You’ve probably heard of unschooling, deschooling and homeschooling, but what about fieldschooling?
I’m not one for labels, but the scientist in me argues that they are quite handy for organization and categorization in some situations. In this case labels can be excellent for finding like minded educators or groups who teach in a similar style. Plus, I always say it’s a good thing to be educated on other cultures, even if that culture is already quite similar to your own.
What is Fieldschooling?
I searched through Google and hit up fieldschooling hashtags on Instagram and Twitter to see what I could learn about fieldschooling. In terms of a homeschooling concept, I couldn’t find a lot. Basically what I gleened from the few blog posts and articles I read is that fieldschooling is hands on learning often through fieldtrips and travel, but it doesn’t have to be.
For me this isn’t enough because isn’t that what a lot of homeschoolers, especially unschoolers, already do? Unless I’m missing something it seems that fieldschooling is a combination of roadschooling (homeschooling while on the road/traveling) and unschooling (using the very basic definition of hands on learning through life).
If you have more information on fieldschooling in terms of a homeschool style I’d love to learn more, because honestly I feel my research and knowledge is lacking, but I just haven’t hit home with the right sources yet.
What is Field School?
My quest to learn more about fieldschooling wasn’t a complete flop though. I’m pretty sure, though I haven’t confirmed, the idea of fieldschooling in terms of homeschooling comes from the field school concept used to teach college students in areas such as archaeology and paleontology while out in the field. My daughter wants to be a paleontologist, so it’s just another piece of the puzzle I can add to our own homeschooling.
Basically, for field school, college students get to go out in the field, to dig sites or whatever on location site they are using, and they spend several weeks working on their educational focus. Basically they are setting up dig sites, identifying and cataloging any finds, hands on learning what it’s really like to be a scientist in their field.
This sounds familiar to what some homeschoolers are adopting as fieldschooling, only in a broader sense. Field school is an extremely specific hands on schooling, typically done by graduate students who have narrowed their expertise quite a bit. Homeschoolers, on the other hand, are using the concept for just about any hands on skill or talent they can do on site.
While it sounds like we do a lot of the things some are calling fieldschooling, I’m going to stick with homeschooling as our educational style. If people want to know more about our style I’ll give them details because our style is quite casual and eclectic. What we do isn’t really contained in any one category.
Honestly, this is the best way to find out about any homeschoolers style. Every homeschool is different. There may be some that are more similar than others, but ultimately, every homeschool is different. A single label isn’t going to tell you how another family homeschools. Talking to them, asking questions, and getting to know them is the best way to learn about their style. If they happen to embrace the concept of fieldschooling, then you’ll have the privilege of learning more about the style than what my research report shared.
Do you have any additional information about fieldschooling? I’d love to learn more so please share any resources or thoughts in the comments below.