Homeschooling

Facilitated discussion or keynote addresses to help parents understand the benefits (and difficulties) of homeschooling, to answer questions and concerns about further education and the future prospects of homeschooled children, and to discuss ways that children can be successfully educated using a play-based, child-centered approach.

This workshop can be conducted in Japanese using simultaneous translation. It usually begins by presenting an alternative vision for education as a lifelong process. And then it becomes a discussion about the concerns of the implications of homeschooling. To many, it is such a radical and shocking concept that it provokes many questions not only about the practicalities of homeschooling but also about fundamental values. This discussion is not only about homeschooling: it describes a philosophy of education that could be applied in a forward-thinking school as well.

I am currently involved with educational reform in Thailand as part of a CSR initiative (which I hope subsequently to expand to the rest of Asia).

The problem is that the majority of education systems is very much geared towards getting into a good university based on grades. And universities themselves often train people academically. The entire process is mostly exam driven. The difficulty that companies have is that many of the 'qualified' recruits often have little common sense, cannot think flexibly and independently and ironically cannot do the work they were supposedly trained to do.

The remarkable thing is that there is so little that one needs to know in order to do well at school and subsequently at university. This is because about 80% of the material is factual information that needs to be memorized; and traditionally this is taught by studying a relatively small body of 'standard' knowledge repetitively.

This is why I believe that the way to benefit students in a way that is most relevant to them, and their teachers and parents, is to focus on developing their memory skills. As a side effect, this will help to develop imagination and creative thinking, visual thinking and organized thinking (using Mind Mapping, visual training and other techniques) . By introducing a "smarter, not harder" approach, I think we can open the door to other ways of being educated as well.

The kind of skills that I believe are critical are - people & communication skills, creative thinking, entrepreneurship, and learning skills (how and what to learn) as well as developing a "success" mindset.

My ideas regarding education are contentious. I'm not convinced that academic study aimed at achieving formal qualifications is effective. I believe that children (and adults) learn effectively through play and that "success" is achieved by pursuing a personal learning path in collaboration with others.

If you would like more information about my educational reform initiatives and ideas, please don't hesitate to contact me, briefly describing your interests in education or training or recruitment.