Free School

Have you ever wondered about education with an equitable method that benefits as many people as possible instead of only who can afford it?

Have you been questioning today’s “higher education system” that seems to rely more on loans and debt than it does freedom?

Well then the Free schooling method may be for you then.

What is free schooling?

Free schooling is education through means of decentralized networks in which skills, information, subject matters, and knowledge are shared without a hierarchy or the institutional environment of your usual formal schooling. Free school students can be any age as education goes throughout life according to the philosophy of free schools. The open structure of free schools is intended to encourage self-reliance, critical consciousness, and personal development. Free schools often find themselves operating outside of a standard market economy in favor of a gift economy or an economy of reciprocity. Giving with an expectation of something back like a mere relationship with someone such as that of a girlfriend/boyfriend/marriage, etc. Although I truly think giving without any expectation of return back to you is true love, reciprocity over worship of money is a fabulous beginning towards the right direction.

However the “free” in free schools is not restricted to monetary costs especially if families, individuals, businesses and organizations cannot necessarily afford the education that is currently out there and want a different means of educating themselves. The emphasis of free schooling also is on free speech and student-centered education. Free schools are usually formed at a grassroots level by a group of individuals in a community collectively working together autonomously, creating educational opportunities which promote skill-sharing within their communities that they represent. For instance the Free School that operates in Toronto Ontario Canada describes itself as “a volunteer-run, autonomous collective offering free courses, workshops, and lectures.”

According to the Free Skools Project Wiki Spaces page, “the Free skool movement draws influences from classical anarchism, the new left radicalism of the 1960s, and the DIY punk ethos of 1980s radical social movements. Additionally there are influences from back-to-the-land movements that draw on radical forms of ecology, popular education movements that aim for liberation of the oppressed, and unschoolers who seek to end the school as an institution. In all, the philosophical roots of free skool education are a disparate collage, much like the free skool movement itself.

“For over thirty years in perhaps the most radical experiment in American education, this small inner-city alternative school has offered its students complete freedom over their learning. There are no mandatory classes, no grades, tests, or homework, and rules are generally avoided. As a last resort, rules are created democratically by students and teachers, often at the prompting of a student. At a time when our educators are mandated to march forward with no child left behind, the students of the Free School, many of whom would have fallen through the cracks of today’s failing public school system, have managed to slip out of education’s back door and have run away free.”

-Jeff Root & Bhawin Suchak

Free to Learn: A Radical Experiment in Education

Free School Wikis Spaces:

http://freeskoolsproject.wikispaces.com/theory

Free School Theory:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchistic_free_school#cite_note-1

The Albany Free School:

http://www.albanyfreeschool.org/

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