This is my first ever blog. Be gentle with me. Please.
I've been thinking about this and that, and this and that is probably what you'll find in Three Degrees of Freedom. When I first got the idea to call my blog by that title, I remembered it had something to do with statistics. I even looked it up. But have forgotten it now so it'll have to wait for another time.
At the moment, what I am concerned about is home education. Mainly because my family home educates. It has been, for us, a lovely oasis in a desert of schooling. Even more precious because one of my children was bullied to the point where her zest for learning and acquiring knowledge was seriously compromised. She told me the other day that she thought "If I had stayed in school, I wouldn't be here now."
As a home educator and a freelance writer, I am privileged to be able to hunt down and capture facts, figures, sayings and musings about autonomous learning. That is, learning directed by the student him or herself. Learning that the person wants to undertake.
I think a lot, and I read when I can. For many years, I've educated myself. I've had to. I wanted a good rounded education and there wasn't one on offer until I arrived at University. At one time, I read science fiction and learned about a lot about science and something about how to write. Now I read about lots of things including politics, but I wouldn't say I know all about that subject; it is so subjective, isn't it?
Bad Science author Ben Goldacre says that we always make the most of scientific studies agreeing with our point of view and minimise those studies that don't. I understand this well because I studied Psychology many years ago, and remain fascinated by the whole area. So people who agree with me are in; woe betide anyone who doesn't. Yet I am a rational person (I think) - eager to learn and grow - avid to plant new seeds from which will appear a mass of interesting thoughts and suppositions.
So, Mr. Goldacre, what you are saying in effect, is that we listen to someone who bolsters our position, and we ignore dissenting voices.
I suspect that this is what is happening in the current climate of questioning the rights of the average person. I believe that anyone can home educate. The government, apparently, does not.
How can we ever hope to change our minds; to learn and grow then? Can we ever seek to really understand someone else's viewpoint? Or do we just dig deeper and deeper holes from which to aim pot shots at each other?
An interesting conundrum. I'll have to research the idea, but I'll discard anything that seeks to change my mind about the position I've already taken. Although I suspect that Mr. Goldacre hasn't taken into account the idea of an epiphany.
Epiphany - the sudden realisation or comprehension of the essence or meaning of something (definition from Wikipedia).