Essays

UNSCHOOLING AS SOCIAL CHANGE

BY ZAKIYYA ISMAIL

Unschooling is that radical space of possibility of the practice of freedom where each of us can live up to our own images of who we are and who we can be. Unschooling is ultimately the practice of freedom!

READ MORE

LEARNING REIMAGINED CONFERENCE: WHY UNSCHOOLING AS DECOLONISATION

BY ZAKIYYA ISMAIL

I’ve been asked why Unschooling as Decolonisation as a theme for the Learning Reimagined Conference? Maybe more of you are wondering, so here goes.

READ MORE

UNSCHOOLING UNPACKED – A SEMANTIC MUSING

BY ZAKIYYA ISMAIL

Once upon a time, a long long time ago, and also not so long ago and also still today in some spaces, children participate/d in their communities in whatever ways that were appropriate for their bodies and minds. They lived and learned simply from being part of the community. There was no special place or time just for learning, removed from living and the broader community.

READ MORE

BRINGING UP THE PARENTS

BY RENUKA RAMROOP

For a long time I was in a warm comfort zone regarding my kids and their lack of interest in technology or television. I am from the camp that do not see any ‘real’ value in technology for young kids.

READ MORE

COMING HOME TO LSUC

BY ZAKIYYA ISMAIL

I’ve had a long running relationship with the Learning Societies unConference (LSuC), since I first discovered it years ago. Of course, it’s been a one directional relationship. LSuC didn’t even know of my existence, but every year, I watched each event unfold, the dates being announced, the registrations being opened, the build up to each event, and then, when the event got going, all the pictures and reflections of participants there. I longed to be there….

READ MORE

OBJECTIONS TO DRAFT HOME EDUCATION POLICY

BY ZAKIYYA ISMAIL

In November 2017, the South African Deparment of Basic Education released its draft policy on Home Education and asked for public comments on the policy.

READ MORE

RESPONSE TO THE BASIC EDUCATION LAW AMENDMENT BELA

BY ZAKIYYA ISMAIL

The South African Schools Act (SASA) is of concern in its entirety, as it speaks to a philosophy and approach to education that is opposed to the freedom of education, educational innovation, knowledge diversity and variety of pedagogy – all components which should be fundamental in any democratic society. Amendments to the Act include a 6 year jail sentence for non compliance and focussed alignment with state mandated CAPS curriculum.

READ MORE

CORPORAL PUNISHMENT IN SOUTH AFRICA – WE’RE STILL AWAITING A FULL BAN

BY GROWING MINDS

In 2014, Carte Blanche did a segment on the potential ban of corporal punishment in the home and one of the people they interviewed on the topic was child rights advocate, Carol Bower. Unfortunately, Carte Blanche were not as thorough as parents would have liked in their reporting and it has left people afraid and angry about the potential ramifications of their chosen methods of parenting.

READ MORE

OPEN LETTER TO EUSEBIUS MCKAISER

BY ZAKIYYA ISMAiL

On the July 2 2017, Eusebius Msckaiser, radio presenter, political analyst, broadcaster, lecturer and writer,  posted publicly on his facebook page his witnessing of an interaction between a mother and child. It seemed like his post was shared with humorous intent. But neither his words nor the subsequent comments from parents celebrating the numerous ways – which include violence and threats of violence – were funny to me.

READ MORE

MY SCHOOL ~ RABINDRANATH TAGORE

BY ZAKIYYA ISMAiL

In 1863, Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, established a school modelled on the principles of humanism and sustainability, in Bengal, India.  He later delivered a lecture in America which was subsequently published in Personality London: MacMillan, 1933.  This lecture can be found in various places on the web.

READ MORE

DESCHOOLING READING LIST

BY ZAKIYYA ISMAiL

Popular perception holds that the institution of schooling is the panacea that will eliminate poverty and inequality and bring prosperity to all who have access to it. It doesn’t matter where people fall on the political spectrum, left, right in between or not on it at all, they all have a shared understanding of the necessity for compulsory schooling for all children.

READ MORE

AN IMMIGRANT DESCHOOLER IN A NATIVE UNSCHOOLER’S WORLD

BY ZAKIYYA ISMAiL

It’s often easy to differentiate immigrants from natives. Immigrants can try to immerse themselves into their native hosts’ world as best they can, but they still end up speaking the native’s language with an accent, sometimes they find some of the customs perplexing or approach them differently and often times they view various aspects of the native’s world very differently from the way the natives view their own worlds.

READ MORE

SCHOOLING: IT’S NOT ABOUT LEARNING

BY ZAKIYYA ISMAiL

There is a strong sentiment amongst education academics against children learning exclusively outside of schools. Professor Jonathen Jansen, Vice Chancellor and Rector of the University of Free State, South Africa, recently shared this sentiment (to much applause) on Facebook.

READ MORE

Why We Need to Reimagine Schooling and Education

BY ZAKIYYA ISMAiL

I am well aware that to question the value of free and compulsory schooling is considered taboo by many people. After all, everybody has been sold on the concept that education, in the form of industrial schooling, is the magic bullet that will deliver humanity, end poverty, provide jobs, create equality, pave the path toward upward social mobility and prosperity, deliver ‘civilization’ to the rest of the world and help develop people to their full potential. That’s the marketing message that most people have come to accept.

READ MORE

The Getting Started Guide to Rethinking Schooling and Education

BY ZAKIYYA ISMAiL

So you’re rethinking the idea of schooling. Wondering whether schooling is really necessary for learning. You know, that deep meaningful kind of learning, not the learn-it-for-the-test kind of superficial learning. Maybe, you’re doubting the value schooling has added to your life or is adding to your kid’s life. The feelings are strong, but you’re not sure, because everyone around seems fine with the idea of schooling, more than fine, they’re devoted to the idea.

READ MORE

%d bloggers like this: