Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Book Review: No Homework and Recess All Day

No Homework and Recess All Day: How to Have Freedom and Democracy in Education By Jerry Mintz (2003)

Jerry Mintz been involved in the freedom democracy education movement for over 30 years now and started AERO (Alternative Education Resource Organization) for kids like me who seek more opportunities for real learning and a break away from the traditional educational system that is outdated and doesn’t work for so many.

No Homework and Recess All Day can be looked at as a guide to starting and maintaining a freedom school. In this book the author lists some helpful tips on maintaining a freedom school like having meetings with the students on issues that affect their education. These meetings often involve issues that might not have caught the teacher’s attention and the decisions often involve voting. For example, bullying that might be going on at the school for a period of time might cause the students to call a meeting and vote to set rules to prevent future bullying and to determine the punishment. In these schools, the students are involved in making every important decision.

This book also mentions resources and other schools that can be taken as model schools like Shaker Mountain, the Albany Free School and many more schools the author helped establish. Jerry Mintz uses personal experience to give the reader a better understanding of these schools and his theory that students deserve an education that is worthwhile in any subject of interest, not just math, reading, English, etc.

I like this book because it tells of personal encounters that Jerry Mintz had in starting his freedom school and helping start many other freedom schools. He tells of his trip to Soviet Union for the first schools festival of the Soviet Union in 1991. This opportunity allowed him to see other alternative schools and begin making connections around the world.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to break away from the normal main stream of education that is stripping our youth of their right to be educated and more successful in life. Personally I am a 16 year old who has broken away from the public educational system and now being home schooled by several teachers and I know the problems my friends continue to face.  I am committed to being a part of making a changes in education.  No Homework and Recess All Day will be a great resource to us in making our own school in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans.  

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