Trusting Children

Scott GallagherUncategorized

Share this Post I recently heard an episode of the radio show This American Life called Batman.  It tells the story of Daniel Kish, a boy who grows up blind and develops the ability to echo-locate.  By clicking his tongue, he is able to navigate the world and learn to do pretty much everything that other children do.   He walks … Read More

Things Work Out

Katy BurkeUncategorized

In my last post, I wrote about my refusal to proctor the standardized PARCC tests, which I equated to free falling. Here I’d like to talk about how I landed that fall. It was not at all through any special powers or skills of my own. I don’t have super cliff-jumping capabilities. People have told me I was courageous, but … Read More

It’s Complicated

Jeannette BermanUncategorized

The BLC and PLC staff recently met for our monthly book club and discussed It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens by danah boyd. Through hundreds of interviews conducted with teens and their families around the United States, boyd is able to dynamically explore teenagers’ use of and experiences with social media. Her primary objective is to figure out what … Read More

The Mythologist

Joel HammonUncategorized

In March, PLC hosted a talk by professional mythologist, Richard Schwab. Not only was I delighted to learn that there actually are professional mythologists, I found much of what Richard had to say to be profoundly connected to the work that we do with young people. Some of my favorites:  Taking control. He spoke about the lack of initiation rites for … Read More

Opting In

Katy BurkeUncategorized

About this time last year I was free falling. I had refused to proctor the state mandated PARCC assessment and stood to lose my job as a NJ public school teacher of 13 years. In the words of my union lawyer whose counsel I desperately sought, I was “putting myself in front of a buzzsaw.” I remember how rattled I … Read More

The Learning Environment

Paul ScuttUncategorized

For many children, sitting at a desk in a classroom with books, or even with a networked computer, is not the environment that will naturally and easily allow a growth in all the eight intelligences that Howard Gardner proposes we all have (Frames of Mind, 1985).  Our traditional school systems focus primarily on the first two, “Linguistic” and “Logical-Mathematical”,  and … Read More

Deschooling

Joel HammonUncategorized

What happens when a young person stops attending school? Uncertainty. Panic. Teens and their parents wonder: are we doing the right thing? can this really work? what will everyone think? are we risking future success and happiness? For those of us who have had a traditional education, the idea that learning and growth can happen in any other way than … Read More

Nurturing Creativity

Paul ScuttUncategorized

In 2006 the on-line TED.com talk by Sir Ken Robinson “Do Schools Kill Creativity” initiated in me a profound desire to change the high school experience for the young people in my care at the time. One of my favourite snippets from the talk is this: I heard a great story recently — I love telling it — of a … Read More

Rethinking the Gaps

Katy BurkeUncategorized

I recently watched the Dreamworks film Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron with my daughters. At the climax [spoiler alert], Spirit, a wild horse, and his rider scale a plateau then leap across a deep divide to more open land, leaving their pursuers faint-hearted and humbled. Despite being an animated feature, it was terrifying to watch because I had grown rather … Read More

Colleges Welcome Homeschoolers

Alison SnieckusUncategorized

Applying as homeschoolers, PLC members Konstantin and Sara were both accepted to their first-choice college.

Not surprisingly, colleges have taken notice that many interesting teens choose not to attend traditional school. Yes, there are young people who have self-studied and taken community college classes in a broad selection of traditional academics, who apply and go to college. But there are also many young people who have used the freedom and flexibility of homeschooling to allow … Read More