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

Screens All Day?

Joel HammonUncategorized

One of the most anxiety-producing, despair-inducing, frustration-creating aspects of self-directed and noncoercive learning is the fear among adults that kids left to their own devices will do nothing but play video games…or watch YouTube…or go through season after season of shows on Netflix, or…fill in the blank. And that too much of these things, unlike other activities kids choose to … Read More

Fear, Ballet and Magic

Joel HammonUncategorized

Let me explain how this video happened. That’s right – it’s me taking a ballet lesson from our fabulous member Kennedy. For folks who know me, the sight of me doing ballet is as equally surprising as a third ear growing out of my forehead. I lead a class called Be More Awesomer. It deals with the core of what … Read More

Delving Deeply

Joel HammonUncategorized

PLC visited the legendary Princeton Record Exchange recently and had the chance to hear from owner Jon Lambert about how he left high school before graduating and created a path for himself by pursuing what he loved, working hard, self-improvement and perseverance. It reminded us a lot of what Seth Godin has to say in this blog post. Teens who … Read More

The Art of Self-Directed Learning

Joel HammonUncategorized

Two teens engaged in macroinvertebrate sampling

PLC had the pleasure to invite Blake Boles to give a talk in December on his latest book, The Art of Self-Directed Learning. You can see the entire talk here. I particularly like Blake’s concept of “consent-based learning”—in the same way that medical personnel get consent before helping or treating their patients, educators should have student’s consent before working with them. … Read More