Unschooling and Social Justice/Multicultural Education: (Un)Realized Potential
An online survey of unschooling families (student-directed form of homeschooling) sought to discover whether and how unschooled children experience a social justice curriculum (one that seeks equity between cultures, ethnicities, genders, classes, and sexualities). The 2016 survey asked about unschooled children’s relationships with/recognition of people different from themselves, their degree of critical analysis of systems and institutions in society which created, maintain, and perpetuate inequities, and whether they had opportunities to envision and work for a just and equitable society. The philosophical tenets of unschooling complicate this query, and are explored. Findings illustrate that unschooling’s educational philosophy of “curriculum-as-lived” (as opposed to “curriculum-as-plan”) (Aoki, 2004) has the potential (though not realized by all unschooling families) to provide a unique approach to social justice/multicultural education, allowing unschooled children to learn about minoritized cultures, systems that led to the minoritization, and the possibilities and pathways to a more equitable society.
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