Uncollege – Hacking your education

Yuri van Geest (thanks!) pointed me at this site and book: Uncollege. “Ditch the Lectures, Save Thousands, and learn more than your peers ever will”.

Both book and organization were created by Dale J. Stephens, a young guy who calls himself “Chief Educational Deviant” of his organization. He will have his book published (at age 19!) by Penguin. Which is a pretty big thing for a 19-year old.Learn More Than Your Peers Ever Will!”

“In the last five months of my life–since I founded UnCollege–I’ve crossed more items off my bucket list than I thought I’d live to see. I’ve traveled the world, been on national news, received a fellowship, and now signed a book deal.”

From: Interview FastCompany

I especially like their very powerful ‘Letter to Parents‘:

First, here are some of the challenges:

  • Self-directed learning is not easier than school. It is more work to determine who you are, what you want to learn, and the best way to go about it. Your child will have to research, create, connect, plan, manage, and self-evaluate. However, it is incredibly valuable to be able to do these things, and these skills will serve your child well in life.
  • You will have to explain, defend, describe, and strongly support your child over and over again. Be proud that you have a child who dares to be different. Trust that they will figure out what needs to be done. Unfortunately, many people feel threatened by someone taking a different path in life. These people will feel a great need to tell you why you and your child are wrong, making a huge mistake, and so on. Be strong, be open, and find a statement you feel comfortable with that will inform critics without prolonging arguments.
  • Your child will have to be determined, persistent, resilient, and confident. Having you listen and ask thoughtful questions may be very useful to them, perhaps in different ways than it would be to a student following a standard, classroom-based curriculum. Some of the things they try may not work the first time. Some people may say no or not answer calls or emails. Your child may need to rethink a situation and try a different approach. Again, these challenges are worthwhile and develop essential problem-solving skills.

Second, here are a few of the joys:

  • Being the parent of a happy, thriving, engaged, and courageous young adult;
  • Being amazed by all the practical life skills they are learning and applying that seem light-years ahead of many of their peers;
  • Watching doors open to your child;
  • Seeing the world become their oyster;
  • Seeing your child make new friends, new colleagues, and amazing new connections with mentors and people around the world. (Sometimes you get to enjoy these connections, as well.)[/box]

More info on the website: Uncollege.org