Curated via James Athanasou, Adjunct Professor in Education at University of Technology, Sydney, and associate professor, Rehabilitation Counselling at The University of Sydney // via smh.com.au
James Athanasou begins his argument by pointing out that the concern of creationism being taught in home-schooling is a distraction from its real goal of offering an alternative to the modern schooling system. It is idea for those who don’t believe in the suitability of the current schooling system.
In Australia for example, there are 30,000 home-schooled families, which given the low population compared to the United States, is quite significant. James argues that we should be encouraging the development of the home-schooling approach, where it meets the demands and needs of the children.
What many people may assume, is that home-schooling is a free for all where there is no set curriculum and it’s just a bit of a mess. Actually, it has to meet formal criteria.
“Home-schoolers must be enrolled as a student at a day school and be available when required for assessment against the regular school curriculum.” // smh.com.au
The overarching benefit of homeschooling is that it offers a great freedom for kids to be kids. Something you are less likely to find in a classroom. It offers a time to work, rest and play.
“Some will say schools prepare children for life. This is not true. For the most part, our curriculum does not reflect the interests of students or what they need to survive. We teach subjects not life.” // smh.com.au
James makes the strong statement that there is in fact very little evidence that normal schooling is effective. Canadian research shows that by Year 9 the enthusiasm and interest from kindergarten has well and truly evaporated.
46 per cent of Australians failed to meet the minimum standards for literacy recently, pushing forward the argument that traditional schooling is actually not even reaching the targets for literacy and numeracy.
Economically, there is a greater benefit in favor of homeschooling also. In Australia, by the way, 2007-08 figures show it cost about $10,722 per full-time primary student in a state classroom and $13,551 for a secondary student. Of course, this is not the case with a home-schooled child.
“Traditional schooling is like the QWERTY keyboard. It was designed for another time and place. We persist with this keyboard even though we know it is not the most optimum layout. Maybe it is time to pause and to allow freedom for alternative approaches such as home schooling.” // smh.com.au
So Creationism amongst home-schoolers is really not the problem. An alternative to traditional schooling, is.