Pure and Simple

Katy BurkeUncategorized

You ever have one of those days when nothing seems to satisfy? Like you’re walking around wearing shades on a cloudy day? I was having a day like that about a week ago and was hungry for something pure and good, something free from the spoils of the modern world.  So I headed east.  Nothing, I thought, is more boundless … Read More

Teaching Character vs. Compliance

Katy BurkeUncategorized

ready for testing

Educating children can look and feel a lot like raising them.  It is certainly not the same as parenting—I say that as an educator and a parent. However, the purpose of parenting and educating are very much aligned. The word “educate” means “to lead out”—to lead out into the world, into adulthood, into a future. I think it’s important that … Read More

Making Your Way

Katy BurkeUncategorized

The Learning Cooperatives are founded on the concept of making a life for yourself…living your dreams, not someone else’s. But in a culture chockful of prescribed paths and prepackaged dreams, how can we do that? It is probably more of an art than a science, but after listening to the stories of people who are living out their dreams, I’ve … Read More

Support and Stand By

Katy BurkeUncategorized

In a previous post, Rethinking the Gaps, I argued that in trying to close the skill gaps that we fear children hold, we actually juxtapose pressuring kids and overprotecting them. We simultaneously push kids to check all the customary boxes while denying them the natural experiences of taking risk. Though we do it for good, this results in feelings of … Read More

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 … 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

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

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