EP11

The Teenage Liberation Handbook

By Grace Llewellyn

Brief description

An estimated 700,000 American children are now taught at home. This book tells teens how to take control of their lives and get a "real life." Young people can reclaim their natural ability to teach themselves and design a personalised education program. Grace Llewellyn explains the entire process, from making the decision to quit school, to discovering the learning opportunities available (Source)

Mentioned in episode 11

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Making It Up as We Go Along

By Chris Mercogliano

Brief description

Making It Up as We Go Along is the story of the Albany Free School, a school based on real freedom, real community, real democratic principles, and real affection between teachers and students. There, for over twenty-five years Chris Mercogliano has taught a never-ending variety of children-kids of all ages from every race and social class, from those with developmental and behavioral problems to the so-called "gifted." Thanks to this ongoing experiment in education, one of the longest running of its kind in America, Mercogliano has come to understand how children learn and above all, how important autonomy and authenticity are to the learning process.

There is no preset methodology to describe because Mercogliano and his students make it up as they go along. What the author does do is render into words some of the possibilities that abound when teachers and students learn together in an atmosphere of freedom, personal responsibility, and mutual respect. His book debunks many of the misconceptions about teaching and learning, including the belief that education requires a lot of money, sophisticated technology, and extensive specialized teacher training.

Mercogliano wrote this book with three broad goals in mind: to provide an in-depth history of the Free School, including a brief analysis of its place in the broader scheme of things; to describe the school in a way that is meaningful to both those who have some point of reference to the various alternatives to conventional schooling and those who do not; and to address certain fundamental subjects that are too often neglected in our national thinking about children: aggression, sexuality, race/class, and spirituality. In the process, he proves that teachers can help all students pursue their genius and their dreams through the union of self-direction, excitement, joy, and emotional honesty. (Source)

Mentioned in episode 11

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Democratic Education

By Yaacov Hecht

Brief description

Massive Change is a modern illustrated primer on the new inventions, technologies, and events that are affecting the human race worldwide. The book is a part of a broader research project by Bruce Mau Design intended to provoke debate and discussion about the future of design culture, broadly defined as the "familiar objects and techniques that are transforming our lives."

Democratic Education: A Beginning of a Story describes a fascinating personal journey and recounts the history of the foundation of the Democratic School of Hadera, which has successfully implemented a fascinating and important pedagogical experiment: How to convert the authoritative school into a democratic community, where the students have equal rights. Anyone with interest in education should read this fabulous book, about a unique school which has justly gained a worldwide reputation. (Source)

Mentioned in episode 11

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The Pursuit of Happiness

Brief Description

This book examines the lives of over one hundred Sudbury Valley School alumni. They reveal themselves as a fascinating collection of people spanning a huge variety of lifestyles and aspirations and sharing a common set of basic values. The philosophy of Sudbury schools is based on freedom in hand with responsibility and trusting the students to learn what they need to know to succeed in their own life. There are NO teachers, NO forced curriculum, NO mandatory classes, and NO tests. (Source)

Mentioned in Episode 05 & 11

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Free to Learn

By Peter Gray

Brief description

In Free to Learn, developmental psychologist Peter Gray argues that our children, if free to pursue their own interests through play, will not only learn all they need to know, but will do so with energy and passion. Children come into this world burning to learn, equipped with the curiosity, playfulness, and sociability to direct their own education. Yet we have squelched such instincts in a school model originally developed to indoctrinate, not to promote intellectual growth.

A brave, counterintuitive proposal for freeing our children from the shackles of the curiosity-killing institution we call school, Free to Learn suggests that it’s time to stop asking what’s wrong with our children, and start asking what’s wrong with the system. It shows how we can act—both as parents and as members of society—to improve children’s lives and promote their happiness and learning. (Source)