A long, long time ago, when I was first getting really interested in unschooling and democratic education, I came across a great article in YES! Magazine. I cut it out and pasted it on my wall. Then I made copies and passed them out to all the kids I worked with (at the time, I worked in a youth homeless center). Then I made all my friends copies.
I was a little obsessed. But it’s a really nice piece. It’s so simple, yet the article pin-points exactly what real education (and life) should be about. It’s not always predetermined or set in stone. Real education and your life should be ever-changing and diverse, just like this list.
Long story short, here’s part of the piece – 101 Ways To Get Educated:
- Grow enough grain for one loaf of bread — and make and eat the loaf
- Answer ALL the questions of a 3 year old for a week
- Spend a day alone in a wild place
- Follow your trash to its final resting place
- Collect food and blankets and spend a day giving them to homeless people taking the time to stop and talk about life
- Help in the birth of a lamb, cow, or horse
- Visit a slaughter house (try to withhold judgment)
- Organize a rite of passage ceremony for an adolescent, someone at mid-life, or yourself
- Switch genders for the day
- Build a house (your own, or for Habitat for Humanity)
- Ask a low rider how the lifters on their car work
- Apprentice yourself to someone you’ve always wanted to learn from
- Take a picture of you and all your stuff in front of the place where you live. Compare it to the pictures in Peter Menzel’s Material World
- Read the sacred texts of another tradition
To see the rest of the 101 ways to get educated, head over to YES!. In the comments, tell me what experiences you’d add to this list.