I'll tell you what the real problem is: These people are working under the assumption that they know better about what is good for kids, what kids need to learn to get ahead in this world.
We've been doing this here since 1968, so we have been identified as an example of a free, democratic school, and many professors want to expose their students to our philosophy.
Educators are still spending way too much time trying to control what kids learn, bending the content to their own purposes, hoping beyond hope to change – by using technology – but not change too much.
But, neither of these educational scenarios worked for us, so when we started a family, we wanted a different school for our children. And the other founders felt the same way.
When kids play, they are working on imagining the kind of world we live in.
Some go on to trade schools or get further training for jobs they are interested in. Some go into the arts, some are craftsmen, some take a little time out to travel, and some start their own businesses. But our graduates find and work at what they want to do.
Whenever culture has gone through a radical change, as ours has – from industrial age to information age – there are people who will deny that things have changed; they resist it and refuse to change.
In traditional schools, you're penalized for making a mistake. But that won't work in the new information culture, in the digital world we live in today.
Quite a few, actually, are involved in education. They have had the same experience Hanna and I had: when they started having their own kids, they didn't want them to have a poor educational experience; they wanted them to enjoy school.
So, I see technology as a Trojan Horse: It looks like a wonderful thing, but they are going to regret introducing it into the schools because it simply can't be controlled.
Kids are finding out about the potential for discovery online from other sources; many of them have computers at home, for instance, or their friends have them.
And they understand that to be an effective member of a democracy, you have to accept responsibility.
But, if you observe children learning in their first few years of life, you can see that they can and do learn on their own – we leave them alone to crawl, walk, talk, and gain control over their bodies. It happens without much help from parents.
You can't make someone learn something – you really can't teach someone something – they have to want to learn it. And if they want to learn, they will.
I think people with open minds will observe the way we do things and realize that our goal is to have successful, happy, productive adults, and they will take our ideas and implement them elsewhere for their own children.
If you watch young children play, you will notice that they create games, characters, situations, whole worlds in which they immerse themselves with intense concentration.
Just the concept of personal freedom within a democracy, for instance, is a relatively young idea – only about 300 years old in this country.