Approaching the Tipping Point
Did you know in the spread of socially accepted ideas, a very small percentage of the population needs to hold something true before it becomes adopted by a large number of people? This phenomenon is referred to as the “Tipping Point.” The following quote comes from a July 2011 RPI News article (http://news.rpi.edu/luwakkey/2902): Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society.
In my lifetime, we have seen this happen with many formerly taboo subjects and ideas, ranging from gender equality and gay rights to environmental “green” living issues. And now, education pioneers are busy creating the latest Tipping Point around self-directed, independent, student centered learning.
Those of us who are creating self-directed learning centers have been shy about using the term home-school when introducing and explaining our learning model. But in recent weeks, I am discovering we don't need to be. I believe our society is approaching that all important Tipping Point that says home-schooling is not weird, strange, anti-social, or for those people over there who don't fit into our world view.
There are so many parents who are seeking an alternative because their child is unhappy, disenfranchised, and/or vulnerable in their current educational situation. And when someone is desperate, they are willing to look at something they may have viewed as incompatible with their lifestyle in a whole new light.
Home-schooling, as mentioned in a previous post entitled A Means to an End, can be whatever works for each individual family. It can include becoming a member of a learning center such as Deep Root Center, taking on-line classes, participating in college classes, using and becoming familiar with local college and public libraries as well as the multitude of other community resources, and seeking out internships or shadowing opportunities, to just name a few options.
Thirteen year old Logan from this TedX Talk describes his home-school experience as “hack-schooling”—a process in which you take what you want from multiple sources and create a life. Sounds radical, right? But, as we get closer to the Tipping Point, this approach to education will become the societal norm.
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