to start projects that make a difference, I find myself wanting a PhD less. Why? Because it many ways it is an old paradigm of climbing a ladder into the ivory tower, jumping through ambiguous hoops along the way. I ultimately want to make a difference in this world by thinking differently, by helping others see themselves and the world differently. I want to learn from other people who are already seeing things with fresh eyes.
Seth Godin’s idea of poking the box has also motivated me. I don’t necessarily want to teach in university, but I do want more knowledge. Would I get that in obtaining a PhD? Of course, I would, but I also do a ton of self-directed learning and reading. Back to unschooling, I don’t need a school or a professor to motivate me to learn, to write, to think outside the box. Another thing Seth Godin talks about is not following the status quo, but inventing it. That’s completely what I feel I was made to do. Going to receive my PhD is just following a very typical line of getting approved. It also keeps you in a very narrow understanding of the world. You must study a specific line of study, and although that very subject could be very open, it can still be narrow.
I want to speak from the outside looking in. If I jump in, it will be much harder for me to see. I want to comment on and transform psychotherapy. It’s an old process. Yes, there are newer theories and such, but it’s still an older process of change. I believe in it very much, but you better believe there is something we’re missing, something that will help us evolve, and it might not be about studying to be a therapist and then getting licensed, and then sitting with clients going through the same process. I don’t know what it will look like but it can be better.
I don’t buy into the line “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” That’s stupid. We evolve and grow all the time. Our ideas and how we live always can too. Yes, there are times when we need to just chill and enjoy where we are and I agree with that, but I am also made to keep thinking. It’s just how I”m wired. And I’m realizing more and more that if I squeeze myself through a PhD I will spend a lot of time and money on something that might not really help me in the end to step outside the box – to reinvent the box. I want to unschool myself and those around me.