Liberated Learners is the extension of a single innovative program that helps teenagers use self-directed learning into a network of closely related projects across the country and around the world. North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens began supporting teens to live without school in 1996, and its inspirational track record has led others to inquire about the model and in some cases to start their own versions of this model. The first full-scale programs modeled after North Star are now up and running.
North Star held its first small effort to share its model in a weekend workshop in 2007. Then, in 2011, North Star hosted its first Summer Replication Conference, involving seven programs. In 2012, the second Summer Replication Conference attracted eleven working groups. Throughout these years, North Star received numerous inquiries from people interested in learning more about the model.
The growth of this interest inspired the creation of Liberated Learners, a non-profit organization separate from North Star to direct the work of spreading the model. Liberated Learners handles the consulting and support necessary to assist others in starting their own programs towards our goal of seeing a self-directed learning program in every community.
Liberated Learners hosted the 2013 and 2014 Summer Replication Conferences, each involving more than thirty people from programs all over the United States and Canada. A map of all of the people and programs interested in this model can be seen here.
As of spring 2015, Liberated Learners has nine active programs with seven more members in serious planning stages set to open in the next six to eighteen months. We are now offering monthly webinars to share the main ideas and introductory financial model to people interested in learning more. Our goal is to see North Star type programs in every community so that all young people and families may genuinely feel that school is optional.