podcastED: SUFS president Doug Tuthill interviews ‘unschooling’ expert Kevin Currie-Knight: Part 1

redefinED staff

In the first of a two-part discussion, Tuthill speaks with a premier thought leader on self-directed learning, also known as ‘unschooling.’ Currie-Knight, a teaching assistant professor at East Carolina University’s College of Education, supports education based on intrinsic motivation, or learning based on a child’s interests, which differs from more traditional education based on extrinsic motivation centering on grades and transcripts.

Tuthill and Currie-Knight discuss Currie-Knight’s work with Pathfinder Community School, a learning environment in which children self-direct their instruction. They also discuss how unschooling often is dismissed as a privilege of the rich, an irony considering the critique most often is leveled by opponents of education choice.

If you give kids freedom over their learning, expect them to be doing things all the time. At some point they’re going to learn things … People will be surprised at how tenaciously kids learn when they have a reason to.” 


·       Self-directed learning and how kids figure out what they need to know

·       What self-directed learning looks like on a day-to-day basis

·       Changing two century-old perceptions on how children learn

·       How COVID-19 has shifted education perceptions

·       Criticisms of unschooling and their origin


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