Posted on 20th January 2010 by Judy Breck

An explanation of this blog/website from Judy Breck:

The ideas I am interfacing at handschooling.com represent a lifetime of thinking and working in education — complemented by a degree in political science and a lot of political campaign experience. I learned political ropes by staffing six Texas elections and two national Presidential campaigns. I have also staffed six White House education symposia. Here I am putting ideas out for consideration and urging you to do something about them politically — both locally and nationally. It is also crucial that our citizenry take hold of education in local communities. Education is primarily socialized; it is government education. The effect is locking young people into classes that are divided by how much they know.

The problems and solutions I write about are mostly couched in terms of the United States, but they are equally true across the world. If you are a foreign reader, you will know that is so. Education is socialized, nationalized, state-run — whatever you want to call it — almost everywhere. I will show here that the individual student mobile web browser and the relocation online of the knowledge education is supposed to convey to youngsters has made it possible to individualize learning.

For thirty years I have worked with students in New York City public schools. I can no longer temper my anger at how government education prejudges kids and disqualifies them to race for the top in a free society like America used to be. The hope for free societies across the world is dim indeed when their new generations are educated by their governments.

The Obama administration has begun powerful moves to make state public education into national government education. This will lock in the factors that trap minority kids into an underclass — which, BTW, is a dependency that leads to voting for socialism. The effects will not be limited to the minority students whom Obama is using for an excuse to control the schools from Washington. Federal influence on subject standards is underway as money awarded to states rides on compliance. Are we really going to allow bureaucrats to decide what every American student is taught about our nation’s history — how much and which events? Will we let them limit the study of sciences to standard curricula limited by the bell curve limit of what all can learn — instead of letting individual youngsters follow their gifts with their curiosity among the bountiful networks of authoritative science online? Will we let Washington decide?

Education needs to be reborn like a phoenix, and 5 areas in which you could help it happen:

My enthusiasm for how handschooling can individualize learning and push kids toward their talents is as strong as my anger. There is good news that can squelch the bad news: let’s do it!

I am working on an e-book manifest to describe Liberated Learning: Leaving the bell curve for the long tail in our connected age. Handschooling.com is also a work in progress. Time is short. The Obama education juggernaut must be halted. Stay tune here for more.

This post:  outlines the structure I am putting into place on Handschooling.com. Everything is  under construction, but a lot of what bloggers call “pillar content” is in growing — content that sets out the big, general ideas for a blog.

SOME HANDSCHOOLING GOALS: Advocate how to make education really better in these 2 ways:

1) See too it that every individual student across the world has a mobile device connected to the internet that he and she can use it to learn from the global online knowledge commons.

2) Bring to the forefront the networking online commons, making this superior knowledge more findable and mobile friendly — so that it pushes learning away from standardized knowledge delivered in disconnected little curriculum boxes via government education.

(For each of these five sections, I am developing action points available online and in an ebook.)

Mobiles: Link one mind what is known — instead of homogenizing each kid into a continuously lowering grade standard.

Findability, realizing the commons A global golden age of learning is dawning because networks form the platform of the online knowledge commons, where, as Ted Stevens said “Everything is deeply intertwingled. In an important sense there are no ’subjects’ at all; there is only all knowledge, since the cross-connections among the myriad topics of this world simply cannot be divided up neatly.” The government education that now controls most schools pays billions for curricula, textbooks, and standards that break the cross-connections and dumb down learning. Handschooling lets the student travel the intertwingularity.

Commons achieves equality that schooling never can or will achieve because handschooling is based on the individual student. The commons does not have pre-conceptions of individuals who connect to it to learn, as do teachers to whom are assigned a class of children in failing or marginal schools. The mobile in a student’s pocket has no idea whether it is owned by a prep school student, a slum dog, or a girl whose religion does not permit her to attend school: owning a mobile levels the playing field.

Next: peeks at new cool education This section will showcase exciting learnodes from the global commons, and review ideas from other sectors that could be cool new innovations for education.

Nurture: Keeping upbringing local. Opponents of using internet knowledge wrongly react that teaching and minding our children will somehow move to a distant internet if the internet is used to connect to knowledge. The opposite is true, especially as government education is trying to assume more and more control over what is taught and what local schools are funded.

Politics: Liberty and learning. Citizen demand of their politicians that handschooling be implemented will liberate the future thinking of all children across the planet, and prepare their generation to remake the world toward global liberty and peace.

  1. Tom Claffey says:

    Fascinating, Judy! You are a courageous pioneer. I admire your focus and your dedication. Tom

    20th January 2010 at 11:54 am

  2. Todd says:

    Great work Judy. I’ve been keeping up with your work and find it very interesting. Wonder what your thoughts are on the growing home (or even virtual) school trend. We joined the ranks this year of those that feel we can do much better at home than the system we are throwing money at in the public schools. Some interesting stats here:


    20th January 2010 at 10:57 pm

  3. Judy Breck says:

    Wonderful to hear from you Todd, and great news, in my opinion, for your boys that you are homeschooling them. I try hard not to let myself be fooled into thinking that I am an expert on parenting, socializing kids, and other aspects of the umbrella under which education has claimed control. When the education establishment is questioned, it usually turns this umbrella into a weapon and beats challengers over the head with it. But the increasing failures of the education establishment are tattering the umbrella.

    With all of that going on, I have tried to focus on the engagement of an individual student with knowledge itself — which is a narrower definition of education, and something that has been minimized at many, many schools. Four million visitors a month came to HomeworkCentral.com in May of 2000 (the only metrics we ever did) because we put the open network of knowledge online for free. It was organized as the subject network it naturally is by network laws online. Nine years later, Los Alamos researchers were “surprised” when they discovered this network:
    HomeworkCentral.com was bought and soon taken offline by the education establishment gorilla ProQuest, who put it behind a firewall where users have had to pay for it ever since.

    I was in charge of content at HomeworkCentral.com, and ever since have been trying to explain what I saw there: the natural network online of what is known to humankind. Doing so ain’t easy! I remain convinced that this network of what is known will create a global golden age of learning. Your boys learning years are taking place before the great change happens in education — as it has in music, publishing, and many other fields.

    Hopefully, within another month I will have finished a short eBook I am writing. The working title is “Taking schooling into your own hands:
    A guidebook for kids.” It is addressed to your boys’ generation, with suggestions for how they can learning in spite of the current edu chaos. Once again, I try in what I am writing to go to the central point of individually connecting their minds to knowledge. The internet makes this possible in fundamentally new ways. The education system, with its deepening socialist methodology, keeps making this less and less possible for more and more kids.

    BTW: What I mean by engaging knowledge itself results in a youngster becoming competent in one or more subjects: a competent chemist, a knowledgeable Egyptologist, an comprehensive reader of one or more authors, doing thinking at the edge of mathematics, etc. Almost no school students do this by the time they are in their late teens — when a mind is the sharpest. May it happen for each of your children.

    20th January 2010 at 10:12 am

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