I Could Tell You Where Tanganyika Africa Use To Be

Yes it is tea time again for me (Chai this time), time to do a “little reading”. Over at the Always Learning Yahoo group created by Sandra Dodd there is a discussion going on about gaps in ones education.


This seems to be the most asked question, right after socialization, that I get when finding out we unschool (which to us means living as if school doesn’t even exist), “What about gaps?”

Which I then look at them puzzled and say “What about them?” I don’t think those asking the question even understand what they are asking. Gaps in what, learning? Well everyone has gaps.

Lets say I went to college and received a bachelor’s degree in education, well that does not mean I can change the muffler on my car, or operate in surgery. Just because there are 25-30 children in a classroom all learning the same thing does *not* mean they all learned it. Just because you remember something long enough to pass a test does not prove you *learned* anything(except how to retain information temporarily to “cheat” the system and to fill in a blank).

I still remember how to spell Mississippi as well as all the rest of the states but really it is not very essential to my life. I mean I probably would have learned how to spell them without school eventually.

How do you think you would do taking a test right now with 25-30 other people who are all the same age as you? How would you feel if your worth was measured by that score?

I loved this quote in one of Sandra Dodd’s replies

“Tanganyika–I learned about this African nation in 8th grade geography, and how
to spell it, and it’s neighbor Zanzibar, too, and drew maps, and passed a test.
By the time I was grown, it wasn’t a country anymore. It’s  likely that there
were people who learned about it even after it was gone, because our state would
use textbooks for five or six years, and by the time a textbook came along, it
had been in preparation and production for a year or two (or more). Tanganyika
was only a country for a few years. Oh. 1961 to 1964, says Wikipedia. Well hell.
I learned about it in the 1966/67 school year. It wasn’t my geography teacher’s
job to dispute the textbook, though. That would’ve been current events, and not
his field.”

You can read the rest of her response at her site. (Please note *If you are not a member yet and want to be please read the description page, this group is not meant to be a “support” group but a group to dissect and talk about *ideas* relevent to radical unschooling.*)


2 Responses to “I Could Tell You Where Tanganyika Africa Use To Be”

  1. ingimc Says:

    Oh absolutely! I could not agree with this post more! Especially after my experience as a teacher – just because I “taught” something, doesn’t mean all the kids “learned” it. Or remembered it long-term.

    I just spent hours arguing with people I’d never met on Facebook about a maths problem. What’s 6-1×0+2/2? The answer is 7 due to order of operations. People were saying 1, 4, and in one case that -1×0=-0. Just because you went to school, for oh say, 13 years, doesn’t mean there are no gaps!!

    Thanks for posting!

    • dkjsv05 Says:

      It so funny that you commented because I was thinking how I sure wouldn’t like to have you be one I had to test against. 🙂

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