This video was great! I love how he has taken control of his education and immersed himself into real world situations in order to learn. I have a large number of friends who are, as they call themselves, "Un-Schoolders." They don't like the term, "Homeschoolers" because they are rarely at home. Like Logan, they are studying physics at places where they can experience inertia, mainly Disneyland's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Or they go to the tidal pools to examine sea life. I think this type of educational experience is good in a way of learning by doing. My un-schooling friends and I (some of whom I went to school with long ago) have excellent conversations about pedagogical approaches and truly experiencing education, as opposed to having knowledge crammed into our brains like we suffered through.
One area where we disagree is how to make this type of educational approach available to everyone. The simple truth is, we can't. Schools serve two functions: Education and (let's face it) day care. My family doesn't have the economic wherewithal to have one parent stay home with the kids and educate them in an alternative environment. In California the average annual salary is $51,910, if I were to stay home from work (my wife makes more than me, so the math makes sense for me to stay home) I would remove a significant chunk of funds from our family budget. It just can't be done.
So the question becomes, how do we change public schools to offer real educational experiences for ALL students? I like to think that in the two years since this video was made, we have made progress. The Common Core has definately helped. In my AP US History class we had an exercise similar to what Logan experienced by participating in a panel discussion pretending to be a person from history and prepared to answer questions the audience can pose. This coming school year, I am going to gamify my class. I want students to build the sense of community they feel when playing games such as World of Warcraft. Our book, A New Culture of Learning, explains that students learn best when they are allowed to solve problems and bounce ideas off of each other, and form a community to help guide and shape their learning.
I just finished reading Daniel Pink's book, A Whole New Mind. One of the major themes of the book is how we in the United States are on a constant search for meaning. I think that Logan's spiritual experience with nature echos what Pink was trying to describe. We need meaning in our lives. If we have meaning, we will be able to have happiness. Pink and Logan both leave their audience with a basic idea. We learn and performe best when we are happy.
Average California pay is $51,910 - Sacramento Business Journal. (n.d.). Retrieved July 20, 2015.
Hackschooling makes me happy | Logan LaPlante | TEDxUniversityofNevada. (n.d.). Retrieved July 20, 2015.
Pink, D. (2006). A whole new mind: Why right-brainers will rule the future. New York: Riverhead Books.
Thomas, D., & Brown, J. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Lexington, Ky.