19 June 2009 by Jennifer
Miscellaneous stuff from around the web which I thought was worth passing on, including some news about home-based education in England.
Fast Company article: How Chris Hughes Helped Launch Facebook and the Barack Obama Campaign. About the social media technology which helped Obama’s grass-roots supporters to contribute to the election campaign. I found it fascinating, and very readable.
A theme here: defending child-led home-based education from heavy-handed Government meddling.
Graham Badman’s “review” report came out last week, a shining example of prejudice and selective quoting. Does he actually know what “evidence based” means? The evidence suggests not…
This “start here” page will give an overview for anyone who’s interested. Especially relevant to parents and to anyone who cares about civil liberties, because the implications for state power over children are pretty scary, and go far beyond home-ed communities. I would say “First they came for the home educators…” if the flavour weren’t all too familiar from this government’s previous exhibitions of no common sense: this isn’t the first, just one of the worst so far.
At least it’s not actually been turned into law yet.
For additional context, a post from Gill at Sometimes It’s Peaceful: Autonomous learning can’t be planned. Autonomous education is fuelled and steered by the learner’s curiosity and the intrinsic value of what’s being learned. In subsequent posts, Gill also provides useful analysis of the report itself.
Rather good description (give or take a few typos) of the philosophical underpinnings of autonomous education.
A bit of gentle satire on the subject – spoof blog satirising Badman and his report.
Note: Anyone new to arguments about home-based education, watch out for ye olde “Oh those poor children all lonely in a tiny classroom in a house, I feel sorry for them not having any friends”. That’s about as realistic and helpful a stereotype as “Women, they’re too emotional and they can’t drive”. Funnily enough, home ed children are often out at a library or museum or park or swimming pool or social group or in a forest or looking for fossils or visiting friends or at drama or music or Scouts or some kind of class. And yes, at any given moment some of them actually are at home… but thanks to books and computers and gardening and pets and Lego and Snap Circuits and chemistry sets and knitting and sewing and woodwork and suchlike, it’s not necessarily a hardship :-)
Call for submissions for a new book: Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation. Editors Kate Bornstein & S Bear Bergman.
American history, science fiction, and the invisibility/erasure of Native peoples, in “an historical redux” from rushthatspeaks on LJ.
Much more here on the book being discussed in the previous link.
I contributed a mini-essay in the comments on this thread on Feministe, about managing comments threads in the blogosphere and the question of whose voices are given most attention. You kind of have to understand the whole preceding argument to get full value from it, though :-)