For the Love of Learning Episode #98
Monday March 27, 2017, 8pm-10pm EDT
Tuesday March 28, 2017, 1am-3am BST
In this episode we are going to explore the world of Sudbury Schools.
What makes the Sudbury model different than other schools? Sudbury school students have total control over what they learn, how they learn, their educational environment and how they are evaluated. They choose their curriculum. They choose their method of instruction. They choose, through a democratic process, how their environment operates. They choose with whom to interact. They choose if, how and when to be evaluated _ often they choose to evaluate themselves. This is radically different from any other form of education and this is what differentiates a Sudbury school.
Why does a Sudbury school give this level of responsibility to the student? It is because Sudbury educators believe that children are capable of assuming this level of responsibility. It is not a type of pedagogical tool used to motivate the students. The responsibility is real; the students absolutely have the ultimate say in their education. Giving real responsibility to the students allows them to gain experience making decisions and handling the consequences of their choices. In this way, the students gain experience and maturity.
Brooke Pazoles is a recent graduate from the University of Delaware, where she studied elementary and middle school education. Even though she has a teacher’s certificate on paper, her experience at UD was not like any other up and coming teacher’s. After spending time in real classrooms during her early college career, Brooke soon became aware of the atrocities taking place in public school systems today. She almost dropped her major to pursue a totally different career, but was steered to research Sudbury education by a professor who specialized in alternative education models. Brooke was hooked immediately, and spent the rest of her time at college pushing the University to support her in her quest to complete her student teaching placement—and eventually become a full-time staff member—at a Sudbury school. Brooke was able to fulfill her student teaching requirement at The Philadelphia Free School, a Sudbury school in South Philly. While at PFS, Brooke’s passion for Sudbury education blossomed and grew. Her time as an intern there solidified her dream to pursue staffing at a Sudbury school as her career. Brooke is originally from Bainbridge Island, a tiny island off of Seattle. She spent most of her childhood outside, building tree forts, picking blackberries, and getting intro trouble with her cohort of neighborhood friends. Brooke enjoys biking and walking through Baltimore’s neighborhoods with her husband, writing, practicing yoga, and snuggling with her three cats. She also cares deeply about community service and giving her time and resources to those in need. She spent much of her time at college volunteering for organizations like Habitat for Humanity, and spent her final spring break rebuilding homes that were destroyed by hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Brooke is a type 1 diabetic and is an active member and advocate within the worldwide diabetes community, spending much of her free time mentoring others with the disease, scouring research papers, and attending and speaking at diabetes conferences.
Cassi Clausen was the original founder of The Open School, and began the journey in February 2012. She has a Bachelors from Westmont College, a Masters of Education from UM St Louis, and a Masters of Arts from University of London, Goldsmith’s College. She has dedicated her life to giving a voice to kids, and advocating for respectful parenting and education. Cassi has three kids, two of whom currently attend The Open School, with the third acting as its mascot. She enjoys nice restaurants, junky television shows, and traveling with and without her kids.
Aryeh Grossman is a Graduate of Fairhaven School, a Sudbury School in Maryland. As a student, he was president of the school’s assembly, school meeting chair, fire safety clerk, and an active member of several corporations. Since graduating, Aryeh has pursued his love of working with children in both teaching and camp positions. Aryeh is passionate about human rights, always looking for ways to educate himself and make a difference for good; he also enjoys playing the occasional video game.
Jessica DuPont lives in upstate New York and is the mother of four children aged 14,14,12 and 10. They all have almost exclusively attended a Sudbury school. In her spare time she runs a used bookstore.
Neil Karkhanis is 14 years old and attends South Jersey Sudbury School, a democratic free school where the students decide how to spend their time. He enjoys discussing politics, education, world events and nutritional science. He has been involved in community theater since the age of six. He spends a few months out of the year living in Tampa, FL and the rest in New Jersey. He’s very excited to have this platform to share views and ideas with others.
This episode is produced by Nina Downer
Episode hosted by Lainie Liberti
As always, you can find out more about your host, Lainie Liberti at her website RaisingMiro.com and the alternative education & world schooling project she runs with her teen son at: ProjectWorldSchool.com. You can also connect with her on twitter @ilainie & facebook.
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