64th Carnival of Education

April 27, 2006 @ 3:30 am | Filed under:

Hosted by Education Wonk. I found this piece on a Maryland private school particularly interesting. Fairhaven operates on the Sudbury model, but the blog piece by Matt Johnston doesn’t mention Sudbury or explore the tenets of a Sudbury/unschooling education. Johnston has doubts as to whether Fairhaven’s students are receiving any kind of an education at all:

But the problem with this style of progressive educational model is that it is based on the whims of children, a notoriously shifting footing for a school to operate.

Experience is a wonderful teacher, but without guided reflection, without guided experience, nothing is learned from experience and no one can learn from the experiences of others. Afterall, you can’t keep reinventing the wheel and then expect to build a spaceship.

Unschoolers and Sudbury advocates would argue that “guided reflection” does occur for these students, primarily through informal but efficacious conversation with the adults in their lives.

What amazes me about Fairhaven is that there are that many parents willing to pay $6600 a year for the kind of self-directed education their children could experience at home absolutely for free.

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  1. Leslie in Springfield says:

    A newspaper recently did an article on Fairhaven– I read it via a link on the VaEclecticHS yahoo group. The school is open to receive students for a large number of hours per day– something like 9 am to 5 pm– which would make the tuition roughly equal to the cost of full-time day care. Many of the parents quoted in the article are “working” parents (one was a public school staff member), so Fairhaven might be as close to homeschooling as they can get. Just a thought…

  2. Christy says:

    I think one key difference between Fairhaven and homeschooling is that Fairhaven provides a community of learners. (And the PP made a good point about working parents, too)

    Although it’s true that a lot of homeschooling parents find social outlets for their kids (groups of homeschooled kids, sports leagues, community college classes, choir, dance lessons, etc), Fairhaven has it all in one place with other kids, adults, and resources to interact with. And the kids are their own government too.