Lessons in freedom and self-expression from a high school student in a project-based learning school

August 5, 2014 by Joshua
in Awareness, Education, Freedom

Kids often say things more clearly than adults. Actually, I think I should credit the insight below as much to inquiry-driven project-based learning as to the innocence of youth.

Context: When I visited Science Leadership Academy last winter, a student led a tour of the school. A question came up about school uniforms, which the school didn’t have.

During the discussion on the topic, someone asked if any problems ever came up from students causing trouble by pushing limits on how they dressed.

Our guide said no.

Someone asked, “Really, why not?”

She said, “We know that we can do it, so we don’t have to.

That perspective, to me, is a major piece of awareness, self-expression, and freedom: knowing you can do something but not feeling compelled to.

I used to think you couldn’t teach knowledge like that. Now I think you can, but not by lecturing and telling someone what’s important. You teach it by giving students responsibility and allowing them to figure out what’s important to them.

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