I ran across a Center for the Future of Museums (CFM) blog post, “Unschooling–A Fringe Future of Education,” exploring the future of education and the role museums might play (key word).
Personally, I love museums. My children have fun exploring and discovering at museums. My ideal “education system” would focus on providing community learning centers rather than schools. These learning centers would serve as resources for the community’s children. They would look and feel something like the museums and libraries that create fun learning experiences for our children. Learning centers would completely replace the mandatory child labor camps we know as public schools.
Update: My daughters contributed guest blog posts about their museum experiences.
In Seattle, for example, we have the Pacific Science Center, the Burke Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Flight, Experience Music Project, and many others (see below). We also have two library systems. Our museums and libraries offer several valuable services, workshops, classes, events, etc.
Museums in particular, however, tend to cost a bit up front. Memberships help, but cost can still deter many families. Schools cost a lot, too, but those costs are buried in our taxes. When given the choice, I vote more money toward libraries and less toward schools.
How would we pay for community learning centers?
I have several ideas. There’s our tax system, of course. But imagine if the parents and other willing adults within each community donated time, money, and experience to the project. Community learning centers could be very nourishing to the entire community. I could go on…
Alas, until more people want to transform the existing education system, my family makes the best of our homeschool groups, clubs, and co-ops, as well as our private classes and community centers (art schools, martial arts, dance, circus school, etc.), museums and libraries, and zoos and aquariums.
Seattle Area Museums
Museums and Galleries in Seattle and the Northwest (Download a PDF walking tour; find upcoming events)
Unschooling in National: National Unschooling Examiner
Follow: Seattle Unschooling Facebook
Blog: Unschooling Lifestyle
New Book: The Unschooling Happiness Project