Interest-led Learning in the Mainstream-September 2011

by ChristinaPilkington on September 28, 2011 · 2 comments

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I believe in the power of interest-led learning to transform the face of education. I believe it’s the only way that children learn naturally, the way they were born to learn. When children’s interests and imagination are captured, it provides the intrinsic motivation for them to learn more, create meaningful, personal goals and retain a depth of knowledge that would not be possible otherwise.

Most of the mainstream way of thinking revolves around schools and the mindset that you must learn things “experts” say are important, that you must put in 13-17 long years to get an “education” and that everyone must have the exact same skill-sets and knowledge-base to be successful.

The homeschooling, and in particular the unschooling or natural learning, movement has made strides educating the public how tailoring a child’s learning environment according to his unique interests and talents can produce young adults who are still curious, love learning, have depths of knowledge that cannot be possible within a school setting, are innovative, entrepreneurial, and leaders.

 On the last Wednesday of every month, I’ll list links to articles, podcasts, or videos that highlight stories about how those in the mainstream are taking an interest in natural learning or are developing programs or resources that use the principles of natural and interest-led learning. I’ll also share links to alternative ways of learning and living and how best to prepare children for the global economy.

 1. Interest and Self-Sustained Learning as Catalysts of Development: A Learning Ecology Perspective   This is a paper taken from the scholarly journal, Human Development.  It looks at the link between learning inside and outside of school.

 2. Gamechanger: Digital Media plus Student-Centered, Immersive, Peer-Based Learning  This article was taken from the website DMLcentral: digital media and learning: the power of participation.

 3.   Sugata Mitra shows how kids teach themselves. An awesome TED talk video about how kids in India taught themselves how to work a computer entirely on their own without any help.

 4. Learning…the kids are taking charge, so watch out teachers

 5. A Case for Lifelong Kindergarten  The authors of this article propose that all learning should look like kindergarten (the kindergarten of 30 years ago, though, in my opinion).

 6. Parents turn to ‘unschooling’ for learning outside the home  from the site

 7.Pasco sees increase in homeschooled students  From – a news website

 8. Q & A with UnCollege founder Dale Stephens  from ABC News.

 9. Raw Learning in the News  a video of an unschooling family interviewed on a Virginia news station.

 10. The Brooklyn Free School  on the BCAT news station (a video).

 Photo Credit: Kevin Dooley

 Are you signed up for my newsletter?  Sign up today and download my free e-book: A Thrift Store Curriculum.  Plus you’ll also receive bonuses, tips and resources not available on the website (today’s newsletter listed an additional 5 links to interest-led learning news in the mainstream).

 I’d love to hear from you. Please leave me a comment below or send me an e-mail at

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  • Jessica

    I always look for these posts. I have learned about many great resources from you. Thank you. I can only imagine how much time and effort you put into gathering the information in order to present it to those of us, like me, who read everything you recommend!

    • Anonymous


      I’m so, so glad you’re getting value from my posts. That’s my number one goal. I do put a lot of time into it, but it’s something I really love doing. I get so excited doing the research. It’s like going on a treasure hunt! Plus, I want to spread the word about how great interest-led learning is.

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