Life, Unschooling

The role of argument in unschooling

“Dissent stimulates new ideas because it encourages us to engage  more fully with the work of others and to reassess our viewpoints..”Group Think: the brainstorming myth.

People often ask me just how it is that the kids are educated, without a lot of what amounts to formal education prior to university.

There are many factors that work together in an unschooling home.

However, debate and discussion and just plain argument are big factors.

On any given night, you will find one son ranting about an issue and another disagreeing, vehemently, even if just for the sake of playing devil’s advocate.

Or years ago, you would find a toddler arguing with an older brother about which superhero was better…each giving as good as the other.

Or a five year old questioning Father about how do we know there is the Trinity?

And a middle grader wanting to know the importance of maths and arguing against its importance.

And everyone fighting,er, discussing early Dr Who and Star Wars  and The Karate Kid.

Research shows (see above) that this discussing of ideas, this debate, this argument, leads to critical thinking, increased creativity and motivation and attention in learning.

“Although such interactions may be unpleasant…doesn’t mean they can be avoided.The most creative spaces are those which hurl us together.”

Personal experience in our unschooling has shown me that argument can be productive, can lead to research, to logic, to reasoning…and that these count towards education just as much as textbook work. If not more so.

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