This post is a follow up from our incredible experience hosting Peter Gray here in Charlotte (January 30, 2016).
In his talk, he refers to a blog post he wrote called “A Brief History Of Education.” If you went to the talk, you might be curious to read a bit more about this. If you didn’t go to the talk, it’s a very thought provoking read.
I reviewed some old blog posts I wrote before Mosaic was an ALC (we initially opened as a democratic free school). These posts are no longer currently viewable on the internet, but I dug a post I wrote after reading this particular blog by Gray in August of 2013:
Do you know why schooling became compulsory? In the linked blog post by Peter Gray, author of Free to Learn, he describes a brief history of education from the time of hunter-gatherer societies to today.
In the article, Gray describes how, “School gradually replaced fieldwork, factory work, and domestic chores as the child’s primary job. Just as adults put in their 8-hour day at their place of employment, children today put in their 6-hour day at school, plus another hour or more of homework, and often more hours of lessons outside of school. Over time, children’s lives have become increasingly defined and structured by the school curriculum. Children now are almost universally identified by their grade in school, much as adults are identified by their job or career.”
Are your children defined by their grade? Do they see themselves as more than a person who is “not good at math” or in the “top reading group?” Could this mindset be a contributing factor to increased depression and anxiety in the future due to a dependence on defining oneself through arbitrary standards?
It was fun for me to see that I am still just as passionate about this topic as I was then!