Learn in Freedom

Copyright © 2013 Karl M. Bunday, all rights reserved.

This Learn in Freedom site has been providing free information about learning in freedom, taking responsibility for your own learning, for more than seventeen years. It shows you how to use your own initiative in learning, so you can use schools and teachers just when they are helpful to you, and voluntarily chosen by you. There's a specific page on this site to show you how to get started in learning in freedom, and there are plenty of other pages on this site about other subjects. To find a specific page on this Web site, you can keep on reading for more links from this home page, which links to the main pages on this site, or you can use the site map or the search links on the bottom of every page (and on the top of most pages) to help you find what you are looking for. Besides internal links, there are links to more than 1,000 other Web sites on this site's more than forty pages.

Information on Learning in Freedom

You can find plenty of information about learning in freedom in

Those published resources and a great variety of World Wide Web links can help you in your own adventure in learning in freedom.

Learning in Freedom is Growing

Throughout the twenty-first century, more than one million homeschooled children in the United States each year and tens of thousands of other learners around the world have been learning outside of school. Now that homeschooling is growing worldwide, and many homeschooled young people have grown up into self-sufficient, socially contributing adult lives, the real-world experiences of learners show that schools are not always necessary for learning. Particularly, socialization research confirms that young people can grow up more mature and poised than their age-peers if they avoid the age segregation characteristic of almost all schools. Licensed professionals in the field of language development of children all agree that parental interaction with children is indispensable for children learning to talk, so it is no surprise that parental interaction with children is necessary for other aspects of child development as well. Your children can learn to read and learn to enjoy reading at home, as my four children and tens of thousands of children in homeschooling families already have. Even schools of higher education that are selective about admitting adult learners are happy to admit applicants who never attended school in their childhood, so the number of colleges that admit homeschoolers has grown to more than 1,000 colleges in at least five countries.

Learning in Freedom and Social Diversity

Learners who learn in freedom can learn foreign languages, world history, and all other knowledge necessary for genuine multiculturalism in today's flat world. The relationship between school and state need not be one in which governments mold learners in a state-approved ideology. Voluntary association inside and outside the classroom is helping to build a new civil society of enhanced communication and mutual understanding.

Education Reformers Who Say School is Dead

It is hardly conventional wisdom to regard school as dead, I must acknowledge. Surely we weren't taught that in school. I first encountered the phrase school is dead as the title of a book by Everett Reimer, a scholar with many years of experience in attempting to reform schools for poor children in the third world. But what we might call “unconventional wisdom” has been skeptical of schooling for thousands of years. Since the time of the Roman empire there have been many quotations from notable persons about problems of schooling and its effects on learners. A book I was assigned to read in high school notes that

A general State education is a mere contrivance for moulding people to be exactly like one another: and as the mould in which it casts them is that which pleases the predominant power in the government, whether this be a monarch, a priesthood, an aristocracy, or the majority of the existing generation in proportion as it is efficient and successful, it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading by a natural tendency to one over the body.

John Stuart Mill, On Liberty.

In more modern times Nobel Prize winners have said school is a waste of time, saying that they learned mostly outside of school. In any event, it is clear that school attendance is something distinct from learning. Many persons who are compelled to attend school resist learning there.

Learning in Freedom Builds Social Freedom

Note that what I am writing about here is families or individuals making their own choices in pursuit of learning, one family at a time. But some interest groups seem afraid of this freedom to learn. Perhaps you have heard that freedom for learners destroys the public school system and that public education is necessary for a democracy. But democratic republican government developed first in countries without government-operated schools; the founders of the United States learned without a public school system. By contrast, the first countries to have compulsory school attendance laws were all militaristic dictatorships, including the countries that later formed Hitler's Third Reich, a fact well documented in books on school and state relations throughout history.

Learning to Learn Outside School

This Web site seeks to help not only those who have already chosen to learn in freedom, but also those whose learning has come mostly from the compulsory school system. Perhaps you are still skeptical about what is written here. I invite you to read the pages on this site carefully, and as many of the books mentioned on the site's bibliographies as you can find. Then please let me know what you think. Technological trends suggest school is obsolete, so it's worthwhile thinking about other channels for learning and for discovering new knowledge. In a society in which almost everyone is literate, and that is arguably almost any society where this World Wide Web site can be seen, why not bolster public libraries, museums, and other facilities for learning in freedom, rather than compulsory schools? No doubt critiques of the school system are dismaying to the people who work in the system, but they should prompt all of us to help learners learn better, with or without the system. After all, what matters about any education system is how well it serves learners, not what sort of means provide the education. As it is, some children don't learn to read in school. It best develops intelligence to allow each learner to find that learner's most appropriate learning environment, through free choice.

School Problems

Some people say making children wear school uniforms will reduce the crime rate, but there is dismaying evidence suggesting the relationship between schools and crime results in increasing crime rates in the recent history of several countries, as a byproduct of youth culture. While it may be that effective police work and efficient court systems have the largest influence on reducing crime, certainly reviewing socialization research is an important step to take in assessing the effectiveness of schools. Concerns about rising rates of youth suicide are only beginning to prompt serious research on the relationship between schools and suicide, the subject of some of the most poignant E-mail messages I have received from readers of this site. I hope you'll write to me with your thoughts about the school environment after you've had a chance to look around the pages of this site and to read some of the books and articles recommended here.

Enjoy your adventure of learning in freedom!

Here you are on the World Wide Web, a fine place for self-education. The number of educational resources available for independent learners is astounding, and continually increasing. This Web site seeks to serve people all over the world who use on-line technology to enhance their own educations. Please tell me about your experiences in learning in freedom. Let's all learn together in freedom.

I appreciate learning from you too, so please submit any comments you have. You may also send me an E-mail or postal mail with any comments, questions, proposals for links, or other thoughts you have about what is posted here.

[Last revision 21 March 2013]

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This Learn in Freedom™ home page, the Learn in Freedom logo, and the entire contents of this award-winning Learn in Freedom™ site are copyright © 2013 Karl M. Bunday. Some pages copyright © 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, and 2006 Karl M. Bunday. All Rights reserved. No copyright claimed in United States government works or in brief quotations from other authors for purposes of review or scholarly comment.

A general State education is a mere contrivance for moulding people to be exactly like one another: and as the mould in which it casts them is that which pleases the predominant power in the government, whether this be a monarch, a priesthood, an aristocracy, or the majority of the existing generation in proportion as it is efficient and successful, it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading by a natural tendency to one over the body.
John Stuart Mill On Liberty (1859)
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Karl M. Bunday
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Minnetonka, MN 55345