Libraries, Not Schools

Joel HammonUncategorized

Four teens gathered in front of a wire fence, one has a big smile with his hands out.

When people first hear about self-directed learning it sounds like a crazy idea–everything is optional; young people have the freedom to follow their interests and decide how to spend their time; no grades, credits, or diplomas, just learning for learning’s sake. It sounds crazy, but it’s not. Self-directed learning is actually quite ordinary, and we have many opportunities and institutions … Read More

Fridays Unplugged

Katy BurkeUncategorized

Many cutout snowflakes hanging from the ceiling

On a typical morning drive to work, I pulled into the local gas station, still holding a conversation on my bluetooth. I turned off the car, transferred the call to speakerphone, and rolled down the window.  “Fill ‘er up, please.”   Next, purse.  But, no…no, no, no, noooo. “I can’t find my purse.” “Cash or card ma’am?” “Are you serious? Do … Read More

Imagine That.

Katy BurkeUncategorized

Seven teens piled onto a couch

Close your eyes. Imagine a high school, a real high school, one, perhaps, you’ve driven by many times. Picture the building and the grounds. What would you change? Pull up the editing tools in your mind. Cut. Crop. Sketch. What’s different now? Is the parking lot freshly paved? Are there more trees, flowers, benches, a fountain? Have you removed an … Read More

It Depends

Joel HammonUncategorized

chalked text "open to new OPPORTUNITIES."

“It Depends.” I say this alot.  I’m the staff member at Princeton Learning Cooperative who initially meets with interested families. They come with lots of questions about PLC and I almost always respond with some variation of, “it depends.” The reactions families have to hearing this over and over again range from mild amusement as they start to understand how … Read More

Underrated

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

Boy, You’re Gonna Carry that Weight

Alexis SellersUncategorized

Masked teen sitting on the wall behind Bucks center, enjoying a sunny warm day in march.

We just went through a wild year. And that is putting it lightly. A pandemic, everything that goes with the pandemic, civil unrest, a riling election, climate disasters, you name it. Weren’t there also aliens at some point? And here we are now, in 2021, still going through it. We’ve all been going through it in our own individual ways … Read More

Time Well Spent

Katy BurkeUncategorized

Selfie of Katy with her daughter with some homemade donuts and a special-looking drink on the table

I have to be honest. There was a period when my kids were younger that I just didn’t feel like playing with them, ever. I was going through big ordeals in my life and the thought of making slime or playing Barbies didn’t appeal to me in the slightest. In fact, it felt downright torturous, and every time I promised … Read More

The Conveyor Belt to Success

Katy BurkeUncategorized

factory with boxes coming off of conveyor belts

Around this time of year twenty-three years ago, I was a senior in high school fretting about applying to college. The whole process was intimidating, but what plagued me the most was that I didn’t know what I wanted to study. I didn’t know that because I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, and I didn’t … Read More