Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Madison Unschooling Conference!

I accidentally forgot to take a picture yesterday, but Kenny and I attended the Madison Unschooling Conference, with Special Guest John Taylor Gatto. It was great. John Taylor Gatto was amazing. I already was a great admirer after reading his books Dumbing Us Down, A Different Kind of Teacher, and The Underground History of American Education, but now I'm an even bigger fan because he was so much more interesting and funny in person than I expected him to be.

Above is a picture of his newest book, Weapons of Mass Instruction: A Schoolteacher's Journey Through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling, which I have not yet read, and was going to buy at the conference, but they ran out before I nabbed one. I'm sure it's excellent because almost everything this man says is mind-blowing.

Besides that, it was nice to just be in a beautiful venue with a huge group of very like-minded people, eating delicious food and socializing. Kenny also got a lot out of attending a lecture on play by Allison McKee (he was slightly weirded out that it was actually a long lecture on play, but whatever). And I attended a very bizarre workshop on "Wholemovement" by Bradford Hansen-Smith. I really had no idea what he was talking about until the end, when I realized he was teaching us how to fold ordinary paper plates into **amazing** shapes. Now I wish I'd gotten one of his books to work on with my kids, but here it is in case *you* would like to. I'll never look at a paper plate the same way again. That's for sure.

Anyone who knows me knows how I hate to explain things. But hopefully I'll be writing more about what I learned at the conference soon.

Oh, and here is my favorite quote that I copied off the wall there:

The opposite of play is not work. It's depression.
-Brian Sutton-Smith, contemporary American folklorist

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