Call him a rebel, call him a child advocate. When it comes down to it, award-winning independent filmmaker, author, Harvard University fellow, and father, Cevin Soling, is against the American education system because he believes learning should be autonomous. “People learn best [study after study after study shows] when they get to pursue their interest,” The Student Resistance Handbook author told So Booking Cool.
“And you need an educational environment where people are supported with mentors instead of teachers. An example of that is the library; you go to a library, you say you are interested in something, the librarian is going to be knowledgeable of that subject and will know where the books are that support that, will be able to sit down and guide you, but will also introduce you to things that you didn’t really know, that you hadn’t thought about because you’re a kid and you don’t have those experiences.”
In 2009, Soling released his documentary, The War on Kids, which examines education in America. Many outlets praised the documentary including Variety and the New York Times for exposing “startling wake-up calls” and “institutional dysfunction.” The Student Resistance Handbook is perhaps a continuation to his film. It provides a list of tactics that Soling thinks compulsory schooling students should apply. Soling attended a considerably good public school in New York, though he describes his experience as degrading and demeaning despite saying he was a student who did well and never faced any disciplinarian problems. His own thoughts about compulsory education is why he feels it is his duty to speak out.
Check out the interview to learn more about Soling, his thoughts on alternative education, his commentary on some of the dark statistics regarding youth, the conversations he’s had with teachers, why it is unlikely that the American school system will be reformed, why he is fond of higher education, and more! For more information, visit The Student Resistance Handbook website.