More about dynamic learning
"Time spent doing other things that aren't about learning is a really important part of the process. You have to have chance to get all that stuff out of your system, then get bored and start wondering about things and wanting to find out about them. If you didn't have the limitless passive stuff to do with your brain, like TV-watching, computer games and reading novels, you'd never reach the point where you wanted to use it more actively."
This reminds me of something I wrote some years ago, in an early home education report for our LEA:
In the first two months this schedule was rigidly adhered to and a substantial volume of work was produced by all of the children, on each of the required subjects as their work files attest. However, I did not feel that real learning was actually taking place. I felt that they were merely going through the motions of learning - either hurriedly or laboriously producing their quota of work in order that I would be satisfied with quantity and quality and release them to freedom at 1pm. The learning sessions in the morning were times of reluctant toil rather than the exciting, enthusiastic soaking-up of information I had optimistically anticipated. The children then proceeded to spend their afternoons in the same kind of 'anti-school daze' in which they had previously spent the hours between 4pm and bedtime when they were attending school. The 'anti-school daze' appeared to be a necessary period of relaxed numbness to be undergone evidently as a kind of antidote to the enforced concentration of the learning time.
Also I considered the effects of a work schedule. Work time ('time on') invariably leads to its natural opposite: time off. It seems that there needs to be as much of each to create a balance. I wondered what would happen to that balance if there was no externally-imposed work schedule. No 'time on' therefore no need for 'time off'. Might this result in actual full-time, every waking hour, non-stop, spontaneous learning?
Hmm. It's over 7 years since I wrote the above. So, did it?
Well, the children aren't quite studying - accumulating information - all the time, but they do so for longer periods of time, with deeper concentration and with absolutely no resistance. Do they ever 'numb out', nowadays? Yes, sometimes they do, but for shorter periods of time than before and their numbing-out is less numb and more engaged than it was in the old schooling days. But according to Ali, this is actually an essential component of dynamic learning.
The children's active learning, unforced, tends to happen in deep intense phases that can last for days. These are often followed by a 'fallow' time, which is, I suspect, for necessary unconscious assimilation of information.
So what's the difference in the quality of their learning, between teacher-led (schooled) and student-led (autonomous)? This is like trying to describe the difference between a domestic cat and a Bengal tiger. The schooled version is merely the retaining and reproduction of information and skills. A dynamic learner engages with and owns the process.
Is it possible for a schooled student to be a dynamic learner?
I would say YES, if it was genuinely the child's totally uncoerced decision to be schooled. Otherwise, I doubt it very much.