Ken Danford’s new book, Learning is Natural, School is Optional, made a big splash at the AERO conference, in Portland, OR, last month. Nearly everyone seemed to be carrying around a copy of the book, including a 15-year-old conference-goer who you could find curled up or tucked in a corner reading—there’s no doubt, Ken’s words spoke to her. In addition to readings at AERO, in the Amherst, MA, area, and this Fall at Liberated Learners centers (stay tuned), Ken has launched a blog on his new author website.
Ken’s on a roll with some great posts. My favorite is a satirical thought experiment, a la Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal, suggesting that to solve the obesity problem in America, we engage the government to dictate what children eat. Ken offers a full list of the many standards that would be needed. Here are a few:
In each meal, children will receive some dairy, some protein, some grains, and some fruits and vegetables. Generally, these will be served separately, as they are better measured that way.
At the cafeterias, children will sit at assigned tables, in assigned spots. Nutrition monitors will be trained to sit at the tables and see that each child eats the complete serving.
Children whose records show inadequate eating habits will be identified and held accountable for making up the servings they don’t complete at meals.
And of course there will be accommodation for special needs and exceptions; here’s one:
Children may opt out of the public cafeterias if they purchase meals at an approved restaurant. Children must demonstrate that they are eating at these restaurants and are maintaining good health.
But what if parents want to be in charge of their children’s nutrition. Ken’s thought of that:
Parents who think they can offer better nutrition than the public cafeterias may submit a proposal to their local cafeteria administrator. Any proposal for home-cooking must be approved before it is begun. Families who do not comply will be open to investigation by the State Department of Social Services.
You get the point. Enjoy the full depth of the satire here*. Wait, there’s a link to an ABC news story at the end…oh, the irony.
*Note that Ken’s blog has the comments section turned on—please take a moment to share your thoughts!
Alison is a staff member at the Princeton Learning Cooperative in New Jersey and on the Board of Trustees for Liberated Learners. Alison has been working with Princeton area homeschoolers since 2003 and is excited to be part of Liberated Learners as it brings the principles of Self-Directed Education to young people all around the world. Contact Alison at firstname.lastname@example.org