Kerry McDonald

Kerry McDonald

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Kerry McDonald is a Senior Contributor for Intellectual Takeout. She has a B.A. in economics from Bowdoin College and a Master’s degree in education policy from Harvard University. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts and writes about education choice, parental empowerment, homeschooling, and self-directed learning. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and at her blog, Whole Family Learning.

Recent blog posts by this author

What Happens When You Ask Unschoolers 'What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?'

My daughter is a baker. When people ask her what she wants to be when she grows up, she responds breezily: “A baker, but I already am one.” You see, with unschooling there is no postponement of living and doing. There is no preparation for some...

Psychoanalyst Author: Mothers Are the Best Early Caregivers of Their Children

What used to be a biological imperative is now a point of contention. Mothers staying close to their babies, nurturing and nourishing them in their early years, was how our species survived and thrived for millennia. Now, an author and...

Head Lice Epidemics Are Breaking Out in Schools Across the U.S.

Head lice in children are rampant in schools throughout the country. The CDC reports that an estimated six to 12 million young people get head lice each year, and there are indications that these itchy bugs are growing widely resistant to the...

The Rosy—and False—Narrative of American Public Schooling

Humans tend to romanticize the past. In many ways it helps us see the good in what has been and what is now, but in other ways it disguises the truth. The history of American public schooling is a notable example of viewing history through rose-...

A Theory on Why Teen Depression and Anxiety Are Skyrocketing

Dovetailing with World Mental Health Day earlier this week, The New York Times published an article about the skyrocketing rates of teenage anxiety, depression, and suicide. It highlights recent data revealing that hospital admissions for suicidal...

Schooling Was for the Industrial Era, Unschooling Is for the Future

Our current compulsory schooling model was created at the dawn of the Industrial Age. As factories replaced farm work and production moved swiftly outside of homes and into the larger marketplace, 19th century American schooling mirrored the...

Homeschool Slow-Down? Not So Fast

The Washington Post reported last week that after years of rapid growth, homeschooling rates seem to be leveling off.  Between 1999 and 2012, the homeschooling population surged from 1.7 percent of the overall K-12 school-age population, to 3.4...

China’s Education System: A Case Against Importing It

I remember a story my college economics professor told my class many years ago about the differences she saw between her American economics students and the Chinese ones she taught during frequent sabbaticals to Beijing. She said that the Chinese...

Black and Latino Millennials Overwhelmingly Support School Choice, Academic Survey Finds

As the largest demographic group in America right now, millennials drive much public policy. Spanning the ages of roughly 18-34, this generation is young, diverse, opinionated, and increasingly powerful. This is good news for those involved in...

Solitary Confinement is Quite Common In Public Schools

If parents were to lock their children in a confined space for a lengthy period of time, it is highly likely that those parents would be arrested for child abuse and their parental rights threatened. (In fact, this just happened in Arizona recently...

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