For the Love of Learning – Education Reform – Epi#62



Show Title:

For the Love of Learning Episode 62

Education Reform

Monday June 20, 2016  8:00 pm – 10:00 pm EST
Tuesday June 21, 2016 1:00 am – 3:00 am GMT


Ken Danford
Dr. Katherine Green
Dakota Reed McGovern



Across the planet, children are expected and in many places required to go to school by law. The structure of most compulsory education institutional systems follow the same basic principles, a grading system, levels or classroom divided based on the age of the student, lacking value of playtime and usually requiring some form standards measurement and testing. Most societies go through a great deal of trouble and expense to provide these institutions to their citizens. As a result, most people simply assume there is a relevant basis for these mandatory systems in place, even if they don’t completely understand what they are. But throughout history, more and more challenge these societal practices as they note that these systems are not serving their children, their children are not thriving nor are they inspired to learn. Thus, during this show, we will explore issues surrounding education reform, why it needs to be considered, what is not working and what some of the alternatives are. This is a huge topic and this panel will attempt to tackle some of these big issues.

Ken Danford


Kenneth Danford is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens. (  Through North Star, Kenneth has supported more than 600 teens to leave school and embark on a self-directed approach.  North Star is now the lead organization of the Liberated Learners network ( of a dozen centers throughout the United States and Canada.  Prior to establishing North Star, Kenneth attended public schools in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and then Amherst College and Brown University.  He taught in both the Prince George’s County, MD and Amherst, MA public schools.  Kenneth has spoken about his experience of making school optional as an annual presenter at the AERO Conference and other panels.  He participated in the TEDx Conference in Amherst College in 2013 ( and at the Thrive 2020 Conference in Guernsey, United Kingdom in 2015 ( .  After twenty years in the field, Kenneth is as enthusiastic as ever about helping teens and families change their lives in this profound way.

Dr. Katherine Green

Kate Green picture 2 copy

Katherine (Kate) Green is a mother of four boys (28, 26, 21 and 13) and one girl (10) who have grown up learning freely and living and traveling in multiple places around the world.
Kate has been working in education for almost 30 years and has taught online and face-to-face courses on three continents from preschool to doctoral level. After 7 years in the US Air Force as a journalist she started in the field of education as a preschool teacher in the UK. She then taught elementary school in Hawaii before moving into higher education: primarily focusing on child development, early childhood education, alternative education, cross cultural parenting practices and research methodology.
She helped develop two new universities in the Middle East and specifically with teacher education programs and child development studies from a cross-cultural perspective. She initiated a Child Development Research Center in Abu Dhabi and facilitated Global Teacher Education degrees (undergraduate and graduate) between Dubai and US institutions. Kate has done longitudinal research on Arab families, Hmong and Jamaican populations, and Attachment Parents around the world and values sharing the history and culture of societies that are changing rapidly. Much must be captured and documented within cultures: emic perspectives versus external etic views. She believes that good research requires empowerment of those within to co-lead studies.
Kate has served as a mentor and evaluator for international homeschooling communities and is a member of the Research Board for Attachment Parenting International. She has also worked as a consultant for Disney and Scholastic. 
Kate has a PhD in human ecology (child development foci) from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; an MS in educational leadership from Troy University, Alabama; a BS in psychology from Excelsior University, NY; and AA degrees in public relations and journalism from the Community College of the Air Force.

Dakota Reed McGovern


Dakota McGovern is the President of the BC Student Alliance: an organization of high school students that wants to promote large scale education reform within British Columbia. Recently he organized a student lead rally in Vancouver to promote student voice and has been involved in many public campaigns/events as well. Some the notable ones have been moderating a panel on education that included a PHD, and being one of the people interviewed for the “democratic Education” documentary made by Sandy Martinuk.


Lainie Liberti

As always, you can find out more about your host, Lainie Liberti at her website and the alternative education & world schooling project she runs with her teenage son at: You can also connect with her on twitter @ilainie & facebook.

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