Life Media E-Newsletter: January 2009

 Free Skools: Learning For Its Own Sake
Most of our readers are familiar with the term “free school” as it relates to a democratic alternative school for children. But (sometimes spelled “free skool”), it also refers to a decentralized network in which skills, information and knowledge are shared outside of the institutional environment of formal schooling. In this context, a free school is a grassroots effort, a collection of individuals of all ages acting collectively to share knowledge and skills within their communities. One of the ways in which this type of student-centered learning environment differs from regular educational institutions (including democratic and alternative schools) is the lack of tuition; people help each other learn without charging fees. The March/April issue of Natural Life will feature an article about one such experiment. And we’re compiling a list of these decentralized learning networks on the Life Learning website. ( Input welcome.)
“I Was Unschooled”
The only education is self education, said professor of biochemistry and science fiction writer Isaac Asimov. All people — children included — are happiest and most productive when they are free to choose the direction of their own lives. When learning is a chore, what is really being learned? Michelle Stille is a young woman whose mother was wise enough to know that, and Michelle has written about her learning experiences in a web-exclusive article on the Life Learning site.
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