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Agile Learning Centers, Liberated Learners, and Sudbury Schools: What’s the Difference? | Alliance for Self-Directed Education
"An exploration of three popular models for supporting self-directed learners.

Table of Contents
A Brief History
Is it a School?
Core Values
What’s Required?
Conflict Resolution
Who Makes the Decisions, and How?
Classes, Activities, Mentorship, and Asking for Help
Graduation
Conclusion: What’s the Same?"
blakeboles  unschooling  deschooling  schools  alternative  sudburyschools  agilelearningcenters  liberatedlearners  northstar  education  children  2018  democracy  democratic  freeschools  values  conflictresolution  authority  history  decisionmaking  teaching  howwelearn  learning  self-directed  self-directedlearning  agilelearning 
february 2019 by robertogreco
lalitha vasudevan on Twitter: "Overhearing tutoring session between adult tutor & suburban hs student. I despair at the extensive focus on relatability (between student & text) as strategy for responding to comprehension questions and essay writing, where
"Overhearing tutoring session between adult tutor & suburban hs student. I despair at the extensive focus on relatability (between student & text) as strategy for responding to comprehension questions and essay writing, wherein to relate to have personally experienced.

1/

Being able to relate, in and of itself, isn't the cause of my despair. It's the over-reliance on experience to the exclusion of other ways of creating conditions for understanding that worries me. This bent away from the traps of "cultural literacy" began w/good intentions;

2/

but this response -- understandably, in resistance to the hyper-testing mania that overtook and still dominates much of the schooling landscape -- may err too far in the direction of allowing some young people to never have to stray too far from their own thoughts.

3/

I want to know what young people think, what they notice and see, how they navigate and experience the world. AND, I want their insights on what others notice, see, conclude, design, and decide; for that, too, concerns young people --

4/

not only in their immediate, local, kinship networks, but about how they perceive others' perceptions of the they things they have noticed, or not. They are civic beings, active in their citizenry, and to deny this and allow otherwise is educational malpractice.

5/

I want young people to be seen and engaged as real interlocutors, not discursive window dressing to be written into curricula and grant proposals as the "participatory" element. I don't just want to hear what they think; I want to think with them, toward new questions.

6/

So, I return to a familiar, frustrating thought: My, how standardization, answer-driven teaching, & the greedy pursuit of efficiency-driven uniformity has royally screwed over kids & schools.
And (some) big data efforts want to help do more of the same.

7/7
#smalldatabigmoments"
lalithavasudevan  education  standardizedtesting  standardization  experience  relatability  teaching  learning  schools  schooliness  kinship  perception  culturalliteracy  howweteach  howwelearn  comprehension  essays  writing  howwewrite  teachingreading  teachingwriting  noticing  civics  citizenship  democracy  democratic  malpractice  participatory  participation  unschooling  deschooling  pedagogy  uniformity  efficiency  bigdata  testing 
august 2018 by robertogreco
Marlboro College - Wikipedia
"Marlboro College is a small, private, academically rigorous liberal-arts college located in Marlboro, Vermont, United States, with an enrollment of 195 students. The College received a perfect academics rating of 99 from The Princeton Review in 2014.[1] Students at Marlboro create an individualized course of study in collaboration with faculty members and participate in a self-governed (self-run) community. Students pursue a self-designed, often inter-disciplinary thesis, the Plan of Concentration, based on their academic interests that culminates in a major body of scholarship.

Marlboro was ranked #117 (out of 1,611 institutions) among liberal arts colleges in the United States by U.S. News & World Report in 2017.[2]

The College's unique facilities that can be used by students include an organic farm, a solar greenhouse, Marlboro's own nature forestland preserve, and an aviary. Weekly "town meetings" are held to vote for and change the College's bylaws."
marlborocollege  smallschools  colleges  liberalarts  progressive  democratic 
august 2018 by robertogreco
Henry Readhead, England - YouTube
"A. S. Neil’s grandson, and belongs to Summerhill’s present management
Life in Summerhill – a school that is a legend
How to create a warm supportive community, in a place that allows freedom for the individual."
summerhill  asneill  henryreadhead  2017  education  democratic  democracy  democraticschools  schools  unschooling  deschooling  learning  community 
april 2018 by robertogreco
Freie Demokratische Schule [Free Democratic School] - Kleine Dorfschule Lassaner WinkelKleine Dorfschule Lassaner Winkel
[text from Google Translate]

"Trust
At our school, trust is the basic quality. It permeates the living relationships between large and small people, on which the work, the game, the life and learning are based. At the same time, the adults trust in the ability of the children to find their own learning rhythm and stand by them carefully.

Connectivity
People are deeply connected to and dependent on other creatures. We ourselves are nature, and to respect and love them is a central concern of life and learning at the Little Village School. We learn the communion with people, plants and animals as a basic necessity, and thus a community culture is practiced at the "Kleine Dorfschule", based on solidarity, caring and responsibility towards the entire community.

Living democracy
The small village school is based on democracy, freedom and human rights. The daily practice of self-determination and participation in decisions concerning the school community enables learners to understand and understand the essence of living democracy at all levels. It is from such an understanding that there is a willingness to take responsibility for themselves and others.

Freedom
The "Kleine Dorfschule" is a place where people learn freely and self-determinedly. We see freedom as a prerequisite for the development and healthy growth of young people. Already Leo Tolstoy (as a pedagogue), Maria Montessori and Célestin Freinet assumed in their work that children need freedom, in order to be able to learn and to develop optimally.

Peace in the
face of dissatisfaction and fragmentation in the present times, we understand the development of communion, co-humanity and nonviolent conflict resolution as a major concern of our school. To live peace requires the respect and appreciation of diversity and equanimity - in coexistence with people as well as with the whole of nature."



"Life and learning are inextricably linked. Living learning can only unfold in an atmosphere of freedom, security, and relationship-an experience that is confirmed today by the findings of brain research and education.

Every child is curious. Inquiring, it conquers its world. From our point of view, young people bear all their potential, which wants to develop freely - beyond anxiety, pressure, and adult-oriented teaching methods. Learning at the Kleine Dorfschule is a creative, lively process, determined by the children themselves.

They are supported by learning companions as well as people of their trust in developing their personal strengths and creatively mastering crises. In the learning groups age-mixed, interdisciplinary learning is the hallmark of the school day. There is a variety of different learning forms, such as courses, learning agreements, individual learning plans, learning in working groups or in free projects, etc. Instead of evaluations and censors, there is careful accompaniment and lively feedback culture. Learning comes from inner motivation: the children follow their own impulses - they learn, play, read, build, calculate, explore, make music according to their individual rhythms. Instead of assessments and censors, there is careful accompaniment and lively feedback culture. Learning comes from inner motivation: the children follow their own impulses - they learn, play, read, build, calculate, explore, make music according to their individual rhythms. Instead of assessments and censors, there is careful accompaniment and lively feedback culture. Learning comes from inner motivation: the children follow their own impulses - they learn, play, read, build, calculate, explore, make music according to their individual rhythms.

The learning culture is based on the following principles:

• Holistic education ("learning with the head, the heart and the hand")
• Free development of the personality within the school community
• The development of a living relationship culture
• Practical democracy, equality, participation
• Connectivity, sustainability, ecological responsibility
• Mutual respect and appreciation
• Integration of the social environment (village life, factories, workshops, workshops, etc.)

In this way, the learning fields are embedded in the lifeworld of the children from which they originated. Thus a reconnection takes place: Important cultural techniques are not considered as abstract tasks, but as exciting learning possibilities in the flow of daily life. Experiences in other democratic schools show that the learners acquire the same competences and a level of knowledge as is done at regular schools, only in their individual temporal rhythms."



"Internal structure

The small village school Lassaner Winkel has a number of characteristics that are characteristic of the democratic schools:

The school meeting
This is a community decision-making forum at the "Kleine Dorfschule", which meets at least once a week. The school meeting consists of the pupils as well as the staff of the school. Here, all members of the school community have the opportunity to discuss current organizational and content concerns, questions, problems and to decide. Regardless of age and function, everyone has a voice.

The formation of responsibilities and working groups
In order to be able to cope with and coordinate the numerous activities of the Little Village School, the task of the school assembly is to form responsibilities. It decides in which areas workplaces and responsible persons are needed. Responsible persons are children or employees, who take responsibility for specific tasks and areas.

Rule-finding as the task of the school community
In order to ensure the protection of all children as well as of the school community as a whole, rules are needed that can be internalized by all parties involved. To act responsibly also means to respect and respect rules and limits that are important for the individual and the school community. The rules are drawn up by children and employees at the school meeting. Through the experience of the common design of rules that arise out of the needs of the individual and the community, their meaning becomes clear to all parties involved.

Violence-free common conflict
solution At the Kleine Dorfschule, we consider conflicts as a creative learning field, which all parties concerned turn to constructively. Thus, disputes can be conducted without violence, and there is the possibility of turning to a clarification council. As a matter of principle, all children and employees can always seek protection from the Council. It consists of regularly changing members, whereby the different perspectives of a conflict can be directly experienced and the sense of justice can be strengthened.

Participation, Participation
At the center of the Small Village School - as at every democratic school - is the principle of participation and participation. From the very beginning, children and young people have been learning how to shape living democracy. Codetermination is understood here neither as an instrument of the enforcement of the power of the most talkative nor as a partial co-decision-making possibility, but as a principle full of participation and as an instrument of joint responsibility and equal decision making."
schools  germany  via:cervus  democracy  democratic  democraticschool  freeschools  education  unschooling  deschooling  sfsh  community  participatory  howwelearn  trust  children  learning  responsibility  participation  holistiic  freedom  mutualesepect  connectivity  sustainability  experientialeducation  experieniallearning  lcproject  openstudioproject 
august 2017 by robertogreco
I'm Nowhere In-between: Why we need 'seriously uncool' criticism in education - Long View on Education
"You know those t-charts that divide approaches to education into the old and the new? Of course you do. And I bet that were we both to take five minutes to reproduce one from memory, we would come up with roughly the same list. All we’d need to do then is choose a side. Or perhaps stake out a position somewhere in the middle, a blend of the two. Nothing too extreme.

Let me show you one from nearly 100 years ago. In 1925, May R. Pringle experimented with ‘the project method’, which we would now call ‘Project Based Learning’.1

[image]

I spend a lot of time thinking and writing about how we need to be critical of the list of ‘the new and modern’ because it’s always backed by a corporate push. But that’s not why progressive educators find the list seductive. The very terms themselves act as a siren call to anyone who wants a more humane education for children: creative, student-centered, open, flexible, collaboration, choice. We are told that these are the qualities that schools kill and that CEOs would kill for.

But here is the problem. What if CEOs started to call for qualities that ran against our progressive values? In a report by The Economist (and sponsored by Google), Emiliana Vega, “chief of the Education Division, Inter- American Development Bank”, describes the kind of skills that he wishes schools would instill:
“In Latin America, socio- emotional skills are a big part of the gap between what employers need and what young people have. For example, tourism companies need people who will smile and be polite to guests, and often graduates just don’t possess those public- facing techniques.”

Think about that for a minute.

But opposing this new ‘skills agenda’ doesn’t mean that I’m a traditionalist or trying to cut a middle ground. My teaching is most certainly not some kind of ‘back to basics’ or mindless self-medicating prescribed by the ‘what works’ gurus.

The ‘what works’ agenda holds it’s own kind of seduction for self-fashioned rationalists in the vein of Richard Dawkins or Daniel Dennett, who somehow manage to hold onto the Modern faith in science as if most of the 20th century never happened. Geert Lovink sums up that limited critical terrain by looking at the work of Nick Carr, who often criticizes technology because of the effect it has on our cognition:
“Carr and others cleverly exploit the Anglo-American obsession with anything related to the mind, brain and consciousness – mainstream science reporting cannot get enough of it. A thorough economic (let alone Marxist) analysis of Google and the free and open complex is seriously uncool. It seems that the cultural critics will have to sing along with the Daniel Dennetts of this world (loosely gathered on edge.org) in order to communicate their concerns.”

Most of the ‘seriously uncool’ criticism of the project of Modernity has exploded the dichotomies that the destructive myth of ‘rational’ and ‘objective’ scientific ‘progress’ rested on. While we might lament that teachers do not read enough research, we can’t mistake that research for a neutral, apolitical body of knowledge.

Allow me to use a famous study to illustrate my point. Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer’s ‘The Pen Is Mightier than the Keyboard’ (2014) seems to show that writing notes with pen and paper boosts retention and understanding of information compared to typing notes on a computer. In their study, the participants watched TED talks and took notes, completed distractor tasks, and about 30 minutes later answered questions. In one condition, the test was delayed by a week and some participants were allowed to study their notes for 10 minutes before taking the test. The TED talks were intentionally disconnected from any larger project they were learning about.

So rationally and scientifically speaking, we should have students take notes with pen and paper, right?

Yet, the study itself is not neutral with respect to pedagogy since it contains many in-built assumptions about how we should teach: we can say that the pen is mightier than the keyboard under the controlled conditions when students watch a short lecture once, about a topic they are not in the course of studying, when they are not permitted to take the notes home and perform more work with them, and when the assessment of knowledge uses short answer questions divorced from a meaningful purpose or complex project.

Is that how we want to teach? Would a democratic conversation about schools endorse that pedagogy?

In the lab, scientists try to reduce the complexity and heterogeneity in networks – to purify them – so as to create controlled conditions. Subjects and treatments are standardized so they become comparable. Drawing on systems theory, Gert Biesta argues that schools – like all institutions and our social life more broadly – engage in a kind of complexity reduction. We group children into grades and classes, start and end the day at the same time, in order to reduce “the number of available options for action for the elements of a system” which can “make a quick and smooth operation possible”.

Reducing options for action is neither good nor bad in itself, but it is always an issue of politics and power. So, cognitive science is no more a neutral guide than CEOs. As Biesta writes, “The issue, after all is, who has the power to reduce options for action for whom.”

Reliance on only ‘what works’ is a kind of complexity reduction that would eliminate the need for professional judgement. Biesta worries about the “democratic deficit” that results from “the uptake of the idea of evidence-based practice in education”. It’s a conversation stopper, much like relying on CEOs to provide us with the ‘skills of the future’ also raises the issue of a ‘democratic deficit’ and questions about who has power.

I’m not writing this because I feel like what I have to say is completely new, but because I feel like I need to affirm a commitment to the project of critical pedagogy, which does not rest somewhere in the middle of a t-chart. Critical pedagogy embraces hybridity over purification. Our classrooms should emphasize the very heterogeneity in networks in all their variation and glory that experiments – and corporations – seek to eliminate.2

If I’m nowhere in-between, I’m certainly not the first nor alone.

In Teaching to Transgress (1994), bell hooks tells us that “talking about pedagogy, thinking about it critically, is not the intellectual work that most folks think is hip and cool.” Yes, we still need more of that ‘seriously uncool’ critical work if education is to work in the service of freedom. hooks writes, “Ideally, education should be a place where the need for diverse teaching methods and styles would be valued, encouraged, seen as essential to learning.”

There’s lots of reason to think that the social media discussion of education is not a kind of paradise. But as hooks reminds us,
“…learning is a place where paradise can be created. The classroom, with all its limitations, remains a location of possibility. In that field of possibility we have the opportunity to labor for freedom, to demand of ourselves and our comrades, an openness of mind and heart that allows us to face reality even as we collectively imagine ways to move beyond boundaries, to transgress. This is education as the practice of freedom.”3
"
benjamindoxtdator  2017  dichotomies  dichotomy  spectrums  projectbasedlearning  bellhooks  criticalpedagogy  education  lcproject  openstudioproject  sfsh  hybridity  purity  teaching  leaning  unschooling  deschooling  progressive  schools  freedom  homogeneity  heterogeneity  mayrpringle  history  modernity  emilianavega  richarddawkins  danieldennett  faith  geertlovink  criticism  criticalthinking  technology  pammueller  danieloppenheimer  tedtalks  democracy  democratic  gertbiesta  systemstheory  diversity  complexity  simplicity  agesegregation  efficiency  politics  power  authority  networks  possibility  nicholascarr 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Why are Democratic Schools Growing so Fast in France? | Alliance for Self-Directed Education
"There are several things about France which make it the right place for this movement to emerge.

France has one of the most outdated education systems within the Western World, and people are getting seriously fed up with it. Most people may think this about their own country, but believe me, France is far behind all of them. So-called “alternative schools” represent a tiny portion in French education, such that more than 99% of French kids are more or less doing the same standard thing, be it in public or private schools. Despite government efforts to reform the system, it seems like things are rather going backward than forward. At this stage, people are generally fed up with the system, and the media (even mass media) regularly and generously bashes conventional schooling. A general feeling of frustration and resentment over their own past is motivating parents to look for alternatives, and some of them are open to explore seemingly radical ones.

Freedom of education and freedom of enterprise are so sacred that independent schools are highly protected. The French don’t kid about their famous “liberté, égalité” motto. It’s truly there, in the Constitution and the Law. Contrarily to Germany and Spain, for example, homeschooling is allowed. (Sure, academic inspection doesn’t always make it easy for parents, but it’s allowed). Opening a private school requires a simple declaration, and the academic inspection is only supposed to make sure the school is safe and clean, that it allows students to socialize and develop their personalities, that secularism is respected, and that there are sufficient means for them to get some basic education, all of which are easy to show for a democratic school. Up to now, our 17 democratic schools, seven of which are based on the Sudbury concept, were easily able to open and run, and we have encountered no major hurdles with authorities.

It seems like France usually takes more time than other countries to change (women’s voting rights, for example), but when it changes, it’s sudden, and it’s real. Indeed, France has already shown its ability to initiate radical, pioneering change, with the whole country moving as one. This aspect makes us a good candidate to reach a Tipping Point in our education system."
france  democraticschools  democracy  schools  deschooling  unschooling  sfsh  2017  education  homeschool  raminfarhangi  sudburyschools  alternative  tippingpoint  change  schooling  freedom  democratic 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Dude Ranch — The California Sunday Magazine
"Even the drive to the college evokes cinematic scenes of frontier outposts: “You come down from the mountains into the valley and see off in the distance a few kinds of trees and a little cluster of buildings in an otherwise empty desert,” says Sam Contis, who has visited the school a dozen times since March 2013. “I wasn’t quite expecting the sense of scale — how small the campus is in relation to the rest of the space around it. It felt like you could blink and it would almost disappear.”"



"The last pillar is self-governance, which is a confluence of a lot of playfulness and a lot of seriousness. We ran our meetings with Robert’s Rules of Order and dealt with some tough decisions. We could have some incredibly tense, incredibly high-octane disagreements. And at the same time, we started most of our meetings with some kind of shared noise. We’d go from howling at the moon to getting into the heart of whether to let someone leave the valley or have a guest for this or that reason.

I experienced a level of comfort, of closeness, of vulnerability, of physical and emotional contact with my classmates, that I think it’s fair to say is pretty uncommon among male peer groups. But to protect that at the expense of allowing women in feels irresponsible, and I don’t think it gives the place enough credit. To imagine that having women at the school would fundamentally alter the relationships between people, that’s naive."



"I had an advantage when it came to the manual labor; I had worked on my dad’s farm and taken care of animals when I was a kid. But I was intimidated by the academics. One of the first classes I took was the Nicomachean Ethics of Aristotle. That was the first time I took a philosophy class, and I realized that many of my peers had read the book two or three times before. In another class, we talked a lot about the internal politics of the U.S., and they kept saying “the electoral college,” and I was like, “What are they talking about? Is that a college? Where is it?”

Every time I worked alongside my classmates, I’d have long conversations that made me a better student. I remember one particular horseback ride with a friend. We were taking this class about The Varieties of Religious Experience, and we were asking, how is it that when you think about religious experience it always has to be associated with this idea of the divine? Here we were, riding in the valley, in this huge space where there is nothing but us and you can hear everything around you — you can hear the footsteps of the horses, you can hear sand blowing. How is that not given the same form of authority as someone dreaming that they talked to God?"



"There’s this paradox of Deep Springs, because on the one hand, it’s billed as this isolation experiment, but the reality is that it’s the most social experience I’ve ever had. I really started to feel it in my second year — the amount of obligations that piled on throughout the week, everyone being in one dorm."



"When I got there, my first memory was settling into the room where I was staying, and there were two students curled up together on the bed reading Emily Dickinson. Then I poked my head into another room at night where the student body was having what they call a “boojie.” There were 15 guys dancing to Kesha and Taylor Swift and Katy Perry. At that point, I just had no idea how I could possibly stay in that space. But by the end of my time, I learned to dance at Deep Springs in a very real way."
deepspringscollege  2017  photography  isolation  self-governance  sfsh  democratic  education  learning  colleges  universities  social  samcontis  ericbenson  cohabitation 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Self-Directed Education—Unschooling and Democratic Schooling - Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education
"Education, broadly defined, is cultural transmission. It is the process or set of processes by which each new generation of human beings acquires and builds upon the skills, knowledge, beliefs, values, and lore of the culture into which they are born. Through all but the most recent speck of human history, education was always the responsibility of those being educated. Children come into the world biologically prepared to educate themselves through observing the culture around them and incorporating what they see into their play. Research in hunter-gatherer cultures shows that children in those cultures became educated through their own self-directed exploration and play. In modern cultures, self-directed education is pursued by children in families that adopt the homeschooling approach commonly called “unschooling” and by children enrolled in democratic schools, where they are in charge of their own education. Follow-up studies of “graduates” of unschooling and democratic schooling reveal that this approach to education can be highly effective, in today’s word, if children are provided with an adequate environment for self-education—an environment in which they can interact freely with others across a broad range of ages, can experience first-hand what is most valued in the culture, and can play with, and thereby experiment with, the primary tools of the culture."
petergray  unschooling  self-directed  self-directedlearning  learning  education  deschooling  democratic  culture  homeschool 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Children in Charge: Self-Directed Learning Programs | Edutopia
"The Radical Model

Villa Monte is a government-approved "school" in Switzerland that is just reviewing its 30-year history. It has no teachers, no exams, and no report cards. Children from 4-18 years of age arrive every morning and decide entirely for themselves what they want to do during the day, whether they prefer to roam the woods, cook, practice for a theater play, or program a robot.

Children learn at their own pace. Some are able to read by age five, others by age ten. The differences are fully accepted, and children are not forced to learn a concept they might not be ready for. As a result, the children of Villa Monte have historically exhibited far lower levels of distress and anxiety compared to children in the regular school system.

The adults -- paid staff and sometimes parents -- are there to answer questions and provide emotional support, but otherwise do not interfere with the children's self-driven learning process. They minimize any praise or criticism. But there is one rule: "You should not do anything to other children that they do not like." There is no pedagogical concept, just the individual path of each child that determines the daily routine.

It is not surprising that children who have gone through Villa Monte report having had a very happy childhood. But are they able to survive the pressure in today's society? The alumni surveyed in a recent study reported that they did face a knowledge deficit when pursuing apprenticeships or college studies, but that "content deficit" is typically made up within six months. Every student learns social competencies, self-esteem, and how to learn independently -- three important 21st-century skills -- and graduates have gone on to become artists, engineers, and IT entrepreneurs.

The Villa Monte model cannot be easily replicated, but it does point to the fact that children can be trusted much more to take charge of their own learning."
via:mattarguello  villamonte  schools  democracy  democratic  lcproject  openstudioproject  sfsh  switzerland  freedom  learning  howwelearb  unschooling  deschooling  praise  criticism  freeschools  2015 
september 2016 by robertogreco
The hundred languages of childhood know no age bounds | IOE LONDON BLOG
"Loris Malaguzzi (1920-94) was one of the great educationalists of the 20th century. He was a thinker, but also a doer, a council employee who played a leading role in the evolution of a network of municipal schools in the Italian city of Reggio Emilia, 70 kilometres west of Bologna. Today, the schools and Malaguzzi are an inspiration to those who resist the spread of neoliberal and neoconservative education policies.

Most educationalists won’t have heard of Reggio Emilia or Malaguzzi. This is in part because both are Italian, and most of his work is in Italian. A newly published book – ‘Loris Malaguzzi and the Schools of Reggio Emilia’ – edited by myself and colleagues in Reggio Emilia, aims to rectify this, with English translations of a selection of his writings and speeches, starting in 1945 (when, as he wrote ‘everything seemed possible’). But there’s another reason. Malaguzzi and Reggio Emilia are world famous for early childhood education, a field largely untrodden by the rest of education. Yet Malaguzzi was convinced that he was engaged in a project of educational renewal, which knew no age bounds.

What lessons does Malaguzzi have for all education? He insists that education is, first and foremost, a political practice, always about making choices between conflicting alternatives. One of the most important choices concerns our understanding or image of the child – who do we think the child is? Answer that question, Malaguzzi argued, and all else – policy, provision, practice – follows. Of course every educational policy and service is based on a particular image, but one that is invariably implicit and unacknowledged; policy documents typically neither ask nor answer the question. But Reggio Emilia does.

Malaguzzi insisted that ‘a declaration [about the image of the child] is…the necessary premise for any pedagogical theory, and any pedagogical project’. And he was clear about his image: ‘We say all children are rich, there are no poor children. All children whatever their culture, whatever their lives are rich, better equipped, more talented, stronger and more intelligent than we can suppose’.

Rich children are born with a ‘hundred languages’, the term he used to suggest the many and diverse ways children can express themselves and relate to the world – ranging from manifold forms of art to maths, sciences and technologies. Malaguzzi was damning about the damage usually done to these languages by education: ‘Children have a hundred languages: they rob them of ninety nine, school and culture.’ Instead, he strove to nurture languages, for example through ateliers and atelieristas – art workshops and artist-educators found in most Reggio schools. Atelieristas were also there to confront traditional and narrow pedagogy, to ‘provoke some less convenient directions capable of breaking with the professional and cultural routine.’

For Malaguzzi, education was about constructing new knowledge and thought. He valued wonder and surprise, the unpredicted and the unexpected, making connections and inter-disciplinarity. The strength of Reggio, Malaguzzi believed, was that all the time ‘something unexpected, something that surprised us or made us marvel, something that disappointed us, something that humiliated us, would burst out in a child or in the children.’ While he despised what he termed ‘testology’ – ‘which is nothing but a ridiculous simplification of knowledge and a robbing of meaning from individual histories’ – and its partner ‘prophetic pedagogy’, which knows everything [that will happen], does not have one uncertainty, is absolutely imperturbable… [It] prophesies everything, to the point that it is capable of giving you recipes for little bits of actions, minute by minute, hour by hour, objective by objective, five minutes by five minutes. This is something so coarse, so cowardly, so humiliating of teachers’ ingenuity, a complete humiliation for children’s ingenuity and potential.

If making choices about understandings was an important part of education’s political practice, making choices about values was another. Malaguzzi’s choice included uncertainty and subjectivity, solidarity and cooperation and, perhaps most important of all, participation and democracy. As a ‘living centre of open and democratic culture’, opening out not only to families but also to its local neighbourhood, the school should be capable of ‘living out processes and issues of partici­pation and democracy.’ Democracy, for Malaguzzi, was not just a matter of participant social management and participatory accountability, important as both were; it should suffuse all relationships and practices – democracy in a Deweyan sense of ‘a mode of associated living’.

If Malaguzzi placed political practice first, this did not mean he ignored technical practice. He thought organisation was vital, though always serving politics and ethics, and was constantly asking under what conditions can innovation work. Indeed, it was this attention to organisational detail and technical practice that has enabled the municipal schools of Reggio Emilia to become the most extensive and sustained example of radical, democratic, public education in the world. Faced by a hidebound education system, Loris Malaguzzi showed that there are alternatives, that another world is possible.

A final point needs emphasising at a time when local authorities in England are being squeezed out of any role in the provision of schools. Reggio Emilia’s schools are municipal schools; this innovative experience was initiated and nurtured by the city council. Malaguzzi himself was a council employee, putting me in mind of equally inspired heads of local education authorities in England. As a believer in public, democratic education, embedded in its local community, Malaguzzi thought that the democratic expression of that community, the commune or local authority, should be a main protagonist in the provision of schools for young children (and other services). Academisation may make all the running at present, but Malaguzzi and the schools of Reggio Emilia remind us that there are alternatives."
lorismalaguzzi  reggioemilia  2016  education  pedagogy  emergentcurriculum  politics  italy  children  howwelearn  howweteach  lcproject  openstudioproject  tcsnmy  expression  ethics  organization  innovation  schools  democratic  democracy  alternative  publicschools  community  academization  uncertainty  knowledge  culture  languages  art  policy  solidarity  cooperation  participation  participatory  sfsh 
march 2016 by robertogreco
What Self-Directed Learning Can Look Like for Underprivileged Children in Asia | MindShift | KQED News
"Unlike at Summerhill, children at Moo Baan Dek have work responsibilities (such as working in the center’s rice fields), but these are freely chosen, and there is a lot of discretion in how they are carried out (e.g., children are encouraged to listen to their bodies if they need a break). Children also collaborate with houseparents on menus and shopping, learning about home economics in the process.

“Once they trust the adults, the adults can help them to do something,” one of the founders, Rajani Dongchai, told Gribble. But after developing this bond, the adults step back so the children can learn to believe in the inherent value of the activities, rather than simply obeying their elders. They step in only when children appear to need help, and then offer it with compassion.

Many of Moo Baan Dek’s students have gone on to higher education and gainful work in occupations that run the gamut from hospital staff to auto mechanics and sales."



"Street Children Apply Themselves to Have an “Education for Life”

Children who work and/or live on New Delhi’s streets struggle to survive, picking up small jobs such as collecting rags, carrying bags, or selling food, while coping with police beatings, predatory adults, and motorists that don’t even brake for them, reflecting their extremely low status in that society.

Social worker Rita Panicker was dismayed that most organizations trying to help these children treated them merely as passive recipients of charity and offered them conventional lessons that did little to help them overcome their specific challenges, instead of empowering them with “education for life.” To offer an alternative, she started the Butterflies program in 1989; its name evokes her desire to help these eight- to 15-year-old children develop wings to fly in freedom wherever they chose.

Its core guiding principle is children’s participation. So the Butterflies educators began by spending weeks on the streets, getting to know the children who wanted to talk, asking them what they wanted to do, and in what areas they wanted help. The program’s distinguishing operating elements include a Children’s Council with decision-making power (which extends to the ability to dismiss staff) and a requirement that the children pay a modest fee for services. The educators relate to the children as friends and colleagues and are affectionately called Elder Brother and Elder Sister.

Most of the children have never even held a pencil when they begin interacting with the program, but Gribble notes that literacy should not be confused with education. In some senses, these children are already highly educated and mature, because they manage to survive on their own and handle complicated, real-life situations on a regular basis. Therefore the Butterflies curriculum “can’t be childish,” he says. Moreover, he explains in “Lifelines,” although the program is accredited through the equivalent of eighth grade, and the children have opportunities to learn subjects such as math, science, Hindi and English, “formal education is not the priority. The priority is to make each child feel trusted, secure and precious. Only then can formal learning take place.”

Educators meet the children at popular contact points around the city (such as the railway station) at mutually agreed times. They offer activities that help the children analyze and question and find things out for themselves. They also bring tin trunks with materials such as exercise books, discussion-provoking cards, and games. The children decide how much, or whether, to engage, and can work on whatever they choose. Anyone is welcome to join in, and some 1,500 children have taken up the offer. Older street children often lead the activities, with the staff remaining in the background, offering assistance as needed.

Many choose to study because no one is requiring them to, Gribble says. He observed children working together “enthusiastically and seriously,” he writes, with a “dignity and purposefulness that perhaps is in part a result of not suffering the humiliation of being obliged to accept charity. … It is moving almost to the point of tears to see a twelve-year-old boy totally committing himself to sounding out letters or practising basic addition.”

The educators also cover subjects that “touch the children emotionally, because those are the subjects that children really want to talk and write about,” Gribble explains. For instance, they may present realistic case studies (e.g., a runaway girl confides that she’s been sexually abused, but the police don’t want to file a report) and ask the children to demonstrate possible responses through dramatic arts.

Success isn’t measured in test scores or the attainment of formal qualifications. It’s considered success if the children trust the adults; learn to read and write (about 60 percent of the children who participate for six months learn to read and write within that time); accomplish personal projects; or go on to high school and find sustaining work. It is also considered success if they become aware of their rights and develop skills that enable them to protect themselves from being cheated and to negotiate for better wages."
asia  education  learning  children  self-directed  self-directedlearning  davidgribble  thailand  bankok  sumerhill  democratic  democracy  democraticschools  streetchildren  nedelhi  moobaandek  lubavangelova  howwelearn  unschooling  deschooling  schools  ritapaniker  butterflies  india 
may 2015 by robertogreco
The Life and Work of an Institution of Progressive Higher Education: Towards a History of Black Mountain College, 1933-1949 by Jonathan Fisher | BMCS
"This ambitious new democratic structure for the administration of a college was unique to BMC, and to my knowledge has not been repeated on such a scale since. It would mean that teachers, in addition to their classroom and other responsibilities on campus, would also be taking on administrative tasks like bookkeeping, fundraising, hiring of new faculty and student admissions on a rotating basis. This commitment to a radically more democratic organizational structure for the new Black Mountain College would last until the bitter end, despite a list-ditch effort led by Dreier and Albers to alter it in the late 1940s. This attempt ultimately led to the Board of Fellows voting to remove Dreier, who had been on an extended leave of absence, in 1948. Josef and Anni Albers would leave the following year. But it was this radically democratic structure that would attract some of the world’s most visionary artists and teachers to this tiny town in rural Western North Carolina for more than two decades. It was also this structure which would allow the BMC community to move forward on issues of racial integration in the 1930s and ‘40s—decades before such attempts would be made at larger, more established colleges in the southeastern United States. It was ultimately John Dewey’s principles of progressive education that were at the foundation of these radical organizational structures, which were adopted by BMC’s founders.

During the first five years of Black Mountain College’s existence, things went remarkably smoothly. Of course finding enough money was always a problem. It was the height of the Great Depression in the United States and despite Rice, Dreier and Albers’ best efforts, BMC had never managed to secure more than minimal financial support for their new experimental progressive institution. A budget drawn up by Dreier in the first year of BMC totaled $32,000, with staff salaries totaling less than $2000, excluding Albers’ salary of $1000 annually, which was supported separately by an individual benefactor (Duberman, 1972, p.71). In these early years there were none of the scandals or disputes that would plague the community later on in the ‘30s and ‘40s. Furthermore, the college’s system of governance appeared to be working. And efforts at self-sustainability were taken on unflinchingly. A student-run cooperative store was set up on campus as well as a print shop and a cottage school for the community’s youngest members (ibid.). In addition to their academic work, students engaged in projects ranging from the staffing of the various cooperative enterprises set up on campus, to the manufacture of bookshelves, curtains and other furnishings for campus buildings. These activities helped supplement the goods available to them on the campus they were leasing from a Christian group, which used it for a summer camp for just a few months each year.

Among the highlights of these early years of the college were two visits by John Dewey, who in 1936 began serving officially as a member of BMC’s Advisory Council. Both of Dewey’s visits took place during the 1934-35 school year. It is unclear from the correspondence in the North Carolina Archives whether or not Dewey ever visited the campus again. But these two early visits set a precedent, which caused BMC faculty—especially Rice and Dreier— to request future visits, which always seem never to have quite worked out (e.g. Dreier [to Dewey] April 6, 1938; Dewey [to Dreier] April 13, 1938). In one of the oldest Dewey letters in the BMC General Collection of the North Carolina Archives, which is handwritten on Columbia University Department of Philosophy letterhead, Dewey expresses his regrets at not being able to pay Rice and the others at BMC a visit during the fall of 1936. He writes of postponing his planned visit until the spring, “when I hope to see the countryside and the flowers at their best” (Dewey [to John Rice] October 29, 1936)."



"Ultimately Dewey remained committed to his position on the Advisory council until the late 40s. A final lengthy unsent hand-written letter from Dreier addressed to Dewey provides a grim picture of the final days of Dreier’s involvement in college affairs (Dreier [unsent letter to John Dewey] 1947, July). Duberman has described in less sympathetic terms Dreier and Albers’ ploy to wrest control of BMC from the faculty and hand it over to a new Board of Trustees. At the root of Dreier’s decision, as usual, was a concern for the financial stability of the college. Black Mountain had never been officially accredited by the State of North Carolina, and student enrollment was too unreliable (Duberman p.484-5). But this was just one of many problems facing BMC in the late 40s. Dreier despairs in his unsent letter at the difficulty of finding good teachers who are also capable and willing college administrators:
Our program, a pretty real thing to [Albers] and me, was not much more than words to most new [faculty] members with one or two notable exceptions… One way of looking at the present difficulty is to say that we simply haven’t been able to get the staff we need. If we could get an adequate team that could pull together, then I think we could raise the money we need (Dreier [unsent letter to Dewey] 1947, July).

So, Dreier’s concerns are both immediate and practical, but no less frustrating for their immediacy or practicality. He is trying to escape a catch-22 of money and talent. But also, more tellingly, Dreier writes:
Another way of looking at our trouble is that our program has become unclear, conviction has sagged… Hardly anybody sees what’s wrong, but gradually the whole thing is sagging toward breaking (ibid.).

Dreier’s pain and frustration are palpable here. The emotion of this letter is even intensified by the fact that he decided not to send it to his mentor, Dewey. But this unsent letter to Dewey shows the philosophers’ influence as a guiding voice for Dreier, Albers and other faculty at BMC in the 1940s. Dreier, in writing this letter seems to be implicitly asking himself, “what would Dewey do?” not because John Dewey was some all-knowing being, capable of rescuing Black Mountain College from dire financial straits, but because Dewey’s pragmatist method of evaluating experience and taking action had been the basis for everything he had helped create at BMC over the course of the previous 15 years.

The changes in administrative structure that Dreier alludes to in his final unsent letter to Dewey, which he and Albers attempted to implement as a last-ditch effort at financial solvency for BMC, ultimately failed to stick. The ensuing crisis ended in Dreier and Albers being forced to leave. Ironically, strict adherence to the Deweyan progressive educational principle of professional autonomy, which was at the core of Rice’s idea for Black Mountain College, and which Dreier resigned from Rollins in support of, was the same issue that brought Dreier and Albers careers at BMC to an end when they switched sides. In other words, the same philosophical inclination that justified the founding of BMC in 1933 remained and kept BMC on its own radical trajectory in the late 40s, even when figures like Dreier and Albers stepped in to try to change the way the college was organized. So, on the one hand, Albers and Dreier failed at prolonging the life of BMC. But, on the other hand, even in this final failure on Dreier and Albers’s part— in their capitulation to the mainstream bureaucratic structure of higher education, the creation of a non-faculty Board of Trustees which would have had hiring and firing power for BMC— illustrates that the college retained that uniquely Deweyan pragmatist orientation and progressivism. When the community became aware of the changes that Dreier and Albers had gotten underway, they acted democratically to kick Dreier and Albers out!"
bmc  blackmountaincollege  education  progressive  progressiveeducation  johnndewey  johnandrewsrice  josefalbers  theodoredreier  democracy  tcsnmy  progressivism  compromise  annialbers  pragmatism  democratic  democraticschools  unschooling  deschooling  experience  complexity  cv  lcproject  openstudioproject 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Deep Springs College and the Liberal Arts Ideal
"In order to understand what “is suited to the education of a free person,” we need to first know what freedom amounts to. At the core of Nunn’s conception of freedom is self-governance, for he views freedom and self-government in obedience to law as one and the same. He recognizes that on the face of it this doesn’t make sense. How can obedience be synonymous with freedom?

To understand this it will help to contrast the fee person with the slave. The free person lives in free society with others. Free societies can be small and large, ranging from, for example, the small association of students at Deep Springs, to the state government of Pennsylvania or the government of the United States of America. When people live in society with one another they choose to establish laws governing the conduct of their members, for the maintenance and flourishing of the society as a whole, and they curtail their own rights, for the benefit of the common good.

Slavery, like freedom, requires society. Unlike freedom, which is participation in society, however, slavery is subjugation to it. The slave does not choose to enter into society with others, but is coerced into obeying orders out of fear. Both the slave and the free person recognize and respect the law, but they do so in extremely different ways. The free person wills the law, takes responsibility for it, and has her part in determining it. The slave submits to it and is bound by it in servitude.

At the individual level, Nunn thinks that we find a situation analogous to that of the free person and the slave at the social level. He thinks there are laws governing our right conduct, laws of morality that we can all be aware of through our good common sense. We can rebel against these and instead follow our personal inclinations, desiring our own pleasure and our own gain, at the expense of others. Such intemperance, according to Nunn is the mark of poor self-governance. When we follow our good judgment, will our action in accord with it, and take responsibility for this action, however, then he thinks we govern ourselves well individually.

Now in a free society, the authority of the body politic derives from each individual’s choice to enter into that society. Accordingly, the authority of the society is in part vested in it from each of its members, and in respecting its authority the members are indirectly respecting their own authority over themselves. In this way, when a free person respects the laws of their free society, they are engaged in a further form of self-government."



"The main difference between my years at Deep Springs and those spent elsewhere perhaps is just this: life there was simpler. It was simpler because it was preparatory. It was about surveying the space of possibilities, laying foundations, and getting one’s bearings. This was mostly an internal process. It was about getting one’s heart in order. And while this process couldn’t happen alone, in isolation, it could happen in a relatively simple, small community of fifty or so people, largely cut off from the mad complexity of life in the real world and of what our future lives in that world would be. The tremendous privilege that Deep Springs students receive is, then, just two years in this simple space in which they can orient themselves and prepare for the complexities of life to come."
deepspringscollege  time  simplicity  education  lcproject  tcsnmy  tcsnmy8  learning  liberalarts  llnunn  life  well-being  self-governance  democracy  democraticschools  democratic  alternative  service  servicelearning  selflessness  community  labor  freedom  liberty  society  slavery  authority 
march 2013 by robertogreco
No Teachers, No Class, No Homework; Would You Send Your Kids Here? - Emily Chertoff - The Atlantic
"Many agree that the generation of Americans now in their teens and 20s had some of the most over-supervised and over-structured childhoods in U.S. history. It will be interesting to see whether these trends will continue, or whether these next-generation parents react to their own disciplined upbringings by becoming more hands-off. If they grow to resent the way they were raised, democratic schools may come to look like a pretty appealing option for their own children."
parenting  supervision  education  learning  sudbury  sudburyschools  sudburyvalleyschool  trends  deschooling  unschooling  2012  summerhill  schools  democratic  democraticschools  democraticeducation 
december 2012 by robertogreco
Franz Erhard Walther: Work as Action - artreview.com
"Franz Erhard Walther counts among those artists who, in the 1960s, sought to undermine the authorial role of the artist in favour of a more democratic aesthetic dependent on the interaction of viewer and object. Others with similar ideas whose work has entered the curatorial limelight of late include Charlotte Posenenske, featured in the last Documenta and subject of a one-person show this summer at Artists Space here in New York. Unlike Posenenske ¬– who wished to divorce the hand from artmaking in favour of mechanised labour – Walther seems to take his cue from Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man: simple and individual acts such as folding and lying, leaning and stepping are either the source of his often minimal works or the means by which individual viewers may interact with them."

[See also: http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/events/16187 AND http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/exhibitions/1294 ]
canvas  wearables  johnbock  martinkippenberger  santiagosierra  josephbeuys  firstworkset  workasaction  action  charlotteposenske  collaborative  participatory  1967  franzerhardwalther  democratic  interactive  glvo  art  wearable  ncm  participatoryart 
november 2012 by robertogreco
The Curse of Bigness | Christopher Ketcham | Orion Magazine
"Small groups of people prove to be more cohesive, effective, creative in getting things done. In the 1970s, the English management expert and business scholar Charles Handy put the ideal group size in work environments at “between five and seven” for “best participation, for highest all-round involvement.” Alexander Paul Hare, author of the classic Creativity in Small Groups, showed that groups sized between four and seven were most successful at problem solving, largely because small groups, as Hare observed, are more democratic: egalitarian, mutualist, co-operative, inclusive. Hundreds of studies in factories and workplaces confirm that workers divided into small groups enjoy lower absenteeism, less sickness, higher productivity, greater social interaction, higher morale—most likely because the conditions allow them to engage what is best in being human, to share the meaning and fruits of their labor…"
gandhi  buddhisteconomics  buddhism  energy  efschumacher  competition  paulgoodman  alienation  charlesperrow  representativedemocracy  profits  goldmansachs  standardoil  gm  innovation  committees  efficiency  standardization  corporatocracy  corporatism  economics  louisbrandeis  gigantism  growth  decentralization  human  humans  community  communities  biology  nature  size  2010  christopherketcham  toobigtosucceed  toobigtofail  power  howwework  howwelearn  hierarchy  groupdynamics  inclusiveness  inclusion  cooperation  egalitarian  egalitarianism  democratic  collaboration  management  alexanderpaulhare  tcsnmy8  tcsnmy  morale  productivity  neuroscience  social  scale  bigness  creativity  charleshandy  openstudioproject  lcproject  groupsize  cv  small  inclusivity  inlcusivity 
august 2012 by robertogreco
La Educación Prohibida | Un proyecto audiovisual para transformar la educación…
"La Educación Prohibida es una película documental que se propone cuestionar las lógicas de la escolarización moderna y la forma de entender la educación, visibilizando experiencias educativas diferentes, no convencionales que plantean la necesidad de un nuevo paradigma educativo.

La Educación Prohibida es un proyecto realizado por jóvenes que partieron desde la visión del quienes aprenden y se embarcaron en una investigación que cubre 8 países realizando entrevistas a más de 90 educadores de propuestas educativas alternativas. La película fue financiada colectivamente gracias a cientos de coproductores y tiene licencias libres que permiten y alientan su copia y reproducción.

La Educación Prohibida se propone alimentar y disparar un debate reflexión social acerca de las bases que sostienen la escuela, promoviendo el desarrollo de una educación integral centrada en el amor, el respeto, la libertad y el aprendizaje."

[Direct link to video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1Y9OqSJKCc ]
tolstoy  democratic  democraticschools  freeschools  escuelaactiva  sudburyschools  sudbury  2012  asneill  summerhill  españa  perú  español  prussia  schooliness  montessori  waldorf  rudolfsteiner  johntaylorgatto  williamkilpatrick  rosaagazzi  agazzisisters  johannheinrichpestalozzi  olvidedecroly  célestinfreinet  olgacossettini  emmipikler  reggioemilia  mariamontessori  ivanillich  paulofreire  schooling  history  schools  parenting  learning  education  progressive  deschooling  unschooling  colombia  ecuador  uruguay  argentina  chile  laeducaciónprohibida  spain 
august 2012 by robertogreco
You Can’t Start the Revolution from the Country Club. — I.M.H.O. — Medium
"The answer’s simple: In today’s world, where the social web is mainstream, innovating on the core values of tools and technology while ignoring the value of inclusiveness is tantamount to building a gated community. Even with the promise that the less privileged might get a chance to show up later, you’re making a fundamentally unfair system.

Building a social tool for “just us geeks” permanently privileges the few people who get in the door first, which means you’re giving a huge leg up to those who already have a pretty good set of advantages to begin with."

"you can’t fix a broken culture once it’s been set on its way. You can’t take the power of privilege away from those who are gifted with it as a network is born. All you can do is try to distribute that power as broadly as possible early on, while your network is still forming, in order to allow for the serendipity and inclusiveness that will let a piece of technology reach its highest potential."
socialmedia  blogging  usability  opensocial  diaspora  openweb  democratic  democracy  egalitarian  egalitarianism  privilege  inclusiveness  svbtle  medium  tessrinearson  whitneyerinboesel  elitism  whiteflight  exclusion  internet  online  web  gatedcommunities  class  race  anildash  2012  app.net  simplicity  shrequest1 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Marlboro College
"Marlboro College in Vermont is known for its self-directed approach to liberal arts education. Students work with faculty advisors to design an individualized curriculum. Each student is responsible for creating a final project that demonstrates the capacity for clear writing and critical thought developed through his or her studies."

[See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marlboro_College ]
education  highered  democraticschools  democratic  marlborocollege  self-directedlearning  self-directed  universities  colleges  vermont 
december 2011 by robertogreco
The Learning Generalist: Social Media in Learning and Social Learning are just not the same thing
"…true social learning has a few important characteristics…this is where the 'new' social learning is different from old…non-negotiable criteria to dub any learning as social:

1. Democratic: To me the classic example of social interaction is gossip at a watercooler. Gossip emerges from the ground up…doesn't need someone to lead…crowd decides the agenda…the conversation…Learning is truly social when individuals can decide what they want to learn & how they wish to collaborate on it.

2. Autonomous: …it moves by itself & is not controlled by a facilitator…facilitator can help make the flow of the interaction smoother, but in no way does the facilitator become responsible for the direction of these interactions…

3. Embedded: …it's about life in general…not a separate exercise…'just in time' learning.

4. Emergent: …structure emerges from the natural interactions of a participating group. A big problem w/ enterprise social learning is the desire to structure before you start…"
education  sociallearning  networkedlearning  tcsnmy  lcproject  cv  learning  learningnetworks  deschooling  unschooling  emergent  emergentcurriculum  autonomy  hierarchy  wirearchy  social  democratic  democraticschools  grassroots  embedded  reallife  meaningmaking  engagement  justintime  justinintimelearning  2011  sumeetmoghe  structure 
july 2011 by robertogreco
YouTube - Sudbury Valley School - Focus and Intensity
"This video is a glimpse into the life of our school. Enter a world of young people who are exuberant about their lives, and are fully in control of their education. We hope you will enjoy their spirit, their focus, and above all their intensity in pursuing their passions."
sudburyschools  sudburyvalleyschool  education  unschooling  deschooling  learning  democratic  democraticschools  democracy  tcsnmy  schools  lcproject  2011  play  videogames  games 
june 2011 by robertogreco
lab connections
"The Thompson School District InnovationLab is physically located in Loveland, CO. The vision, created by students of the previous two years, is for a space where students are free to experiment with their curiosity and imagination in or to find/refine and develop their passion.

Currently, 2010-2011, approximately 50 students and 20+ mentors are active in the lab. Students are exploring such topics as homelessness, human trafficking, global connections, Hebrew, Italian, Russian, German, Sign Language, music production, music composition, robotics, programming, game design, dog training, soccer, computer-based math, permaculture, storm chasing,..We believe unlikely connections are going to be the vehicle to social change. Connections that never before existed or that we often overlook because of their familiarity or simplicity. This Lab Connections site is an attempt to bridge that gap, especially between parents/community and students/learners…"

[See also: http://redefineschool.wordpress.com/ ]
monikahardy  lcproject  tcsnmy  schools  schooldesign  democratic  democracy  education  teaching  learning  unschooling  deschooling  labconnections  innovationlab 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Redefining School, Success | DMLcentral
"We’re a district InnovationLab in Loveland, Colorado, where students have crafted, and just completed year one, of a four-year plan of disruption to redefine school. Based on findings that learning at its best is voluntary, per passion/choice, and self-directed, we are working towards community as school.

After our experience this past year, we are thinking: …"

[See also: http://www.slideshare.net/monk51295/city-as-floorplan AND http://labconnections.blogspot.com/p/what-is-detox.html AND http://labconnections.blogspot.com/ ]
monikahardy  education  learning  unschooling  deschooling  tcsnmy  lcproject  change  gamechanging  connectedlearning  trust  teaching  schools  pedagogy  detox  mindset  community  communitycenters  success  democracy  democratic  democraticschools  empowerment  toshare 
june 2011 by robertogreco
The Service of Democratic Education | The Nation [One of the best essays/talks on education this year]
"Then, as now, the creation of truly professional educators was subversive business. As scientific managers were looking to make schools “efficient” in the early 20th century—to manage schools w/ more tightly prescribed curriculum, more teacher-proof texts, more extensive testing, & more rules & regulations—they consciously sought to hire less well-educated teachers who would work for low wages & would go along w/ the new regime of prescribed lessons & pacing schedules without protest. In a book widely used for teacher training at that time, the need for "unquestioned obedience" was stressed as the "first rule of efficient service" for teachers."

"Education must measure its efficiency not in terms of so many promotions per dollar of expenditure, nor even in terms of so many student-hours per dollar of salary; it must measure its efficiency in terms of increased humanism, increased power to do, increased capacity to appreciate." —quote from The American Teacher, 1912
lindadarling-hammond  2011  education  progressive  teacherscollege  columbia  history  learning  tcsnmy  toshare  democratic  democracy  lcproject  reform  change  subversion  1912  mlk  courage  ethics  conscience  professionalism  ranking  testing  standardizedtesting  scriptedlearning  scriptedteaching  martinlutherkingjr 
may 2011 by robertogreco
Squishy Not Slick - Squishy Not Slick
"Squishy Teaching =

Spontaneous - Unique - Particular - Tailored - Entangled - Mixed together - Woven - Patched - Organic - Rebel Forces - Poetic - Ambiguous - Emotional - Non-linear - Non-sequenced - Inquisitive - Inextricably-linked - Constructivist - Experiential - Holistic - Democratizing - Authentic - Collaborative - Adaptive - Complicated - Contextual - Relational

Slick Teaching =

Mass produced - Psychologically manipulative - Planned years in advance - Manufactured - Imperial - Hegemonic - Afraid - Spreadsheeted - Shallow - Narcotizing - Cauterizing - Anti-intellectual - Uncritical - Uncreative - Emotionless - Scripted - Juking the stats - Dropout factories - Assembly-lined"
lukeneff  teaching  education  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  mentoring  squishy  slick  frankchimero  pedagogy  holisticapproach  holistic  constructivism  democratic  ambiguity  audiencesofone  individualization  emotions  empathy  authenticity  spontaneity  collaboration  collaborative  adaptability  adaptive  context  contextual  relationships  meaning  sensemaking  meaningmaking  meaningfulness  dialogue  discussion  dialog 
may 2011 by robertogreco
Mould Manifesto against Rationalism in Architecture · Hundertwasser Manifestos and Texts · Hundertwasser
"Painting & sculpture are now free, inasmuch as anyone may produce any sort of creation & subsequently display it. In arch, however, this fundamental freedom, which must be regarded as precondition for any art, does not exist, for a person must first have diploma in order to build. Why?<br />
<br />
Everyone should be able to build…as long as this freedom to build does not exist, present-day planned architecture cannot be considered art…Our architecture has succumbed to same censorship as has painting in Soviet Union. All that has been achieved are detached & pitiable compromises by men of bad conscience who work w/ straight-edged rulers."<br />
<br />
"Addendum 1964: …architect’ only function should be that of technical advisor, i.e., answering questions regarding materials, stability, etc. The architect should be subordinate to occupant or at least to occupant’s wishes.<br />
<br />
All occupants must be free to create "outer skins"–must be free to determine & transform outward shell of domicile facing street."
architecture  environment  philosophy  1958  1959  1964  gaudí  wattstowers  simonrodia  artnouveau  sausalito  houseboats  slums  vernacular  vernaculararchitecture  democratic  colloquialarchitecture  design  modernism  mouldinessmanifesto  rationalism  hundertwasser  via:bopuc 
april 2011 by robertogreco
SpeEdChange: The Age of Reason
"at 11, is considered…to be adult because he is alleged to have acted badly…how good must  [he] be to be considered an adult?…

…imagine now that you are btwn age 10 & 25. If you are you're in a bizarre never-never land where your age will always be used against you, but rarely get you anything…

Let's start by correcting juvenile justice laws…while we're doing that, let's make sure that we are moving kids toward freedom, that Middle School looks more open, more chaotic, than elementary school. That High School looks, & is, more open still. That, like adults, kids aren't badgered for being 5 minutes late, or for forgetting something. That, like adults, kids have the freedom to sit, stand, or walk around - freedom to use the toilet, freedom to eat & drink in most places. That, like adults, kids have the freedom to control their own learning.

If we are training our kids to be adults, lets first not make them adults for wrong reasons…then, lets show them what it actually means."
youth  teens  adolescence  adulthood  adults  criminalization  juveniles  juvenilejustice  justice  education  middleschool  highschool  law  legal  irasocol  democracy  democratic  learning  behavior  control  agediscrimination  inconsistency  2011  murder  reason  change  reform  lcproject  tcsnmy  classideas  unschooling  deschooling 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Let Kids Rule the School - NYTimes.com
"Schools everywhere could initiate an Independent Project. All it takes are serious, committed students and a supportive faculty. These projects might not be exactly alike: students might apportion their time differently, or add another discipline to the mix. But if the Independent Project students are any indication, participants will end up more accomplished, more engaged and more knowledgeable than they would have been taking regular courses.

We have tried making the school day longer and blanketing students with standardized tests. But perhaps children don’t need another reform imposed on them. Instead, they need to be the authors of their own education."

[See also: http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/21/independence-day-developing-self-directed-learning-projects/ AND http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTmH1wS2NJY ]
education  innovation  change  tcsnmy  lcproject  democratic  schools  unschooling  deschooling  howwework  choice  collaboration  curriculum  emergentcurriculum  studentdirected  cv  democraticschools  freeschools  independentproject  plp  inquiry-basedlearning  learning  freedom  independence  responsibility  theindependentproject  self-directed  self-directedlearning  autodidacts  autodidactism  student-led  autodidacticism 
march 2011 by robertogreco
Don’t tell me what you’re passionate about « Re-educate Seattle
"School can help facilitate this process. One of the best things we can do is to give kids autonomy in how they spend their time, including time in which they’re not required to do anything in particular.

As educators we can stand back & observe how they spend that time. Students will fill those unscheduled slots w/ activities that give them joy. (This is the part that many people have a hard time believing. They think kids are lazy & unless they’re told what to do, they’ll just sit around…not true.) Then we don’t have to ask them what they want to be when they grow up. Instead, we can say things like, “I’ve noticed you’re spending a lot of time drawing superhero characters. Would you like to meet a professional illustrator?”

The way traditional schools are structured causes kids miss out on these opportunities. They spend their days sitting through required classes, then it’s home to decompress from the stress of school w/ video games or YouTube videos, then it’s homework time…"
openstudio  unschooling  deschooling  stevemiranda  pscs  pugetsoundcommunityschool  progressive  democratic  freeschools  autonomy  motivation  choice  entrepreneurship  identity  self  productivity  google20%  education  schools  schooliness  trust  learning  teaching  passion  unstructuredtime 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Free University of San Francisco
"aims to make highest level of education available, completely free, to any individual who wants it, regardless of color, creed, age, gender, nationality, religion or immigration status—a university free of money, taught for free…only requirement for membership is a desire to teach &/or a desire to learn.

We believe that the purpose of education is not to turn the student into a better consumer & profit-earner but to help him/her to discover wealth of human culture upon whose shoulders she/he stands. What we share at FUSF is a passionate determination to see restoration of humanity—warm, literate, democratic—to vibrant human life. & in order to achieve this aim we have taken hold of the very hub of our culture, which is education, in order to create a brand new kind of institution, one whose existence makes no sense in current social order, that stands in direct defiance of privatized profit-oriented social engineering centers that pass for unis today.

…we are rebels of knowledge."

[via: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/20/us/20bcfree.html via @willrich45 ]
the2837university  agitpropproject  lcproject  education  highereducation  sanfrancisco  freeschools  freeuniversities  anarchism  anarchy  democracy  learning  universities  colleges  highered  free  democratic  accessibility  flat  postconsumerism  postmaterialism 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Apple (2010) Global crisis, social justice, and education
"Apple et al. use four regional case studies, the US, Japan, the Israel|Palestinian state , and Latin America to prove that critical educators (teachers, researchers, learners) and social movements are needed to countervail the neo-liberal, and neo-conservative designs (against social justice and progressive education) surfacing as reform movements around the world as entrenched facets of globalization."
deschooling  networkedlearning  freelearning  democracy  michaelapple  justice  neoliberalism  neo-conservative  reform  teaching  democratic  schools  education  learning  society  lcproject  activism  thomassteele-maley  criticaleducation  criticalthinking  leighblackall  florianschneider  stephendownes  georgesiemens  jamesbeane  curriculum  tcsnmy  progressive  humanism  humanity  unschooling 
february 2011 by robertogreco
SLA, 3i, Finding Common Ground and Looking Backward to Go Forward. - Practical Theory
"In reading those documents, you can see the valiant struggle to create something meaningful and powerful and democratic for students in the school. Kids and teachers made decisions together... classes were purely democratically chosen... students powerfully owned their learning. But I also read some of the same problems that we've seen in varying degrees at SLA. Student motivation to make those decisions or find learning on their own waxed and waned.... figuring out what to do when given ownership and freedom was hard... and maintaining the spirit of the revolution, so to speak, could be exhausting."
education  pedagogy  inspiration  irasocol  inquiry  chrislehmann  alanshapiro  neilpostman  tcsnmy  lcproject  schools  schooldesign  schooling  unschooling  deschooling  democracy  democratic  teaching  learning  teachingasasubversiveactivity  3iprogram  newrochellehighschool  1970s  1980s  policy  cv  fatigue  burnout  criticalthinking  meaning  meaningfulness  empowerment  identity  slowlearning  charlesweingartner  flexibility  respect  curriculum  2011  revolution 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Running Head: Self-Directed Student Attitudes (JUAL)
[Quote references: http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/oct01/vol59/num02/The-Benefits-of-Exploratory-Time.aspx ]

"…also less tangible benefits of self-directed learning. Wolk outlines the benefits of exploratory time, which he defines as an hour or more per day in which students pursue projects & topics of their own choosing. Among these benefits he states that exploratory time "nurtures a love for learning, encourages meaningful learning through intrinsic motivation, creates true communities of learners, nurtures creativity, develops self-esteem & celebrates uniqueness"…Wolk recommends teachers turn over at least 20% of school day to students in order to achieve these benefits. He states that trusting students is paramount to the success of such time. "We must trust that students have educational & intellectual interests & curiosities, deeply meaningful questions about the world, & an innate desire to know & understand. We must trust that students want to learn & that they are willing to work hard in that learning. The next step is ours. We must give them time to own their learning"…"
stevenwolk  schools  openstudio  google20%  unstructuredtime  learning  self-directedlearning  tcsnmy  teaching  unschooling  deschooling  sudburyschools  sudbury  progressive  freeschools  democratic  children  intrinsicmotivation  lcproject 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Kid Politics | This American Life
"What if, say, the U.S.-led invasion of Grenada in 1983 had been decided, not by Ronald Reagan, but by a bunch of middle-schoolers? And what if every rule at your high school had been determined, not by teachers and administrators, but entirely by teenagers? This week, stories about whether, when it comes to governing, kids do any better than grown-ups."

"ACT THREE. MINOR AUTHORITIES.Jyllian Gunther visits The Brooklyn Free School, where there are no courses, no tests and no homework, and where the kids decide everything about how the school is run, including discipline. Jyllian is a filmmaker, working on a documentary called Growing Small. (16 minutes)"

[See also: http://bzeines.wordpress.com/2011/01/17/the-sound-of-democracy/ ]
education  democracy  democratic  schools  freeschools  thisamericanlife  brooklyn  brooklynfreeschool  unschooling  deschooling  history  children  middleschool 
january 2011 by robertogreco
The 7 Fascinating Education Ideas of the Year - voiceofsandiego.org: Schooled: The Education Blog
"Solving Einstein's Algebra Problem [Einstein Academy], Letting the Kids Make the Rules [Innovations Academy], English Learners Who Seem to Know English [Pacific Beach Middle School], Small (Change) Is Beautiful [Euclid Elementary], The Data War [SDUSD in opposition to RttT], Wording Up Without the Dictionary [Grant Barrett, SDUSD], One Class Fits All [Correia Middle School in Point Loma drops tracking]"
sandiego  2010  emilyalpert  einsteinacademy  innovationsacademy  algebra  math  teaching  learning  sdusd  language  languageacquisition  change  euclidelementary  data  rttt  vocabulary  tracking  democracy  democratic  schools  biliteracy  assessment  collaboration  teacherretention 
december 2010 by robertogreco
The Race To Somewhere « The Free School Apparent
"My criticism of the film comes from the feeling that it does not go far enough. I had two boys with me and they just acted as if this was not their problem. And it isn’t. Because they are involved in the process of curing this disease. They are students of a Free School. … the only school profiled [The Blue School] as a solution to this monumental problem, can only be afforded by the upper class. The mere fact that I did not see a brown skinned face amongst their student body, signaled to me that this was not for everyone. … There are many grassroots efforts and individuals who are actively working to form an approach to educating that will serve a wider spectrum. The Village Free School in Portland, The Free School in Albany, the many Sudbury Schools. There is John Taylor Gatto, Matt Hearn, Chris Mercogliano, Jerry Mintz from AERO and others whom I would have loved to hear from in this film. There was no word from the home-schooled or unschooled."
racetonowhere  freeschools  unschooling  deschooling  reform  education  schools  change  gamechanging  blueschool  learning  missedopportunities  johntaylorgatto  matthern  democratic  schooling  schooliness  brooklynfreeschool  sudburyschools  villagefreeschool  aero  chrismercogliano  jerrymintz 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Tokyo Shure
"Tokyo Shure was founded in June 1985 while school-refusing children were increasing. Keiko Okuchi founded it as a space where any child can be her/himself and make with support of parents of school refusing children and other citizens. Nowadays, Tokyo Shure is known to as one of the oldest free schools."
japan  education  homeschool  unschooling  deschooling  tokyo  tokyoshure  learning  democratic  freeschools  schools  schooling  testing  competition  competitiveness  alternative  agesegregation 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Manhattan Free School
"The Manhattan Free School is an independent school for people from ages 5-18. Our school’s fundamental premise is based on the resolution constructed and adopted at the 2005 International Democratic Education Conference, which states:

In any educational setting, young people have the right:

* to decide individually how, when, what, where, and with whom they learn,

* to have an equal share in the decision-making as to how their organizations—in particular their schools—are run, and which rules and sanctions, if any, are necessary. We believe people are born curious and because of this we can trust in their desire to learn and their enormous capacity to make sense of the world on their own terms."
alternative  democratic  education  sudburyschools  summerhill  nyc  unschooling  teaching  schools  freeschools  lcproject  deschooling  manhattan  manhattanfreeschool 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Big City - East Harlem School Helps Students Find Passions - NYTimes.com
"If the popular Reggio Emilia approach to preschool — which empowers the students to drive the curriculum and relies heavily on art — continued to older grades, it might look a little like the Manhattan Free School."
education  alternative  learning  schools  lcproject  freeschools  manhattan  manhattanfreeschool  nyc  unschooling  deschooling  reggioemilia  schooling  democratic  tcsnmy 
november 2010 by robertogreco
T H E   B R O O K L Y N   F R E E   S C H O O L  -  F A Q
"How does the school ensure students learn the "basics?"

What is meant by "basics?" This question in & of itself represents core principle of BFS. A certain segment of society has sought, & succeeded, in imposing view of what is important for all students in US, & indeed in much of world, to learn in school. We don't presume to know what is best for each individual student to learn now &…in next 5-10 years…

Does the school do any student evaluations?

Yes. We do not use report cards, grades, rankings, or any comparative or competitive evaluations, nor value-based evals. We utilize Prospect Descriptive Processes, method using purely descriptive, non-judgmental observations of all aspects of student's life & work…combined into descriptive review of child wherein we seek to more fully understand & get to know [them] & discuss ways to foster their growth & development…

What about my child's past school history?

We do not take into account any of a child's past ed experience…"

[photos of the Brooklyn Free School: http://www.flickr.com/photos/loika/sets/72157624827835711/ ]
education  schools  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  brooklynfreeschool  us  nyc  brooklyn  learning  evaluation  assessment  admissions  schooling  schooliness  teaching  democratic  alternative  freeschools  sudburyschools  sumerhill 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Half an Hour: What Is Democracy In Education [Four Principles]
"Autonomy: …Wherever possible, learners should be guided, and able to guide themselves, according to their own goals, purposes, objectives or values…

Diversity: …The intent and design of such a system should not be to in some way make everybody the same, but rather to foster creativity and diversity among its members, so that each person in a society instantiates, and represents, a unique perspective, based on personal experience and insight, constituting a valuable contribution to the whole.

Openness: …People should be able to freely enter and leave the system, and there ought to be a free flow of ideas and artifacts within the system…

Interactivity: …This is a recognition both that learning results from a process of immersion in a community or society, and second that the knowledge of that community or society, even that resulting from individual insight, is a product of the cumulative interactions of the society as a whole…"
autonomy  diversity  interactivity  openness  stephendownes  education  systems  unschooling  deschooling  learning  democracy  democratic  society  power  freedom  compulsory  relationships  communication  motivation  pedagogy  lcproject  tcsnmy 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Borderland › Raising the Black Flag
[Wayback link: http://web.archive.org/web/20120128151527/http://borderland.northernattitude.org/2010/10/26/raising-the-black-flag/ ]

"I’ve not studied anarchism as a political theory or philosophy before, nor the history of anarchism, so I’ve been reading up on it. & I find that anarchists are a fairly diverse group. Good thing, because there may be new opportunities for anarcho-educationists opening up soon, w/ all the teacher bashing that’s been happening in the media lately. I’ve been torn between keeping my head down or telling the bean counters to measure THIS, and let me get back to work.

Today the Dept. of Education issued an edict condemning bullying: [quote here]

Interesting, considering their support for mass firings of teachers, “rigorous interventions”, termination of teacher tenure rights, public humiliation of teachers in LA (via Larry Ferlazzo), and recommending hurricanes over public deliberation when you want to tear down a community’s schools. They should clean up their own house before they start pointing fingers…"

[Some book recommendations in the comments]

"I recommend reading Rebel in Paradise, by Richard Drinnon, about Emma Goldman.
http://www.amazon.com/Rebel-Paradise-Biography-Emma-Goldman/dp/B0000CL99G

I also recommend Starhawk’s Webs of Power
http://www.starhawk.org/writings/webspower.html
http://www.amazon.com/Webs-Power-Starhawk/dp/1897408137 "

"I recommend The Modern School Movement — http://www.amazon.com/Modern-School-Movement-Anarchism-Education/dp/1904859097 "
anarchy  namchompsky  alanmoore  anarchism  dougnoon  bullying  policy  barackobama  politics  society  hypocrisy  capitalism  privilege  privatization  paulgoodman  individualism  democratic  stephendownes  books  emmagoldman  richarddrinnon  margaretsanger  alexanderberkman  manray 
november 2010 by robertogreco
The Journal of Unschooling and Alternative Learning (JUAL)
"This journal seeks to bring together an international community of scholars exploring the topic of unschooling and alternative learning, which espouses learner centered democratic approaches to learning. JUAL is also a space to reveal the limitations of mainstream schooling.

JUAL understands learner centered democratic education as individuals deciding their own curriculum, and participating in the governance of their school-if they are in one. Some examples of learner centered democratic possibilities are unschooling, Sudbury Valley , Fairhaven , the Albany Free School , and the Beach School in Toronto . In terms of unschooling, we view it as a self-directed learning approach to learning outside of the mainstream education rather than homeschooling, which reproduces the learning structures of school in the home."
alternative  deschooling  unschooling  education  learning  homeschool  democratic  lcproject  toread  journals  research 
october 2010 by robertogreco
Alternative university - Wikipedia
"Alternative universities which may be known by other names, especially as colleges in the United States are institutions which offer an education and in some cases a lifestyle which is intentionally not the mainstream of other institutions. Through the use of experimental and nonconvential curricula and offering much choice to students as to what and how they will study, such institutions distinguish themselves from traditional faculties…

Alternative universities, colleges and institutions in the USA: Antioch College; Bard College; Bennington College; College of the Atlantic; Deep Springs College; Evergreen State College; Eugene Lang College, which is part of The New School; Hampshire College; Goddard College; New College of Florida; Naropa University; Oberlin College; Reed College; Sarah Lawrence College; Union Institute & University BA Program; Warren Wilson College; Western Institute for Social Research"
alternative  colleges  universities  us  lists  progressive  democratic  benniningtoncollege  deepspringscollege  evergreenstatecollege  hampshirecollege  collegeoftheatlantic  newcollegeofflorida  warrenwilsoncollege  antiochcollege  bardcollege  eugenelangcollege  goddardcollege  naropauniversity  oberlincollege  reedcollege  sarahlawrencecollege  unioninstitute  westerninstituteforsocialresearch  unschooling  deschooling  glvo 
september 2010 by robertogreco
Black Mountain College - Wikipedia
"Founded in 1933 by John Andrew Rice, Theodore Dreiser, & other former faculty members of Rollins College, BMC was experimental by nature & committed to an interdisciplinary approach, attracting faculty that included many of America's leading visual artists, composers, poets, & designers, like Bucky Fuller…

Operating in a relatively isolated rural location with little budget, BMC inculcated an informal & collaborative spirit & over its lifetime attracted a venerable roster of instructors. Some of the innovations, relationships, and unexpected connections formed at BMC would prove to have a lasting influence on the postwar American art scene, high culture, & eventually pop culture…

Not a haphazardly conceived venture, BMC was a consciously directed liberal arts school that grew out of the progressive education movement. In its day it was a unique educational experiment for the artists & writers who conducted it, & as such an important incubator for the American avant garde."
blackmountaincollege  architecture  art  arts  education  history  progressive  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  democratic  crosspollination  bmc 
september 2010 by robertogreco
LIBERTY HALL [Sumerhill] - British Pathe
"Various shots of Summerhill school for children during class. They are sitting on the floor, leaning against the walls, on top of desks etc. Teacher is sitting on desk. Several good close up shots of children's faces. Young girl knitting. Boy laying on floor, reading. Young girl eating apple. Children playing O's and X's.

Children ballroom dancing. Children having pillow fight. Several shots of Mr A. S. Neill, the headmaster, with the children."
sumerhill  schools  asneill  democratic  freeschools  education  alternative  history  1946  video  lcproject  tcsnmy  children 
september 2010 by robertogreco
How to Create Nonreaders
"The best teachers, I find, spend at least some of their evenings smacking themselves on the forehead – figuratively, at least – as they reflect on something that happened during the day. “Why did I decide that, when I could have asked the kids?” &, thinking about some feature of the course yet to come: “Is this a choice I should be making for the students rather than w/ them?” One Washington, DC creative writing teacher was pleased w/ himself for announcing to students that it was up to them to decide how to create a literary magazine – until he realized later that he had incrementally reasserted control. “I had taken a potentially empowering project & turned it into a showcase of what [I] could do.” It takes insight & guts to catch oneself at what amounts to an exercise in pseudodemocracy. Keeping hold of power – overtly for traditionalists, perhaps more subtly for those of us who think of ourselves as enlightened progressives – is a hell of a lot easier than giving it away."
pseudodemocracy  alfiekohn  democracy  education  learning  motivation  reading  research  teaching  topost  toshare  tcsnmy  progressive  schools  writing  coercion  democratic  student-centered  studentdirected  student-led  unschooling  deschooling  2010  majoritarianism  compromise  consensus  decisionmaking  rewards  punishment  assessment  autonomy 
september 2010 by robertogreco
Some vaguely consistent threads around education in my morning procrastination break. - bengoldacre
"we're living through a technological revolution, which creates changes in what can be cognitively outsourced & what's worth learning, & where some people can press ahead by leaving out the pointless stuff…this stuff about local people setting up education academies is all very well, but what I’d like to see is a visionary nerd school, like a geeky version of Summerhill but set up by, I don’t know, Tim O’Reilly, Suw Charman, Cory Doctorow, Bruce Schneier, Petra Boynton, Vaughan Bell & others. But the inevitable reality is that a lot of individuals will be way ahead on this, educating themselves & cracking on, before institutions can have a hope of catching up. This might have implications for our hopes of living in a meritocracy, or at least it might in certain fields, and in certain countries. And then again it might not. But aren’t you glad to be alive? Normally living through “interesting times” somewhere means war and misery. For now, these changes really are just interesting."
summerhill  via:preoccupations  timoreilly  schools  ict  teaching  education  learning  uk  corydoctorow  meritocracy  bruceschneier  petraboyton  vaughanbell  suwcharman  bengoldacre  technology  change  gamechanging  autodidacts  unschooling  deschooling  democratic  science  medicine  tcsnmy  curriculum 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Alfie Kohn Interview 2/1/2010 - Dr. Ross Greene2 | Internet Radio | Blog Talk Radio
"In this program, Dr. Greene had the pleasure of talking with Alfie Kohn, author of Punished by Rewards, Beyond Discipline, and many other critical books. This was a fun and enlightening discussion about a variety of school-related topics, including school discipline, socially healthy classrooms, high-stakes testing...the whole gamut."

[via: http://twitter.com/joe_bower/status/17543978978 quoting "When you put autonomy and community together you get democracy."]
autonomy  topost  democracy  community  alfiekohn  education  progresive  tcsnmy  discipline  schools  teaching  learning  structure  responsiveclassroom  responsibility  trust  democratic  progressive  interviews  hierarchy  management  leadership  administration  coercion  learningcommunities  compliance  compulsory  authority  timeouts  punishment  classroommanagement  classroom  safety  comfort  care  culture  ethics  citizenship  caringcommunities  caring  classrooms 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Institute for Democratic Education in America | IDEA
"IDEA, Institute for Democratic Education in America, is an emerging national nonprofit organization whose mission is to ensure that all young people can participate meaningfully in their education and gain the tools to build a just, democratic, and sustainable world."
democratic  education  organizations  school  unschooling  deschooling  schools  tcsnmy  criticaleducation  democraticschools  lcproject 
june 2010 by robertogreco
YouTube - Make Your Voice Heard: Discover Democratic Education
"In a society based on democracy, participation, and engagement, shouldn't education be democratic, participatory, and engaging? How can young people be creative, curious, and collaborative learners when their schooling boxes them in with testing and standardization? What does a more empowering, democratic education look like?
lcproject  education  learning  tcsnmy  democratic  schools  unschooling  deschooling  self-directedlearning  participatory  videos  democraticschools 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Jefferson County Open School
"Jefferson County Open School (JCOS) is the original Jefferson County School District option school. For over thirty-five years, the Open School has provided a viable, vibrant, and life changing alternative to conventional schooling. JCOS features a Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade environment with inter-age groupings throughout the school. At all levels students work closely with their advisor in the development of their personal curriculum. Both individually and in groups, advising is about developing strong, caring relationships between adults and students, and between students and students. JCOS is committed to preserving educational choices for all students and parents. In the face of increasing standardization, our emphasis on personal, social, and intellectual development helps to prepare students for an ever changing world."
openschools  tcsnmy  lcproject  colorado  democratic  freeschools  education  learning  mixed-age  progressive  rockposner 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Democratic education - Wikipedia
"Democratic schools do not have compulsory uniform curricula. Instead, these schools place emphasis on learning as a natural product of all human activity. They assume that the free market of ideas, free conversation, and the interplay of people provide sufficient exposure to any area that may prove relevant and interesting to individual students. Students of all ages learn together; older students learn from younger students as well as vice versa. Students of different ages often mentor each other in social skills."

[list here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_democratic_schools]
democratic  summerhill  lcproject  tcsnmy  schools  unschooling  deschooling  education 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Sudbury school - Wikipedia
"Sudbury schools are based on the belief that no kind of curriculum is necessary to prepare a young person for adult life. Instead, these schools place emphasis on learning as a natural by-product of all human activity. Learning is self-initiated and self-motivated. They rely on the free exchange of ideas and free conversation and interplay between people, to provide sufficient exposure to any area that may prove relevant and interesting to the individual. Students of all ages mix together; older students learn from younger students as well as vice versa. Students of different ages often mentor each other in social skills. The pervasiveness of play..."

[list here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Sudbury_schools ]
sudburyschools  democratic  education  pedagogy  learning  schools  lcproject  tcsnmy  unschooling  deschooling  self-directedlearning  responsibility 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Homer Lane - Wikipedia
"Homer Lane (1875-1925) was an American-born educator who believed that the behaviour and character of children improved when they were given more control over their lives. He was born in Connecticut and started his teaching career at Peters High School in Southborough, Massachusetts. He later went to Detroit, where he worked with youths who had run afoul of the law. In 1912 he was invited to go to England where he founded the Little Commonwealth school in Dorset and greatly influenced A. S. Neill, the founder of Summerhill School."
education  history  homerlan  asneill  summerhill  freeschools  democratic  control  tcsnmy  deschooling  unschooling 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Big City Superintendents - Volume 24 No. 1 - Autumn 2009 - Rethinking Schools Online
"Did you know Paulo Freire was a school district superintendent? His ideas are as thought provoking as ever. ...

In other words, educators, parents, and community members need to create schools together that are centers of community renaissance and resistance. We need to educate children to have the skills, dispositions, and civic courage to challenge the status quo, to connect with parents and their communities to fight for a more just and sustainable world. Freire spoke of creating the “popular public school” as “a school with another ‘face,’ one that is more joyful, harmonious, and democratic.” Can you imagine your superintendent outlining goals like that?"
paulofreire  education  reform  administration  leadership  top-down  bottom-up  management  tcsnmy  curriculum  teaching  schools  schooling  unschooling  deschooling  democratic  learning 
march 2010 by robertogreco
A. S. Neill - Wikipedia
"Neill's biggest mentor in education was the British educator Homer Lane. Neill was also an admirer and close friend of psychoanalytical innovator Wilhelm Reich and a student of Freudian psychoanalysis, though in his autobiography he wrote that "Much of what I thought I had learned from the psychoanalysts has disappeared with time". [2] Another major contributor to the field of Libertarian Education was Bertrand Russell whose own self-founded Beacon Hill School (England) (one of several schools bearing this name) is often compared with Summerhill. Russell was a correspondent of Neill and offered his support. ... Summerhill School, which Neill founded, has recently (2007) been accepted by the UK educational establishment, in particular OFSTED, as providing a good quality of academic education for children. Summerhill has also been recognised by the United Nations for its exceptionally good treatment of children."
asneill  sumerhill  schools  schooling  democratic  education  history  bertrandrussell  tcsnmy  progressive  unschooling  deschooling  alternative  uk  games  lcproject 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Open Space schools « Re-educate
"Two engines fuel Open Space: passion and responsibility. Participants choose the topics they’re passionate about, and in doing so accept responsibility for ensuring that the discussion remains productive. Imagine attending a conference that had no agenda when you walked in, but had a full agenda 30 minutes later. Imagine a conference in which all the breakout sessions were chosen by the participants instead of the organizers. Now, imagine a school that was run on the principles of Open Space: all the classes would be prioritized by the students; if a class ceased to have value, students would have a responsibility to follow the Law of Two Feet. If students could leave a class that was not serving them, teachers would teach differently."
schools  compulsory  learning  openspace  deschooling  unschooling  lcproject  tcsnmy  alternative  democratic  unconferences  teaching 
november 2009 by robertogreco
The Trouble with Pure Freedom: A Case for Active Adult Involvement in Progressive Education - Alfie Kohn
"progressive educators have long talked about learning by doing...But I don’t see much talk about teaching by doing...John Holt put it very well: “We adults so often present ourselves to children as if we were gods – all-knowing, all-powerful, always rational, always just, always right. This is worse than any lie we can tell about ourselves. So to counteract this, when I am trying to do something I am no good at, I do it in front of students so they can see me struggling with it.”...If our goals involve intellectual development & social development & helping kids to question the world as it is presented to them, then I think we are obliged to reject the traditional autocratic approach that is so depressingly pervasive in our society, but also to reject its mirror opposite of pure freedom where the adult merely observes or follows...we need to do the much harder work of figuring out...when to follow & when to lead, when to tell & when to ask & when to shut up"

[video: http://aeroeducation.org/2009/08/07/alfie-kohn-2005-aero-conference-keynote-video-free-two-hour-talk/ ]
alfiekohn  johnholt  education  tcsnmy  progressive  constructivism  learning  teaching  doing  facilitating  demonstrating  schools  freeschools  freedom  social  democracy  democratic  structure  control  authoritarianism  educationallibertarians 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Education - Change.org: Sudbury Schools: Rethinking Education, for a Change
"Why, in the 21st century, does the prevailing educational model still adhere to the assumptions and values of the Industrial Revolution? Why do we continue to act as though education is something done to and arranged for children in a highly structured, authoritarian environment? Genuine education reform is hamstrung by our unquestioned assumptions, by our national obsession with quantifying learning and the fact that public education remains a taxpayer-funded monopoly. Instead of tinkering with the prevailing model, making minor adjustments to pedagogy, class size, teacher training and scheduling, why not start over and dream big? Why don't we rethink education, for a change?" See also Lisa Amphlett's comment: "So, is it possible for many (most?) people to challenge these assumptions, when their daily life appears to reinforce the principle belief that one's path in life is, to a greater degree, dictated by other people who are higher up the social chain? ..."
education  change  reform  us  sudburyschools  unschooling  democracy  democratic  deschooling  society  policy  control  tcsnmy  authoritarianism  lisaamphlett  brucesmithteaching  learning  creativity  gamechanging 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Educator, heal thyself of faulty premises
"The fact is learning is uniquely idiosyncratic and resists quantification. An abundance of assessments does not imply validity, nor does complexity of assessment confer objectivity. Simply stated, the belief that we can precisely measure learning is a myth." ... "We must consider what we actually know of the nature of learning and respect children as innately and powerfully curious. We need schooling that empowers children to think and act for themselves. "We must humbly admit that we can’t know for certain what each individual should study and for how long, given the ever-increasing pace of social and economic change. And all the while, we must set aside our differences long enough to see the common ground we all share: a deep concern for the future well-being of our children, our culture and our world."
learning  messiness  education  unschooling  change  deschooling  society  myth  assessment  children  schools  lcproject  philosophy  research  johntaylorgatto  homeschool  via:cburell  sudbury  brucesmith  tcsnmy  authority  alternative  leadership  individuality  self-directed  self-directedlearning  testing  well-being  democratic  democracy  pedagogy  cv  sudburyschools 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Harold Jarche » The new nature of the firm
"For enterprise 2.0 to work, it needs to embrace democracy in the workplace, something that rarely exists in industrial, command and control, organisations - which account for almost all of our businesses. Businesses run as monarchies or oligarchies but very few operate as democracies. We are so accustomed to this structure that most business people would say that it is impossible to run a business as a democracy. We know they are wrong and that there are democratic business models that work today."
democracy  democratic  work  workplace  hierarchy  management  leadership  organizations  business  administration  control  power  productivity  innovation 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Play Mountain Place / Institute for Humanistic Education & Parenting
"founded in LA by Phyllis Fleishman in 1949, to further the philosophy of self-motivated learning. For over fifty years, Play Mountain has encouraged children to discover the joys of creativity and learning on their own schedule, at their own pace."
education  schools  learning  alternative  freeschools  democracy  democratic  unschooling  deschooling  losangeles 
june 2008 by robertogreco
PEN :: Personalised Education Now
"Personalised Education Now seeks to develop a rich, diverse, funded Personalised Educational Landscape to meet the learning needs, lifestyles and life choices made by individuals, families and communities."
education  learning  self-directed  personal  lcproject  curriculum  democratic  alternative 
september 2007 by robertogreco
Educational Heretics Press
"We are a small press that exists to question the dogmas and superstitions of mass, coercive schooling, with its roots in totalitarian thinking, with a view to developing the next modern, humane, flexible, personalised effective public learning system
alternative  books  democratic  education  learning  publishing  research  schools  homeschool  publishers  change  reform 
june 2007 by robertogreco
Haifa: Arab parents protest subpoena | Jerusalem Post
"Haifa parents from the country's only democratic Arab school on Sunday protested the municipality's decision to take legal action against 55 families who have refused to send their children to the state-run Hiwar (Dialogue) School since the beginning of
democratic  schools  education  learning  children  politics  policy  choice  international  world  unschooling 
december 2006 by robertogreco

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