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Nick Kaufmann on Twitter: "Civic tech needs to study history and explore the "usable past". Everyone in #civictech / @codeforamerica network should read Professor Light's upcoming book States of Childhood, ill attempt to summarize her talk below, although
[this is the event:
https://architecture.mit.edu/computation/lecture/playing-city-building ]

[thread contains many images]

"Civic tech needs to study history and explore the "usable past". Everyone in #civictech / @codeforamerica network should read Professor Light's upcoming book States of Childhood, ill attempt to summarize her talk below, although it's only what i could grasp in an hour or so.

https://twitter.com/nickkauf/status/1071162000145817601
At @mitsap tonight tweeting about Jennifer Light's lecture "playing at city building" #urbanism #education #civictech

Light opened the talk with the observation that more disciplines are looking to study history to "look forward by looking backward" #civicfutures #usablepast

In #civictech we know this isnt the first government reform movement with a "techie spin" in the world or us. At the last turn of the century, anxieties about cities birthed the "good government movement" the "googoos" were reformers kinda like #civichackers of today

Like @codeforamerica and also #smartcities boosters, the goo-goos believed scientific models and tech tools were a source of progress. They were worried about "boss rule" and wanted to "rationalize government" compare to cfa's mottos today

After discussing the good govt movement, Lights set the historical context of shifting expectations around young people's behavior. Child labor laws did not stop children from working however, it was just framed as "play" now

In this context early models of vocational education and educational simulations emerged, including William R. George's "model republic" movement. @Erie @pahlkadot model republics were all over the usa, not as franchised like #cfabrigade but more grassroots diffusion of the idea

There were miniature republics run by children in boston(Cottage Row), Cleveland (Progress City) Philadelphia (Playground City), etc, where children worked as real pretend public servants

media coverage of the time hailed these civic simulations as educational opportunity/chance for a "second life" for youth. Some of the tenement kids that George put into his program ended up in ivy league schools, and as lawyers, Pub. Servants and admins of their own model cities

The educational theories at the time of the model republics were very similar to today's trends of "gamification" "experiential learning" etc. Light referenced Stanley Hall (imitation/impersonation) and 'identity play'

Long before Bateson and Goffman were muddling the boundary between seriousness/play, model republics were also using that ambiguity to educate and also cut costs of programs literally built and maintained by children. Imagine 1000 kids and 3 admins

John Dewey's philosophy of learning by doing was also heavily referenced in the talk, as George took great inspiration from him and Dewey was a supporter of the model republics.

Light stressed just how much model republic citizens did in their pretend-real jobs, building housing, policing, data collection, safety inspections, and they did it so well that they often circumvented the adult systems. Why send some1 to adult court when junior court works?

This dynamic reminded me so much of #civichackers today with our pretend jobs and weekly hack night play that quickly turns into real jobs for our cities

Another point Light made was that the model republics were very much about assimilation of immigrants into a certain set of white american middleclass values. But before rise of consumerism those values heavily emphasized DIY/activecitizenship/production.

One reason for the decline of the model republics might have been the rise of consumerism and passive consumption valued over production. But we still have things like model U.N. and vocational programs, vestiges of this time.

Again today we have a perceived need to train people for the "new economy", so what can #civictech #civicinnovation #smartcities learn from looking back to historical examples? For one thing, we learn that youth contribution to civic innovation is important and undervalued

When model republics were introduced into schools the educational outcomes were not the only advantage, they saved schools gobs of money through "user generated" labor. Again think about civictech volunteerism today...

At Emerson School, Light said, kids were even repairing the electrical system. And in some cities kids would stand in for the mayor at real events.

Heres a page describing the establishment of a self-governing body of newsboys in Milwaukee https://www.marquette.edu/cgi-bin/cuap/db.cgi?uid=default&ID=4167&view=Search&mh=1

Light closed the talk by remarking on the "vast story of children's unacknowledged labor in the creation of urban America". slide shows how their labor was hidden behind play. Although they couldnt work in factories,can you call it "play" if it involved *building* the playground?

Although Light's upcoming book focuses on America, she said there were civic simulations like this in many countries including the Phillipines, China, England, France...

Model republics were not however a well connected, branded international civic movement like modern #civictech. Light said that while they were promoted at national educational conferences on education or public housing, George lamented not having control of the brand/vision

The result of George's lack of guidelines and a organizational network of model republic practiciorners was many different, idiosyncratic models run by different ppl in different places. @pahlkadot George really needed a "National Advisory Council" it seems!

For example an Indiana model republic the kids put on their own circuses! George thought some model republics werent following his original values/vision but couldnt do much about it...another theme in #civictech now Fortunately @Open_Maine is allowed to be weirdos too @elburnett

Light emphasized that although the model republics were a tool to assimilate children into a set of values (presumably including colonial, racist, patriarchal, capitalist ones) they were also a site of agency where kids experimented and innovated.

For example, girls in coeducational model republics held public offices and launched voting rights campaigns before the women' suffrage movement gained the rights in the "real" world. Given the power of the republics to do real work this wasnt just a symbolic achievement.

George for his part believed that the kids should figure out model republics for themselves, even if it meant dystopian civics. One model republic kept prisoners in a literal iron cage before eventually abolishing the prison.

Light's talk held huge lessons for the #civictech movement, and the model republic movement is just one of many pieces of history that can be a "usable past" for us. every civic tech brigade should have a "historian" role!

At @Open_Maine weve always been looking back to look forward although I didnt have the "usable past" vocabulary until I saw professor Light's talk today. @ajawitz @elburnett and I have consciously explored history in promoting civic tech in Maine.Other brigades are doing this too

For example, early @Open_Maine (code for maine) posters consciously referenced civilian conservation corps aesthetic #usablepast

We also made a 100y link w/ charitable mechanics movement @MaineMechanics makerspace never happened but @semateos became president and aligned org. with modern #makermovement. we host civichackathons there. #mainekidscode class is in same room that held free drawingclass 100y ago

So you can see why Light's talk has my brain totally buzzing. After all, @Open_Maine has been dreaming of #civicisland, an experiential #civictech summer camp! Were currently applying to @MozOpenLeaders to develop open source experiential civictech curricula we could use for it.

Next steps here: I want to write an article about the "usable past" concept for #civictech. So if your brigade is engaged with history I wanna talk to you. @JBStephens1 was it you talking about the rotary club model on slack? @CodeForPhilly didnt you make a history timeline?"
nickkaufmann  urbanism  urban  cities  jenniferlight  children  lcproject  openstudioproject  sfsh  tcsnmy  civics  civictech  technology  history  codeforamerica  smartcities  boston  cleveland  philadelphia  williamgeorge  modelrepublics  simulations  simulation  gregorybateson  play  seriousplay  seriousness  education  johndewey  milaukee  labor  work  colinward  thechildinthecity  housing  governance  policy  activism  participatory  participation  experimentation  experience  experientiallearning  volunteerism  makerspaces  openmaine  maine  learning  howwelearn  ervinggoffman 
december 2018 by robertogreco
A World Without People - The Atlantic
"For a number of reasons, natural and human, people have evacuated or otherwise abandoned many places around the world—large and small, old and new. Gathering images of deserted areas into a single photo essay, one can get a sense of what the world might look like if humans were to suddenly vanish from the planet. Collected here are recent scenes from abandoned construction projects, industrial disaster zones, blighted urban neighborhoods, towns where residents left to escape violence or natural disasters, derelict Olympic venues, ghost towns, and more."
landscape  photography  apocalypse  worldwithoutus  multispecies  riodejaneiro  brasil  brazil  us  nola  neworleans  alabama  germany  belarus  italy  italia  abandonment  china  bankok  thailand  decay  shengshan  athens  greece  lackawanna  pennsylvania  tianjin  russia  cyprus  nicosia  indonesia  maine  syria  namibia  drc  fukushima  congo  philippines  havana  cuba  vallejo  paris  libya  wales  england 
may 2017 by robertogreco
The Oxford comma: A Maine court settled the grammar debate over serial commas with a ruling on overtime pay for dairy-truck drivers — Quartz
"A Maine court ruling in a case about overtime pay and dairy delivery didn’t come down to trucks, milk, or money. Instead, it hinged on one missing comma.

Delivery drivers for local milk and cream company Oakhurst Dairy have been tussling with their employers over whether they qualify for overtime. On March 13, a US court of appeals determined that certain clauses of Maine’s overtime laws are grammatically ambiguous. Because of that lack of clarity, the five drivers have won their lawsuit against Oakhurst, and are eligible for unpaid overtime.

The profoundly nerdy ruling is also a win for anyone who dogmatically defends the serial comma."
oxford  commas  punctuation  grammar  law  writing  2017  maine  serialcomma 
march 2017 by robertogreco
King Middle School
"King Middle School serves the most racially, ethnically, and economically diverse neighborhoods in the state of Maine. More than 120 of King's approximately 500 students speak 28 languages and come from 17 countries.

King Middle School is dedicated to the idea that we can create a school where all kids succeed at a high level. Our school wide model is Expeditionary Learning. Our students engage in eight to twelve week experiential learning expeditions. These expeditions are in-depth and interdisciplinary in nature and require students to engage in sophisticated research, use the community in authentic ways, and represent their knowledge with high quality products which are presented to legitimate audiences.

Students at King Middle School have been using their Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM) Grant on a project called “It’s for the Birds.” In order to better understand their local ecosystems and the problem of shrinking bird habitats, they have been observing local bird species as well as creating a set of species cards for the Audubon Society. Check out their progress below in a report from 7th Grade Science Teacher Ruth Maclean. Congratulations on a fantastic start to your project!

In the fall of 2014 the National Audubon Society published a report in which they listed 314 birds across the country that are endangered by human activity. The Maine Audubon Society has identified 84 birds from that list that are residents in Maine for at least part of each year. This fall in our expedition titled, “It’s for the Birds,” seven students at King Middle School created species cards on these birds that will educate the public about these birds and their needs. They learned about the connections between these birds and native insects and native plants with the goal of identifying areas in Portland where native plants can be introduced to help improve habitat for both the birds and the insects that they depend upon. Here are two examples of finished species cards. We put drawings created in art class on side 1 with a poem created in language arts class. On side 2 each student put facts learned in science, math, and social studies about the bird’s ecosystem relationships and ways for humans to help the bird. A full set of the species cards has been sent to Maine Audubon for use in their nature centers. Each student also did an adobe slide presentation on their work during phase one of the project. Here is a link to a student summary slideshow of her fall investigation into the life and needs of the ovenbird: https://slate.adobe.com/cp/te6gl/. In phase 2 of our expedition this spring, students will add native plant species to their own backyards and teach Portland residents how to garden for habitat. We are looking forward to learning how to germinate and cultivate native seeds."

[via: https://twitter.com/steelemaley/status/799713232403300353 ]
portland  maine  education  schools  middleschools  expeditionarylearning  sfsh  experientiallearning  learning  curriculum  science  interdisciplinary  nature  via:steelemaley  ecosystem  birds  publishing 
november 2016 by robertogreco
The Long History of America's Constitutionally-Challenged 'Border Zones' | Atlas Obscura
"The extension of Customs and Border Patrol's mandate to a 100-mile zone has alarmed civil liberties' groups for years."

"Recently Maria Abi-Habib, a journalist at the Wall Street Journal, had a troubling experience. As she detailed on Facebook (picked up by Motherboard), customs agents at Los Angeles airport tried to take her phones after grilling her for an hour—something she protested as a violation of her rights. But it went further than that. "My rights as a journalist or U.S. citizen do not apply at the border," she wrote, "since legislation was passed in 2013 giving DHS very broad powers."

This is true, but the meaning of "border", a concept that one normally assumes is a hard line, has been shifting for much longer than that. In particular, a technical definition in federal regulations established in 1953 has resulted in 100-mile “border zones,” sometimes encompassing entire states, and some groups becoming increasingly alarmed by the implications of such wide-ranging border areas.

In 1952, the government authorized the United States Border Patrol (initially established in 1924) to patrol “all territory within 25 miles of a land border” and board and search vehicles for illegal aliens, according to the website of its successor agency, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). Immigration officers—then and now—receive their authority from Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Currently, section 287 of Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations authorizes immigration officers to search and interrogate, without warrant, any person suspected of being in the United States illegally within a “reasonable distance” of any external boundary of the United States. In 1953, the Department of Justice amended section 287.1 of 8 CFR to define “reasonable distance” as 100 miles, a distance the American Civil Liberties Union insinuates was arbitrarily determined.

“[O]ther than their presence in these publications, there is no public history as to why the Justice Department chose 100 miles as the ‘reasonable distance’ from the border under the INA. It may simply be that 100 miles has a history of being the distance considered to be reasonable regarding the availability of witnesses for examination, responses to subpoenas, and numerous other discovery issues under other federal laws,” the ACLU notes in their fact sheet on the issue.

Given that over two-thirds of the U.S. population lives within 100 miles of an external boundary, the ACLU and others argue that the 100-mile distance—coupled with the expanded mandates afforded to immigration officers as part of the “wars” on drugs and terrorism—creates “border zones” where ordinary American citizens could be caught up in warrantless searches and interrogations with no legal recourse.

Journalist Todd Miller provided a gripping depiction of the alarming scenario in a 2013 article written for the Nation, which he opened with a dramatic recounting of U.S. citizen Shena Gutierrez’s detention by CBP agents in Arizona:
Shena Gutierrez was already cuffed and in an inspection room in Nogales, Arizona, when the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent grabbed her purse, opened it, and dumped its contents onto the floor right in front of her. There couldn’t be a sharper image of the Bill of Rights rollback we are experiencing in the US borderlands in the post-9/11 era.


While Gutierrez’s story is a gripping reminder of the protections provided by the Bill of Rights—and the brutality that could be visited upon any citizen if those protections are undermined—it’s reasonable to question whether such a blatant violation of citizens’ rights could occur to any person living in Maine, Vermont, or any of the other states entirely within the 100-mile zone without public outcry.

According to a 2013 blog post from the National Constitution Center, the ACLU and other groups are overstating the threats to constitutional rights within the border zone. Citing two 2009 analysis papers from the Congressional Research Service, the NCC argues that because border agents must have a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, and because they can only search individuals who have recently crossed the border, most searches should not violate the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unlawful search and seizure; the NCC does, however, note that searches at border stops and airports do not require reasonable suspicion.

The requirement of “reasonableness” has, in fact, been used by federal courts to uphold the legality of warrantless searches in the border zone, as Kate Huddlestone notes in a legal note published in the Yale Law Journal examining the constitutionality of Texas House Bill 2 vis-a-vis the burden it places on undocumented immigrants within border zones. Essentially, because people live and work in border zones, immigration officers must have a reasonable suspicion to conduct a search; if border zones were purely areas of transit (like an airport), officers could (and, as we all know, do) search everyone, no suspicion required.

Of course, illegal searches can and do happen, all the time. But the 100-mile border zones established over 70 years ago may not be the Constitution-free lands of unauthorized search and seizure some fear. Regardless, the border zones serve as a timely reminder that national borders aren’t as cut-and-dry as putting up a wall."
border  borders  us  mexico  2016  policy  law  legal  airports  transit  migration  canada  maine  vermont  arizona  borderpatrol 
august 2016 by robertogreco
Of Thee I Read: The United States in Literature - The New York Times
"Reporters and editors on the National Desk of The New York Times were asked to suggest books that a visitor ought to read to truly understand the American cities and regions where they live, work and travel.

There were no restrictions — novels, memoirs, histories and children’s books were fair game. Here are some selections.

Recommend a book that captures something special about where you live in the comments, or on Twitter with the hashtag #natbooks."
us  literature  geography  2016  books  booklists  losangeles  california  thesouth  pacificnorthwest  seattle  cascadia  southwest  midwest  boston  neworleans  nola  maine 
august 2016 by robertogreco
WRONG SIDE OF THE BORDER ("I didn't do anything wrong!")
"POHENEGAMOOK, Quebec — Michel Jalbert never imagined that his usual excursion to gas up at the cheapest place in town would land him in a Maine prison for five weeks and create an international incident. Even now, after U.S. officials finally released Jalbert on $5,000 bail and as he awaits his trial in U.S. District Court early next year, the spirit of cooperation that forms the social and economic fabric of this Canadian border town remains frayed.

People who once thought they had written permission to cross briefly into Maine to buy gasoline without visiting U.S. Customs now worry about the risk to save 20 cents a gallon. Pohenegamook is a mostly French-speaking community where houses and families straddle the border and logging trucks barrel out of the Maine woods to feed the town's thriving lumber industries. But now its residents are rethinking their habit of comfortable coexistence with their American neighbors. The fallout has even reached the four Mainers who live at the edge of Pohenegamook and count on the town for utility services, snow plowing and trash collection.

Jalbert's arrest and imprisonment made headlines across Canada for weeks and inspired an outpouring of moral and financial support from people in both countries. It raised speculation that he was singled out as an example to all border scofflaws in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Secretary of State Colin Powell visited Canada on the day of Jalbert's release, calling the ordeal an "an unfortunate incident" and promising future fairness for Canadians who cross the border regularly for gas and other errands. Still, Jalbert's treatment raised questions about the logic and fairness of customs and immigration operations at Maine's northernmost outpost.

The toll on Jalbert has been severe. A part-time woodsman, Jalbert ran up more than $5,000 in telephone bills, legal fees and lost wages while being held in Piscataquis County Jail in Dover-Foxcroft. He suffered depression and anxiety attacks and lost 10 pounds while separated from his common-law wife, Chantail Chouinard, 26, who is five months pregnant, and their 5-year-old daughter, Debbie. There were days, alone in his cell, when he sobbed in despair.

The 32-year-old Jalbert returned home Nov. 14 to his family's cozy rented bungalow set back from busy Route 289. With temperatures in the teens and more than a foot of snow on the ground, his work in the woods is finished until spring. Last Sunday he had his first good night's sleep in more than a month. … "
2002  border  quebec  maine  immigration  customs  borders  law  legal  homelandsecurity  us 
july 2014 by robertogreco
The Learning State
"Now that I seem to be building a relationship with some readers, it is time to own up to my hitherto secret purpose in writing this column. I want to see "VACATIONLAND" off the car license plates. I want to see it replaced by "The Learning State." Of course the point is not about license plates, which I suppose could be changed by decree from Augusta. It is about how we in Maine think about ourselves and our state, something that cannot be changed "top down" by government. It has to be created "bottom up" by the people of the state. By you and me and all of us.

It would be good for us to have the title of champion state in the field of learning. It would bring business and talent from away. But the driving reason to achieve excellence in learning is necessity. More than most states, our future depends on the capacity of the next generation to adapt to changing economic needs and possibilities. Mainers must be learners.

What would qualify us for the title is a combined score based on the quantity and quality of learning that takes place in the state and on our attitude towards learning and the role of learning in our future. On quality of learning we have a lot going for us. Although our schools have many problems, their students rank high on national tests. Outside of the curriculum itself the state is rich in nuggets of homegrown excellence in learning. As just one example drawn from a large collection I'll be sharing with you in the next months consider the fact that the kids of Deer Isle-Stonington have achieved national status in junior chess contests. And, of course, nobody would expect me to pass over the laptop initiative that has the eyes of the education world focused on our state.

On attitude we have work to do and this is where I hope to make a modest contribution through this column. Last December I wrote on these pages that the time has come for a change of ownership of the laptop initiative: it must stop being "the governor's laptop initiative" to become "our initiative." I outlined ways in which citizens could help and argued that only if many do will the initiative achieve true greatness. But the same arguments apply to all learning. The quality of learning in schools will advance best if the quality of the "learning culture" in our homes and communities advances.

The "home learning culture" is reflected in how we talk about and think about learning in our families. In my column about Bode Miller I tried to show how one can see every event in the world through lenses focused on the learning aspect. In a family with a strong learning culture people who see skiers jump fifty feet into the air and spin their bodies all the way up and down might respond as I did; my wife and I spent the next ten minutes talking about how anyone could possibly learn to do that. The quality of the family learning culture also shows itself in the response to kids knowing more than the grown-up. When your eight-year-old figures out faster than you how to do something with the VCR or the computer are you embarrassed or proud? Do you try to learn from the kid? Do you recognize that kids are experts on learning and can often teach you a lot about how to do it?

I'm trying to use this column to set an example, but using a monologue as an example defeats my purpose. I want dialog. I want to see discussion of learning. Starting next week I am going to make a point of dealing directly with the comments of readers that have begun to trickle into my email. To make this work please send more comments. So please tell me why you think I am crazy to think that Maine can be Number 1 in learning."

[Papert's Bode Miller column: http://www.papert.org/articles/BodeMiller.html ]

[Other column in this series:

"It Takes a Whole State to Raise its Schools"
http://www.papert.org/articles/ItTakesAState.html

"Hard Fun"
http://www.papert.org/articles/HardFun.html

"Computer as Condom"
http://www.papert.org/articles/ComputerAsCondom.html ]
seymourpapert  maine  learning  education  bodemiller  homeschool  unschooling  deschooling  2001  schools  policy  priorities 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Riley School
"Riley's unique structure creates an active learning environment where children learn by doing,
by questioning and by discovery. Small, integrated classes provide opportunities for children to
express themselves and to build their self-esteem, thus helping them to develop the skills and
attitudes which will help them become lifelong learners and creative, independent thinkers.
As a Progressive Elementary School, we recognize the importance of educating the whole child.
The Head Teacher works with each child in preparing an individual schedule to fill the child's needs, intellectually, physically, emotionally, and socially. As the child grows and changes,so too, does his/her schedule.

Riley supports young children and adolescents in developing the skills which will empower them
to have control over their own lives and careers as adults. Riley supports young children and adolescents in developing the emotional, social and intellectual skills which will empower them to have control over their own lives and careers as adults. Riley has been nurturing these goals in young people since 1972.

RILEY PROVIDES:
• an environment which gives children the opportunity to be the creative, exciting, self motivated, individuals they really are.
• encouragement to make constructive choices in a structured environment.
• integrated experiences for intellectual, emotional and social growth.
• a loving and nurturing environment which enhances the whole child.
• individually biannual/written evaluations reflecting a true portrait of your child. (January and June) instead of “report cards.”"
maine  rockport  schools  progressive  progressiveeducation  midcoastmaine  via:steelemaley  independentschools  rileyschool 
january 2014 by robertogreco
One Tiny College's Lessons for Higher Education - College, Reinvented - The Chronicle of Higher Education
"[T]he College of the Atlantic—330 students and 43 faculty members ensconced on Maine's remote Mount Desert Island—has resisted growth, seeing smallness as key to providing an unusual education that cuts across disciplines, rejects academic conventions, and takes a highly personalized approach to teaching and learning.

"What I learned is how to do more with less, and as someone who is now an entrepreneur, I find that extremely valuable," Mr. Motzkin says. "It's about really being able to adapt and change and apply knowledge. In the future, that's going to be critically important."

The emphasis on smallness runs counter to the national frenzy for reinvention in higher education, which seems fixated on going online and scaling up in an effort to mass-produce knowledge (or at least degrees). Offbeat and experimental colleges like COA—think of Bennington, Goddard, Hampshire, or Unity—are often overlooked and fragile. But they bring new perspectives and techniques to higher education, in part because they are small and nimble.

These colleges provide "a kind of biodiversity in the whole system of higher education," says L. Jackson Newell, an emeritus professor of educational leadership and policy at the University of Utah and a former president of Deep Springs College, a tiny work college in California. "Keeping these institutions alive and healthy is a way of keeping the ideas behind these institutions alive, which I would say is critically important for the health of higher education as a whole.""



"Certain ideas were baked into the College of the Atlantic at its founding, 43 years ago, and they seem to have found a currency in the discussion today over what to do about higher education. Critics talk about academics in silos, toiling on obscure research. At COA, there are no departments, and with only one degree—human ecology—students and faculty members form a culture that encourages teaching, interdisciplinarity, and pursuing one's intellectual interests."
collegeoftheatlantic  small  slow  education  unschooling  deschooling  progressive  progressiveeducation  size  fragility  hampshirecollege  goddardcollege  benningtoncollege  untycollege  maine  darroncollins  huamnecology  interdisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  incubators  capitalism  industry  sustainability  exploration  learning  barharbor  edkaelber  franconiacollege  blackmountaincollege  antiochcollege  tedsizer  renédubos  elizabethrussell  mollyanderson  wofgangserbser  germany  2012  bmc 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Publication Studio
"We print and bind books on demand, creating original work with artists and writers we admire. We use any means possible to help writers and artists reach a public: physical books; a digital commons (where anyone can read and annotate our books for free); eBooks; and unique social events with our writers and artists in many cities. We attend to the social life of the book. Publication Studio is a laboratory for publication in its fullest sense—not just the production of books, but the production of a public. This public, which is more than a market, is created through physical production, digital circulation, and social gathering. Together these construct a space of conversation, a public space, which beckons a public into being.

Currently there are eight Publication Studios, in Portland (run by Patricia No and Antonia Pinter), the San Francisco Bay Area, CA (run by Ian Dolton-Thornton, with sage advice from Colter Jacobsen), Vancouver, BC, Canada (run by Keith Higgins and Kathy Slade), Toronto, Ontario, Canada (run by Derek McCormack, Alana Wilcox, and Michael Maranda), Boston (run by Sam Gould), Portland, Maine (run by Daniel Fuller and the Institute for Contemporary Art), Philadelphia (run by Robert Blackson and the Tyler School of Art), Los Angeles (run by Sergio Pastor, Matthew Schum, and Lizzie Fitch), and Malmö, Sweden, run by Ola Stahl. To contact one of the Publication Studios, click on its name on the home-page of this site."
art  artists  books  diy  publishing  portland  oregon  bayarea  sanfrancisco  vancouver  britishcolumbia  toronto  boston  maine  philadelphia  losangeles  publicationstudios  selfpublishing  ebooks  publication  self-publishing  publishers  bc 
february 2013 by robertogreco
b e e h i v e d e s i g n c o l l e c t i v e [Beehive Collective]
"To cross-pollinate the grassroots, by creating collaborative, anti-copyright images that can be used as educational and organizing tools.
In the process of this effort we seek to take the “who made that!?” and “how much does it cost!?” out of our creative endeavors, by anonymously functioning as word-to-image translators of the information we convey. We build, and disseminate these visual tools with the hope that they will self-replicate, and take on life of their own."
maine  collaborative  art  collective  activism  education  creativity  organization  via:matthall  self-replication  visualtools  design  beehivecollective  grassroots 
january 2013 by robertogreco
Harvard Education Letter: Opt-Out Movement Gains Steam
"The forces opposed to high-stakes assessment tests have their Montgomery, and it’s Snohomish.

When more than 550 sets of parents—about one out of 10—in this small town west of Seattle refused to let their children take the Washington State Measurements of Student Progress exam in April, they moved the anti-testing movement to a new phase of civil disobedience.

From two at an elementary school in Portland, Maine, to 550 in Snohomish, to 1,427 in Colorado, frustrated families that oppose the high-stakes tests required by the 11-year-old No Child Left Behind law are deploying a new weapon: keeping their kids from taking them."

"The proportion of Americans who say there’s too much emphasis on testing has nearly doubled, from 20 percent in 1997 to 37 percent today, according to a Gallup Poll conducted for Phi Delta Kappa International."
criticalmass  maine  colorado  washingtonstate  snohomish  2012  parenting  optingout  standardizedtesting  nclb  testing 
september 2012 by robertogreco
To the Teens | Justin The Librarian
"In your teens and twenties, a lot of people will look at you and your ideas and think they’re a bit bizarre and out there.  However, when you get into your late twenties/thirties something interesting happens…now that you’re older, people start to understand that you’ve had the experiences and matured enough that what you’re doing must be legit.  It’s kind of awesome.  Remember how I helped bring video games into the library for people to play and borrow?  When I talked about how libraries should be doing that when I was younger, people thought I was crazy.  When I got older and did it people thought it was a really great move.  Being 28 years old and having gone through years of video gaming helped me get to do that “crazy thing.”  So, yes, your bones may hurt a bit more (it happens) but you get to do a lot of cool shit when you’re older."
growingup  videogames  gaming  games  families  ideas  change  maturation  2012  adolescents  teens  youth  portland  maine  librarians  libraries  justinhoenke  aging  advice 
september 2012 by robertogreco
TEDxDirigo - Alan Lishness - Indigenous Innovation: How Small Places can Change the World - YouTube
"As chief innovation officer at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, Alan Lishness designs and leads science education programming for Maine middle school students, reaching 60,000 students and counting. His vision is for all citizens to be skilled at critical thinking, collaboration, learning, and developing innovative solutions. His thinking is informed by current educational practice in Finland, where teachers are well prepared to teach, held in high professional esteem, and granted autonomy in their classrooms."
alanlishness  maine  finland  education  learning  policy  lcproject  2011  via:steelemaley  schools  gulfofmaineresearchinstitute  science  museums  small 
december 2011 by robertogreco
Nau : The Thought Kitchen » Blog Archive » Made by Hand
"We recently stumbled upon Etsy’s provocative, short film about H.G. “Skip” Brack and his 42-year quest to single-handedly recycle and restore every tool in Maine.  His goal? To help artisans, craftsmen, welders, mechanics—and anyone else who works with their hands—create beautiful things.

Of course, this got us thinking: what was the last thing we built, not for money or merit, but for the simple satisfaction of knowing we handcrafted something beautiful?"
making  maine  handmade  2011  etsy  diy  craft  glvo  satisfaction  motivation  purpose  skipbrack  hgbrack  recycling  restoration 
november 2011 by robertogreco
The Telling Room: the place where stories grow
"The Telling Room is a nonprofit writing center in Portland, Maine, dedicated to the idea that children and young adults are natural storytellers. Focused on young writers ages 6 to 18, we seek to build confidence, strengthen literacy skills, and provide real audiences for our students’ stories. We believe that the power of creative expression can change our communities and prepare our youth for future success."
writing  education  maine  creative  stories  storytelling  nonprofit  lcproject  portland  youth  826  nonprofits 
july 2011 by robertogreco
NuPenny: Portland
"NuPenny exists as a traveling art installation under the guise of an inaccessible toy store. On the surface, & viewed as a retail establishment or typical sales model, NP seems fundamentally flawed in connecting w/ those who desire to take its products home. True enough. But on another level the storeʼs reason for being is as a realm of carefully manufactured objects of desire that have not (or perhaps cannot) find either their place or time in the world. The first appearance of this toy store installation was in Waterville, Maine in January of 2010. Four months later & w/out notice NP closed in Waterville & moved to another town."

"Conceptually each toy is my interpretation of a song lyric, poem or literary work that has affected me. By using the NP/Teletype code card that is available on this site you can easily (though perhaps not quickly) read the ʻtextʼ on each toy, box & placard. More toys will occur, & arrive in the store over time, as I have the means to make them."
art  toys  sculpture  desire  consumerism  maine  nupenny  objects  glvo  edg  srg  randyregier  installation  via:anterobot 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Maine Unschooling Network
"Welcome to Maine Unschooling Network, a secular community of whole-life learners, autodidacts and radical unschoolers of all ages, questioning and living free of institutional education."
unschooling  maine  lcproject  deschooling  education  learning  sipportgroups  blogs  autodidacts  homeschool 
july 2011 by robertogreco
How To Run A News Site And Newspaper Using WordPress And Google Docs - 10,000 Words
"A former colleague of mine, William Davis, understands what a “web first” workflow is, and has made it happen through software at his newspaper in Maine. The Bangor Daily News announced this week that it completed its full transition to open source blogging software, WordPress. And get this: The workflow integrates seamlessly with InDesign, meaning the paper now has one content management system for both its web and print operations. And if you’re auspicious enough, you can do it too — he’s open-sourced all the code!"

[See also: http://publisherblog.automattic.com/2011/06/20/bangor-daily-news-a-complete-publishing-system-on-wordpress/ ]
wordpress  googledocs  workflow  cloud  journalism  editing  classideas  publishing  news  newspapers  howto  opensource  open  maine  blogging  indesign  print  digital  2011  tutorials  williamdavis 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Bay School - Blue Hill, Maine - Waldorf School
"The Bay School's mission is to provide an education that engages and nurtures the whole child, inspiring a balanced growth of heart, mind, body and spirit. We are committed to developing in our students inner confidence, responsibility, self-motivation, a love of learning, imagination, creativity and intellectual clarity. The educational ideals and values of the school, rooted in the Waldorf tradition, create a community of children, alumni, parents and faculty imbued with reverence for others and the natural world."
maine  schools  education  waldorf  khalifwilliams  teaching 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Buckminster Fuller - Wikipedia
"He attended Froebelian Kindergarten. Spending much of his youth on Bear Island, in Penobscot Bay off the coast of Maine, he had trouble with geometry, being unable to understand the abstraction necessary to imagine that a chalk dot on the blackboard represented a mathematical point, or that an imperfectly drawn line with an arrow on the end was meant to stretch off to infinity. He often made items from materials he brought home from the woods, and sometimes made his own tools. He experimented with designing a new apparatus for human propulsion of small boats.

Years later, he decided that this sort of experience had provided him with not only an interest in design, but also a habit of being familiar with and knowledgeable about the materials that his later projects would require. Fuller earned a machinist's certification, and knew how to use the press brake, stretch press, and other tools and equipment used in the sheet metal trade."
design  technology  art  architecture  future  buckminsterfuller  childhood  froebel  kindergarten  learning  materials  systemsthinking  biography  maine  bearisland  penobscotbay  geometry  math  mathematics  toolmaking  designthinking  friedrichfroebel 
june 2011 by robertogreco
P R O J E C T  M  :  T H I N K  W R O N G
"Sure, we may not be known in the in circles. We may not fill the pages of design annuals. And we may never see our names in lights. But, we do know how to save the rain forest with a waterproof book. We do know how to build a park with a postcard. And we know how to bring water to a community with a few pages of newsprint.

We are part of a design movement. We believe that ability equals responsibility. And we are not the only ones. So, we built a lab where designers like you can make a difference. We are building the tools that will build the future. And this is where you come in."

"The human brain tends to think along pre-determined linear thought pathways. Such linear thinking can inhibit true innovation and creative exploration. Project M will encourage, and provide techniques for, “thinking wrong” to generate new ideas and design directions to challenge the status-quo."
maine  design  architecture  change  social  johnbielenberg  alabama  california  activism  humanitariandesign  gamechanging  poptech  sanfrancisco  projectm  projectmlab  lcproject  openstudio  communityservice  halecounty 
may 2011 by robertogreco
Maine Media Workshops and Maine Media College | Maine Media
"Maine Media College offers a Professional Certificate program and a low-residency Master of Fine Arts Degree program in the fields of Photography, Filmmaking, and Multimedia.<br />
The school provides a focused educational experience distinguished by a dedication to craftsmanship, creativity, and critical thinking.<br />
Located in the small village of Rockport, Maine, Maine Media College is in an area that has long attracted artists because of its supreme physical beauty. The school provides an immersive environment conducive to concentrated work. The curriculum honors historical forms and practices while embracing new technologies and modes of creative expression."
education  photography  workshops  media  courses  maine  rockport  schools  film  video  camden  mainemediaworkshops  mainemediacollege  mainemedia 
march 2011 by robertogreco
Maine Media Workshops | Maine Media
"Over the last 35 years, the Workshops has influenced thousands of people — many of them in life-changing ways. When asked what was the most important part of their experience, some talk about the spectacular beauty of the environment, others praise the excellence of the programs, the world-renowned faculty or state-of-the-art equipment. Many respond by acknowledging the staff and their dedication to creating exceptional experiences. The comment received most often, however, reflects what is created when all these essential elements coexist: an appreciation for the ability to completely immerse oneself in one's art and become part of a community passionate about creativity."
maine  photography  writing  video  music  youth  classes  rockport  camden  schools  multimedia  education 
march 2011 by robertogreco
The Community School [Camden, Maine]
"The Community School was founded in 1973 as Maine’s first alternative high school. We offer two core programs: a nine-month Residential Program, and a home-based Passages Program for teen parents."

"The Community School offers a relational learning program that transforms the nature of a high school education. We provide students with the skills and experience necessary to discover their strengths, connect with their families, practice personal responsibility, and contribute to their communities."

[Now merged with Opportunity Farm to become Wayfinder Schools: http://wayfinderschools.org/ ]
maine  camden  schools  highschool  education  alternative  progressive  residential  lcproject  tcsnmy 
march 2011 by robertogreco
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts is an international craft school located on the Atlantic Ocean in Deer Isle, Maine
"The school offers intensive studio-based workshops in a variety of craft media including clay, glass, metals, paper, blacksmithing, weaving, woodworking and more. Programs range from short workshops to two-week sessions and anyone may participate, from beginners to advanced professionals.

The unique experience to be found at Haystack is owed to the combination of internationally-renowned instructors, intensive and focused studio time, the exploration of other art forms including music, poetry and dance, a diverse student body, and an award-winning campus. Students live, eat and work at the school, and studios remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Over the past 50 years, the school has created international workshops and conferences, innovative sessions for high school students and local residents, a visiting artist’s program, scholarship opportunities, and more. Haystack continues to evolve with the interests and ideas of those who visit here."
art  education  crafts  maine  schools  craft 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Symposia at Haystack
"Haystack has taken a leadership role in examining the role of craft in our society. Haystack began the invitational symposia in 2002. The goal is to address issues related to the hand and craft making within a broader context of other disciplines. Past symposia have included Digital Dialogues: Technology and the Hand (2002), in collaboration with the MIT Media Lab, Craft and Design: Hand, Mind, and the Creative Process (2004), in collaboration with the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Craft and Community: Sustaining Place (2006) and Creating in Maine: Makers, Manufacturers, and Materials (2006 - 2008). The symposium is an intimate scale—there are sixty-five participants including presenters."
maine  haystack  art  crafts  craft  symposia 
february 2011 by robertogreco
First Friday Art Walk - Portland, Maine
"JOIN US for a free self-guided tour of local art galleries, art studios, museums, and alternative art venues on the First Friday of every month from 5-8 pm.

OUR MISSION is to open the doors of Portland's visual arts community by joining together and introducing a wider audience to the unique vitality of the artists and venues of Portland. Promoting interest with non-exclusivity and easy access, thereby strengthening the arts and community through diversity and celebration."
maine  art  portland  events 
february 2011 by robertogreco
LiveWork Portland
"LiveWorkPortland is an effort to increase the visibility of the creative community in Portland, Maine, with the explicit goal of growing that community both in its numbers and it’s economic impact on the city. LiveWorkPortland is an ongoing marketing campaign—and advertisement for Portland, updated daily. Who is our target audience? Primarily talented and resourceful people who are living and working in other metro areas that have the means and drive to set up shop here and add to our community. As a virtuous benefit, we believe that the same kinds of content and community engagement that will make Portland more attractive and knowable to people “from away,” will also help us know ourselves better here and further integrate and energize the existing creative economy in Portland."
maine  portland  local  live  work  culture  marketing 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Portland Museum of Art
"As the largest and oldest art museum in the state of Maine, the Museum serves as a vital cultural resource for all who visit. The Museum's collection of more than 17,000 objects is housed in three historic and remarkable buildings showcasing three centuries of art and architecture. Whether this is your first visit or 131st, our changing exhibitions and permanent collection offer you a diverse selection of fine and decorative arts to view."
portland  maine  art  museums 
february 2011 by robertogreco
The Artist Studio :: Portland, Maine
"The Artist Studio Building is located at 536 Congress Street in Portland, Maine.

Click on the links above to view our artist portfolios and resumes, and learn about our events and shows."
studios  art  portland  maine  glvo 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Strengthening Portland By Strengthening The Arts — Portland Arts & Cultural Alliance
"Portland Arts & Cultural Alliance (PACA) is a non-profit 501 c 3 organization with a mission of “Strengthening Portland by strengthening the Arts.” PACA was formed in 1985 by the arts and cultural leaders of Portland including the Maine College of Art, the Portland Museum of Art, the Portland Symphony Orchestra, PCA Great Performances, Portland Stage Company, the Portland Public Library, and the Maine Historical Society.  In 1997 PACA was designated Portland’s Local Arts Agency by City Council Resolution."
art  portland  maine  arts  paca  culture  glvo 
february 2011 by robertogreco
JUNE FITZPATRICK GALLERY, Portland, Maine
"exhibiting contemporary drawings, paintings, prints, and sculpture by established artists and selected newcomers"
maine  art  galleries  glvo  junefitzpatrick 
february 2011 by robertogreco
The Salt Institute for Documentary Studies
"At Salt, we train aspiring writers, radio producers, and photographers in the art of documentary storytelling — creating thought-provoking, richly worded stories. In the process, our students struggle to find their own voice, learn to sit comfortably with discomfort, and to ask hard questions not only of their subjects, but also of themselves. We encourage students to value and pursue truth, using journalistic skills and ethics to produce powerful, fair-minded, technically astute documentary work."
documentary  radio  education  photography  salt  portland  maine  schools  writing  journalism 
february 2011 by robertogreco
SPACE Gallery
"SPACE GALLERY IS A NONPROFIT CONTEMPORARY ART SPACE IN PORTLAND, MAINE featuring visual arts, live music and performance, film, artists features and more."
maine  portland  art  music  galleries  glvo 
february 2011 by robertogreco
The Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art (ICA at MECA)
"The Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art features innovative exhibitions and public programs that showcase new perspectives and trends in contemporary art. Located in stunning galleries in our landmark Porteous Building, the ICA at MECA presents cutting edge work by local, national, and international artists. A lively schedule of public programming includes lectures, workshops, and performances. The ICA at MECA provides a unique resource to the MECA community, offering insight into the practices of the professional field and first hand experiences with renowned visiting artists. Internships are also available, providing hands-on museum experiences ranging from the research and development of exhibitions to teaching to museum management."
meca  maine  portland  ica  icameca  art  glvo  museums  education  arts  exhibits  exhibitions  contemporary 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Juice Conference - Powering the Creative Economy
"Connect, Collaborate, Create: The Juice Conference connects leaders of the creative economy to foster growth and prosperity. Weaving together the arts, technology, and entrepreneurship, Juice inspires innovation by bringing talented people together from widely different backgrounds to build on Maine’s traditions. Juice is a forum where attendees can learn, exchange ideas, share success stories and provide input to shape the development of strategies for Maine’s future.<br />
<br />
Juice 2.0, “Building Maine’s Innovation Networks”, will gather entrepreneurs, artists and statewide leaders to discuss the power of creativity and innovation in transforming Maine’s economy."
maine  conferences  creativity  community  economics  development  arts  technology 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Maine Arts Commission
"The Maine Arts Commission shall encourage and stimulate public interest and participation in the cultural heritage and cultural programs of our state; shall expand the state's cultural resources; and shall encourage and assist freedom of artistic expression for the well being of the arts, to meet the needs and aspirations of persons in all parts of the state.<br />
To carry out this mission, which is drawn from the Maine Art Commission's enabling legislation, the agency will support programs and partnerships that:<br />
engender a cooperative environment within the arts field that results in more efficient delivery of programs and services;further the goals of the state as articulated by its elected leadership, advancing the arts through activities in such areas as technology, education, and the economy;have the potential to change lives by giving people of all ages the opportunity to come into meaningful contact with artists and art-making; and…"
maine  grants  culture  art  arts  glvo  crafts 
february 2011 by robertogreco
MECA | Maine College of Art
"Located in the heart of the Portland Arts District, Maine College of Art offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts, a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Arts, a Post-Baccalaureate in Art Education as well as Continuing Studies for adults and youths, including a Pre-College intensive for high school students.<br />
The College has transformed a former department store into the main campus building with vibrant classrooms and studios that are open 24/7. Also located in the Porteous Building, the Institute of Contemporary Art at MECA serves a critical regional role in its commitment to presenting contemporary, provocative work by living artists from Maine and around the globe. The Joanne Waxman Library is one of the largest independent libraries in Northern New England and a major resource for the region."
art  colleges  design  maine  portland  meca 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Skowhegan
"Skowhegan, an intensive nine-week summer residency program for emerging visual artists established in 1946, seeks each year to bring together a gifted and diverse group of individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to art-making and inquiry to create the most stimulating and rigorous environment possible for a concentrated period of artistic creation, interaction and growth."
glvo  maine  skowhegan  residencies  artists 
february 2011 by robertogreco
DesignInquiry
"non-profit educational organization devoted to researching design issues in intensive team-based gatherings. An alternative to the design conference, it brings together practitioners from disparate fields to generate new work & ideas around a single topic.

…selects a topic to explore at an intensive gathering of presentations, discussions, & workshops. We invite professionals, educators & students of diverse disciplines to contribute to the topic in any way they think is appropriate. We share these responses, while working toward a publication that binds the outcome: a free-to-download boost of information, meant to inspire & inform its readers.

…an alternative to one-way delivery of a standard conference: each participant contributes & is equally responsible for the quality of the gathering; a collaborative production where we both learn and teach the aesthetics and ethics that are central to Design (& life). Days become nights; the program doesn't stop when dinner is served."
design  unconferences  conferences  togo  designinquiry  lcproject  glvo  restaurants  collaboration  collaborative  making  doing  northeast  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  generativewebevent  generativeevents  makegood  openstudio  education  learning  alternative  alternativeeducation  teaching  unschooling  deschooling  schools  schooldesign  maine  montreal  generativewebevents 
february 2011 by robertogreco
College of the Atlantic - Wikipedia
"curriculum is based on human ecology, & all freshmen are required to take an introductory core course in human ecology during first term. Other requirements include 2 courses in each focus area (Environmental Studies, Arts & Design, Human Studies), 1 quantitative reasoning course, 1 history course, & 1 course that involves extensive writing. The intention is for students to explore & integrate ideas from different disciplines & to construct their own understanding of human ecology.

W/ focus on interdisciplinary learning, CotA does not have distinct departments…faculty members consider themselves human ecologists in addition to formal specialization.…professors of art, art history, anthropology, creative writing, political science and peace studies, economics, green & sustainable business, ecology, biology, botany, environmental science, sustainable food systems, film, law, environmental studies, international policy, languages, philosophy, history, education, music & psychology."
education  socialecology  collegeoftheatlantic  alternative  colleges  universities  glvo  socialentrepreneurship  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  projectbasedlearning  studentdirected  community  highereducation  highered  curriculum  tcsnmy  lcproject  maine  sustainability  ecology  social  pbl 
february 2011 by robertogreco
A Networked Learning Project: The Connected Day
[Broken link, alternative refs here:
https://steelemaley.io/2014/03/06/a-networked-learning-ecology/
http://www.networkedresearch.net/index.php/Networked_Learning_Ecology_Design
http://steelemaley.io/2015/10/25/the-rise-of-micro-schools/ ]

"Piper is a 15 year old who lives in Midcoast Maine, US. A year ago, Piper heard about a new way to learn, and decided to take part in a new learning experience called the Maine Networked Learning Project. Known as “the Mesh” to participants, this learning ecology offered Piper the chance to apply her passion for learning in highly experiential and collaborative ways with groups of young people of varied ages, adult and youth mentors with knowledge territory specialties and organizations focused on ensuring sustainable and resilient societies, economies, and the environment. This is a snapshot of her day…"
connectivism  cck11  thomassteele-maley  maine  mlearning  mobilelearning  mobile  networks  netoworking  lcproject  bighere  longhere  bignow  elearning  self-organizedlearning  self-organizedlearningenvironment  self-organization  sugatamitra  mesh  meshnetworks  twitter  googlereader  projectbasedlearning  realworld  farming  sustainability  ecology  projects  local  glocalism  experientiallearning  meetups  education  speculativefiction  designfiction  pbl  agriculture 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Project Fun Way: When Project Learning and Technology Meet | Edutopia
"Claire Hall, whose daughter Yuki transferred to Casco Bay her junior year, says, "the thing that strikes me more and more is that Casco Bay provides education as it should be, and these are things all schools should do." The teachers model the behavior and values they expect students to live by, they're supportive and kind to each other, and they set reasonable expectations."
1:1  education  edtech  tcsnmy  projectbasedlearning  socialemotionallearning  teacherasmasterlearner  maine  pbl  socialemotional  1to1 
march 2010 by robertogreco
The Meming of Life » Secular homeschoolers
"Now once you step outside of that protection — into homeschooling, for example — all bets are off. It’s a majority-rules, market-driven world out there. And since the majority of homeschooling parents by most counts are homeschooling to provide a religious framework and to avoid what they see as the “aggressively secular education” of the public schools, the providers of nearly all things homeschool frequently cater to that point of view. This can make matters tough for secular homeschoolers."
education  homechool  secular  religion  maine  dalemcgowan 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Breakwater Middle School Approach to Learning
"What is an "integrated approach" to learning?

An integrated approach explores the same theme, question, or topic simultaneously in all academic subjects. The theme’s central concepts and a variety of skills are developed as students read, write, conduct experiments, collect, analyze, and report on data - all in pursuit of answers to essential questions related to the theme under study. Skills and concepts are each presented and practiced in several different ways, providing students of all learning styles multiple opportunities to develop their understanding."

[Update: This was from the old website. See the Wayback machine for the content: http://web.archive.org/web/20100921100609/http://breakwaterschool.org/68_approach.htm AND http://web.archive.org/web/20100921105458/http://breakwaterschool.org/68_curriculum.htm AND http://web.archive.org/web/20100921105341/http://breakwaterschool.org/68_expeditions.htm AND http://web.archive.org/web/20100921105436/http://breakwaterschool.org/68_schedule.htm AND (especially, considering it was the source page of the quote above) http://web.archive.org/web/20100921105303/http://breakwaterschool.org/68_faq.htm ]

"The program expects to have 12-16 students in 2008-2009; don’t middle school students need a bigger social arena?

Some students may want a larger social peer group. Quality, not quantity, of social relationships fosters growth for young people. The establishment of a healthy student culture is a central component of our curriculum. Young adolescence is a time for students to make mistakes and try various identities in a safe and supportive environment.

We are also investigating ways to build relationships with other small middle schools and home-school co-ops for the purposes of social, academic, and athletic interactions.

Is this a program for “alternative” students who cannot flourish in the mainstream?

The Breakwater Middle School program is based on current research and best practices for middle school education. For some who do not flourish under fluorescent lights all day doing seat-work with paper and pencil, this program may be a welcome alternative. For some who are hungry for learning and can work independently as well as cooperatively, this program supports their needs. For those who want a middle school experience that is challenging both academically and personally, and who are eager to engage, this program is a good match. This program is not necessarily appropriate for students who need remedial support, or who need extensive support in order to behave appropriately.

Is this program an experiment?

No. These methods and pedagogy are based in sound research and education theory. The program design fits squarely within the National Association of Middle Schools standards and the National Association for Independent Schools (NAIS) recommendations for middle school, and is consistent in every way with what they advocate as exemplary practice for young adolescent learners.

[…]

If students work together in mixed grade groupings, will they do the same thing over and over from 6th to 8th grade?

No. The integrated themes will largely arise from student interests and questions, and thus will vary from year to year. Activities and learning experiences are also differentiated according to a student’s abilities and needs.

How will 8th graders be challenged differently than 6th graders?

One of the benefits of cooperative learning is that students can and do learn best from each other. Eighth graders will have extra challenges such as assuming leadership on a school committee, being part of an advisory council, etc. We are also planning special rites of passage for every grade, but 8th grade in particular. They may include traveling to a foreign country, an adventurous outdoor experience, and producing a significant creative and intellectual project."
tcsnmy  education  schools  curriculum  middleschool  progressive  studentdirected  integrative  learning  maine  portland  lcproject 
january 2009 by robertogreco

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