For the Love of Learning Epi#125
Creating Learning Environments
Monday, August 6, 2018, 6:30pm-8:30pm EDT
Monday, August 6, 2018, 11:30pm-1:30am BST
This evening we are going to talk about creating learning envirnoments.
Simply, “learning environments” refer to the diverse physical locations, contexts, and cultures in which students learn.
For a learning environment such as an educational institution, it also includes such factors as operational characteristics of the instructors, instructional group, community and institution.
The philosophy or knowledge experienced by the student and may also encompass a variety of learning cultures—its presiding ethos and characteristics, how individuals interact, governing structures, and philosophy. For self direct learners, and those involved in alternative education the definition of learning environments may be more fluid and open to interpretation. Tonight we’re going to explore the idea of creating learning environments, what works and how to create the most effective environments matching the learners needs.
Shilpa Jain is currently rooting herself in Oakland/Berkeley, CA, where she serves as the Executive Director of YES!. YES! works with social changemakers at the meeting point of internal, interpersonal and systemic change, and aims to co-create thriving, just and balanced ways of life for all. Prior to taking on this role, Shilpa spent two years as the Education and Outreach Coordinator of Other Worlds and ten years as a learning activist with Shikshantar: The Peoples’ Institute for Rethinking Education and Development, based in Udaipur, India. Shilpa has researched and written numerous books and articles, and facilitated hundreds of Jams, workshops and gatherings in over a dozen countries and on topics including creative expressions, ecology, new economies, and innovative learning and unlearning. She is also co-author of “Connect. Inspire. Collaborate”, a highly sought-after facilitation manual. Shilpa has been using tools like self-awareness, listening, appreciative inquiry, speaking from the heart, eye contact, breathing, and more, to support individuals and communities in reclaiming their own healing powers.
Luke’s primary passion has been music. He began playing classical guitar at an early age and more recently has also begun singing and composing and performing his own music. He also teaches guitar and performs regularly with several independent ensembles.
Luke has attended several schools around Australia and has had experiences of many different forms of schooling including the public system, Steiner schools and a parent-run community school.
Luke appreciates the learning resources his current school offers, especially with regards to opportunities to engage in music projects. However, he has also observed that mainstream education does not equip young people with the skills needed to thrive in a time of global environmental crisis and social polarisation. Driven by this awareness, Luke, together with his parents, is exploring alternatives to attending school that create the opportunities for passion driven collaboration, rather than individual achievement and standardised competition.
Anthony Galloway Jr. co-nurtures the community at Heartwood ALC. He is invested in a more partner-centered approach to facilitating learning and life-skill building with children. He is deeply skilled at modeling the types of communication and conflict-resolution skills that help self-directed young people build emotional intelligence and confident self-governance. Having come out of conventional education with the Gifted-and-Talented labels, and the A-student mentality, it was in graduate school that he realized he no longer wanted to be part of the problems he saw with education. He co-founded a school to work toward solutions, and brings a breath of knowledge around the ways the structure of education threatens social justice for some socioeconomic classes, and how SDE works toward a solution to the issues that arise from that reality
When Maleka Diggs moved to an affluent Philadelphia neighborhood so that she and her husband could get their daughters into the best school, she was shocked to face racism from the school’s principal. Soon after, she set out to create the sort of academic and community-centered environment she wanted for her daughters, instead of trying to fit them into the school’s culture. Unschooling also created a platform to acknowledge and work toward Maleka’s own liberation. School is not synonymous with learning and when children are genuinely interested, the joys of learning unfold.
Now, Maleka is extending her experiences and knowledge with families as an unconventional education advocate with a focus on Black/Brown communities. Her work is in providing support through resources and programs that empower, inspire, and create actions that impact families in positive, long-term ways.
Eclectic Learning Network: www.eclecticlearningnetwork.com
Dylan Hickcox grew up on the road, traveling through Southeast Asia and Latin America with his family. He’s been a worldschooler from a very young age, first leaving the country when his family relocated to Costa Rica when he was 6 years old.
Cassidy is a 19 year old worldschooler who grew up on a sailboat with her family. She likes rafting, backpacking and medical sciences and has assisted in international natural disaster relief efforts.
Miro Siegel is an 18 year old traveler and youth facilitator for Project World School. His learning is self directed and influenced by the ever changing world around him. To him, this is Worldschooling. He is interested in, and is an advocate for children’s rights, travel as education and a spearhead of the Worldschooling movement that he and his mother helped create. Miro Siegel traveled to Amsterdam in April, 2016 to present at the TEDxAmsterdamED conference and to bring a slightly more ‘unconventional’ view to the table. In 2017 Siegel was selected as one of 60 youth to attend the Young Global Changemakers Summit in Switzerland based on his activism surrounding alternative education. Miro aspires to bring cultural awareness and immersion to more people, because he truly believes that travel can bring peace to the world and inspire learning without measure.
You can follow Miro’s poetry here at Seagull’s Den
This episode is produced by Nina Downer
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.
For full archives of this show and programming schedule, please visit:
Find us on facebook: For-the-Love-of-Learning-Voices-of-the-Alternative-Education-Movement
For comments, questions, suggestions or if you’d like to be guest on the show, please contact us here.