In response to a host of developing societal issues, scientists across a wide spectrum of disciplines are studying the human-nature connection and what happens when we spend time in or become disconnected from the natural world. In this series, we’ll take a look at research findings and anecdotes from past Tremont participants related to the health, learning and behavioral benefits of experiences rooted in the natural world.
In this edition, let’s consider the trend of “unschooling.”
Unschooling is somewhat akin to home-schooling. The difference is less structure and more inquiry-based exploration of the world. Tremont curricula, especially within the last couple of years, puts an emphasis on student-driven inquiry. Students make observations and connect them to their background knowledge of a subject, develop questions based on their gaps in knowledge, and work together to figure out how to go about finding answers through field study.
Unschooling is based on a similar process of the self-directed inquiry that Tremont often uses, but rather than a 3 or 5-day experience following this approach to learning, a growing number of parents in the U.S. are choosing to unschool their children from the age they’d typically start school. And there’s solid evidence demonstrating unschooling as a perfectly good (perhaps better) alternative to the confined structure of the typical school day. Learn more by reading this intriguing article, written by Ben Hewitt and appearing in Outside Online.
Of course, not every family can make unschooling a reality, which is why student experiences like those that Tremont makes possible are so important to supplement a traditional classroom education.
Imagine a world where students spent time at a learning center like Tremont during every grade level of their schooling. Better yet, imagine a world where students spent part of every school day exploring and inquiring in their schoolyard, patch of woods or local park.