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.