Katy BurkeUncategorized

Landscape photo of field of grass with trees and setting sun in the background

In the world of education, somewhere between “lecture” and “group project” is an overlooked, misunderstood, crudely-practiced, and often-omitted wonderful little learning method called “modeling.” It’s as simple as it sounds. A “model” of the work desired (a piece of writing, a performance, a technique, etc.) is presented and the learner observes, contemplates, and seeks to imitate in some meaningful way. … Read More

Stories Worth Repeating

Katy BurkeUncategorized

Martin Luther King Jr. during the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, during which he delivered his historic "I Have a Dream" speech, calling for an end to racism.

In my last post, I raised a question that has been asked of me many times over, “Why are we learning this?” It’s a question that I’ve had a hard time answering myself, leading me to ask why we study anything at all. After pondering this for many years, I was led to an answer well worth the journey. But … Read More

Why Learn Anything?

Katy BurkeUncategorized

The making of a galactic parallelogram, NASA/JPL-Caltech

I’ve been teaching English-ish classes for eighteen years…and that statement pretty much sums up the sort of English teacher I am: the type who gets a kick out of adding the suffix “ish” to a word that already ends in “ish,” not the type who corrects your grammar at dinner parties. That’s also probably why I had such a hard … Read More

Going Down the Rabbit Hole of Learning

Alexis SellersUncategorized

View from behind of a jack rabbit in a field, ears on alert

When I describe the Learning Cooperatives as a self-directed education center, it’s not uncommon for people to need more of an explanation. Truthfully though, it’s as simple as it sounds. We are a center that encourages self-direction in education. But what does that look like? I’ve been attending some of the Black Lives Matter protests, where we are asked to … Read More

The Importance of Ketchup Strategy and Donkey Kong

Scott GallagherUncategorized

serving of french fries with ketchup on top

As a mentor at The Learning Cooperatives, in addition to helping teens identify personal goals and pursue the things they’re interested in. But as important as trying to figure out the subject or content areas they’re interested in, I also look for what Barbara Sher, in her book Wishcraft, calls their “touchstone.”

Getting Through “The Dip”

Joel HammonUncategorized

Two boys sitting on a couch at PLC, one leaning forward with two thumbs up, the other lounging back

In a perfect world, young people would choose self-directed education, figure out what they want to do with their lives, use their time well, make progress…and all the rest. But real life is more messy than that.

Avoiding Nature Deficit Disorder

Paul ScuttUncategorized

A number of kids balanced in trees

“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.” — John Muir Spring shows up in the warmth of the sun, the softening of the earth and the vigour of natural life all around us. The trees start to bud, the flowers burst out of the ground, the grass gets thicker, the birds … Read More

Common Sense Standard (CSS) #5

Katy BurkeUncategorized

Two people on a couch enjoying a book together

Knowing what is best for kids requires knowing kids, each kid.  There are varying opinions about the purpose of education, but simply to set a foundation, let’s go with something along the lines of “to develop thriving human beings in society.” That’s a pretty monumental undertaking–but achievable. Essentially, our hope is to help kids grow up to be the best … Read More

Common Sense Standard (CSS) #4

Katy BurkeUncategorized

Kids’ emotional wellbeing matters in their education. If we are serious about education, we must be serious about kids’ emotional and mental health. Maybe it goes without saying that people at any age simply can’t learn or thrive if they are plagued by persistent anxiety or other negative emotions. Or maybe it doesn’t — because we have huge industries built … Read More