1
Oct
2018

Common Sense Learning

“Common Core-aligned” has become the quality control test by which we measure a legitimate education. A quick Google search will reveal droves of businesses selling academic resources and programs on the basis of their “alignment.” Teachers are feeling constant pressure to “hit the standards,” standards that are meant to get everyone on the same page. […]

3
Sep
2018

Joel Hammon Featured on Blake Boles’ Podcast Off-Trail Learning

I don’t remember how I first became aware of Blake and his work. Perhaps he sent me an email. Maybe I saw a copy of his book, College Without High School, and reached out. I do remember Blake breezing through the Philadelphia area on one of his epic journeys in the early days of Princeton Learning Cooperative […]

7
Aug
2018

Going Global: Liberated Learners in The Philippines

A Liberated Learners Center in Manila, The Philippines? You don’t need my report. Watch this interview with some school-age teens about whether they think the idea is possible: Abot Tala is seeking to become the first Liberated Learners center outside of North America. I have just returned from spending ten days with their team, meeting […]

20
Jul
2018

What can we do together?

“What can we do together?” emerged as the theme of our fifth Annual Liberated Learners Conference at North Star held June 22-24.  Staff and board members from nine centers converged to compare notes, swap stories, and inspire each other during the gathering. The fresh energy of participants from new centers including Embark, BigFish, and The […]

10
Jun
2018

A Cycle of Unlocking Opportunities

I read Seth Godin’s blog every morning. Short and to the point. Deeply inspiring. But I’ve not found a place in my daily routine to keep up with his new podcast, Akimbo. Maria, from Deep Root, posted to our Liberated Learners mailing list suggesting we all check out Seth’s Q&A episode, his “spot on” answer […]

28
Feb
2018

A Clip from New Self-Taught Documentary

Have you seen the movie Class Dismissed?  Filmmaker Jeremy Stuart follows a family’s journey from school to homeschooling to unschooling.  The process and emotions the teen and the family experience are quite familiar to what we see in our work at Liberated Learners centers. Jeremy’s follow-up project is to make Self-Taught, a film about adults […]

24
Jan
2018

Teacher Liberation

Here’s the video of the TEDx talk I gave in October entitled, Teacher Liberation. The primary focus was reaching educators who love working with young people, but are frustrated by the traditional educational systems where they work so they might be inspired to create self-directed education centers in their communities. But I think the talk […]

20
Dec
2017

BigFish to Open in January 2018

In a collaborative effort, including former students and brand new members of BigFish Learning Community, we now have our first promo video. Posted to Facebook Nov. 13, 2017, it has over 2.1K views! BigFish opens in January 2018. We met again recently to begin work on a second video which hopes to explain how Self-Directed Education […]

7
Dec
2017

The Secret Club

For the last 5 years, I taught in a Montessori school with someone who always spoke about how much she loves her job. She would do it for free, if she had to. She feels like it is her “true calling”… blah blah blah. I wanted to hate her… or feel sorry for her since […]

8
Oct
2017

Does This Count…

… is a question I hear frequently – the last time being  1 pm Friday afternoon, from a DRC teen at the end of our mentoring session, when she decided to try to set up a pen tablet (which has never been functional) on one of the DRC laptops. My vehement response, per usual, was, “of […]