Empowering Youth with Community-Centered, Self-Directed Education

Alison SnieckusUncategorized

The Alliance for Self-Directed Education is working to unify the many varying alternatives to traditional school that offer programs based on self-directed learning, an alternative to the curriculum-based approach offered in traditional schools. This video sorts the programs into three broad categories. In our learning cooperatives, we use the community-centered approach, which the video describes as “unschooling together”. As with … Read More

The Joy of Self-Directed Learning: A Personal Perspective

MaryBeth HealyUncategorized

I have a hard time calling my job “work” – that’s how much I love it!   It hasn’t always been that way.  I had a long and “successful” career and, after leaving that, several “good jobs” all fine but none that I would describe as a joyful experience.  Then about three years ago I stumbled across an amazing alternative … Read More

Dream BIG and Find Home

Katy BurkeUncategorized

I recently came across a social media meme that stated “If your dream doesn’t scare you, it’s too small.” Have you ever had an idea that made your heart pound? Or a vision for the future that you were embarrassed to share because it’s just “too ridiculous”? Little children dream freely like this all the time. This one wants to … Read More

Not Back to School

Joel HammonUncategorized

It’s “Back to School” time! For many young people this is exciting—reconnecting with friends, new classes, new teachers, new opportunities. For some though, as August fades into September the sweet feeling of freedom gives way to a rising sense of dread at the prospect of another school year: the homework, the boredom, the sound of the alarm at that ungodly … Read More

The Power of Believing You Can Improve

Alison SnieckusUncategorized

There’s so much talk these days about the need for children to develop resilience and perseverance, to learn to be open to failing and trying again, to be willing to put in the effort when something is hard, to be up for a challenge. I don’t want to oversimplify, but I believe that Carol Dwek’s ideas are a big part … Read More

Alfie Kohn and the Empowerment of Children

Scott GallagherUncategorized

As a parent and educator, one of my heroes is Alfie Kohn. If you don’t know him you should check him out. He will challenge you to reflect on the things you think are important for a child. He will also challenge you to reflect on how adults, however well-meaning, control children. One thing he likes to deconstruct (and that’s … Read More

Rock Climbing and Fear

Katy BurkeUncategorized

I hadn’t expected to be so afraid, and for a while I couldn’t figure out what I feared. Did I fear falling? Truthfully, not one bit. I trusted the equipment and the set-up completely. If anything, I probably have too much faith in man-made apparatuses; I’ve never been one to think the roller coaster might break down. Did I fear … Read More

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