School Re-formed seeks to inspire critical reflection on learning and schools. Funding and inspiration comes from the Academy for the Love of Learning.
Current Post | Thursday, April 25, 2013
While Christian, Zoe and I have been blogging about re-forming school, I’m inspired to report that a writer and educator named Theodore Richards has been doing it for the last couple of years, through a program called the Chicago Wisdom Project.
I first heard about Richards in January 2011, when I met with a widely-known spiritual leader named Matthew Fox. Over a free community lunch of locally-grown organic food, Matt and I chatted at length about our shared concerns regarding the values and practices of the current educational system. He described his YELLAWE after-school program, which presented a reinvented curriculum and pedagogy for children from some of Oakland’s poorest neighborhoods. At that point, the program was not thriving in Oakland, Matt explained, because the remarkable man who’d been helping him run it had moved to Chicago.
He was talking about Theodore Richards. [Read more.]
More About the Blog
We believe our schools, though often run by talented and well-intentioned people, are structurally flawed. They do not need to be adjusted, nor do they need to be polished up through corporate “reform.” They need to be formed anew, taking into account new knowledge and traditional wisdom on how people learn, as well as the context of an overheating planet that is facing severe political and economic crises.
What will these new forms look like? Glimpses can be seen in existing schools started by visionaries as well as creative learning environments in various sectors of the economy. It is our hope that by bringing these models out of the periphery and into the center, we can stand ready, as educators and human beings, to build the schools of the future: places of genuine learning, of creativity and vigor and relevance.
Much of the research that went into this blog has been sponsored by the Academy for the Love of Learning, in Santa Fe, NM. The idea of investigating and sharing more humanistic, transformative models of learning was first proposed by the Academy’s founder and president, Aaron Stern.
How It Works
The blog has three types of entries.
1) Bi-monthly posts written by one of us, or by a guest contributor, offering a reflection on schools and learning. We edit these posts for style and content, and generally keep them to less than 1000 words. They are posted every other Thursday on the Posts and Profiles page, and organized by category on our Index of Posts page.
2) Profiles of innovative schools and models of learning we have visited. We try to write these profiles in an engaging way, free from educator jargon, and include images when possible. The profiles live on the Posts and Profiles page and are organized by category on the Index of Profiles page.
3) Brief reflections on books and articles we’ve read, along with links to interesting videos. These appear in alphabetical order by author (or by subject, in the case of the films) on the Literature and Film on Schools and Learning page.
We welcome guest contributors for our Thursday posts. Please contact Seth at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to submit a post for our consideration. Keep in mind all posts should be less than 1000 words.