In John Dewey’s book School and Society, he reminds us that “What the best and wisest parent wants for his own child, that must the community want for all of its children.” I by no means consider myself the “best and wisest parent” but I do suspect that most parents share a set of ideas about the kind of education they want for their children.
~ My child is an absolutely unique expression of human being. He is not an interchangeable part on an assembly line.
~ My child has unlimited potential; education should foster her dreams and talents.
~ There is a deep well of creativity lurking in my child. Educational experiences should call this forth.
~ My child has a timetable that is his own. I believe that his learning should be paced to match that, not the other way around.
~ My child has ideas that are important; I want her to feel free to express them, and to expect that she will be listened to respectfully.
~ My child’s social, emotional, and spiritual development is as essential as his academic learning.
~ I want my child to experience the deep pleasure that is inherent in learning about the world; learning should not be seen as drudgery or punishment.
~ I want my child to master skills that are important to her, and which enable her to succeed in life.
~ There are a zillion interesting things to learn about; I want my child to exercise choice over what he will study.
~ It is important to me that my child becomes a responsible member of the community; I want him to care about other people, plants, animals, the well-being of the earth and the state of the world. I want his learning to foster this care, as well as awe, wonder, curiosity, appreciation, sensitivity and a dedication to life-long learning.
(Adapted from Unschooling in Paradise)