I’m knee deep in Aaron Swartz’ The Boy who Could Change the World. Skipping around - he has an essay seminal to every mask I wear and every performance I have to put on. As an educator - an educator invested invested in critical pedagogy and interested in anarchist pedagogies, two strike me very powerfully; both are in the section of the book entitled “Unschool”:

  1. Welcome to Unschooling

  2. School Rules

[Both essays were composed and posted in 2000; Swartz was just 14.]

Both are very powerful reads, made all the more compelling by the comfort with the writing process Swartz exhibits here.

I’m can’t provide context now, but in the first post, “Welcome to Unschooling,” Swartz speaks very highly of text that I’m rather ashamed I hadn’t heard of sooner: The Teenage Liberation Handbook.

Swartz points to Llewellyn’s text as a first step in planning an education free of school and indoctrination. He introduces it very caringly, very proudly.

It’s available new from Amazon, from 3rd parties via Barnes and Noble, and not at all via Google Play. If you decide to purchase retail, beware that there’s a revised edition and an abbreviated addition.

In the meantime, here’s the full text of the revised edition in PDF format:


My utopian future is near sighted: I’d like students and parents throughout the US to read and discuss. That’s not the impossible part, this is: I want teachers to encourage this, and to anticipate challenging questions about both schooling and unschooling.

I’ll postpone the disappointment. Maybe utopia is just someone reading through this post and passing it along.