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Radical Learning's Journal

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

6:18PM - Good old Einstein.

'Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.' --Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein was once asked by a student, 'Dr Einstein, how many feet are there in a mile?' To the utter astonishment of the student, Einstein replied, 'I don’t know.'

The student was sure the great professor was joking. Surely Einstein would know a simple fact that every schoolchild is required to memorise. But Einstein wasn’t joking. When the student pressed for an explanation of this gap in Einstein’s knowledge, he declared, 'I make it a rule not to clutter my mind with simple information that I can find in a book in five minutes.'

Current mood: hot

Saturday, January 10, 2009

12:31PM - Alternative schooling for children with autism?

Hey! My name is Christine and I just joined this group. I am wondering if anyone here has any experience with alternative schooling for children on the autism spectrum. I have three jobs relating to children with autism. My main job is at the Carmen B. Pingree Center for Children with Autism, a school in Salt Lake City, Utah. I love my work, but unfortunately most behavioral and educational programs for autistic children are very authoritarian and compliance based (Discrete Trial especially). I am familiar with the Floortime model (which is based on child-directed learning), but I do not have any personal experience with it.

Any ideas? :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

10:28AM - best books you've read

... about democratic classrooms?

I'm currently a student teacher who survived my first placement in a third grade classroom. Along with some of my colleagues, I want to read books that discuss practical, real strategies to use in the classroom to overcome power imbalance and expectations that children are habituated to in mainstream schools.

Best suggested by tomorrow, word on any books helpful to you will be appreciated, thanks!

Thursday, June 19, 2008


 I hope this is an acceptable question for the group, I thought because of the community aspect and how it can benefit both the community, and the individual persons education...

 I am starting a study for my teacher training course, in how doing things like volunteer work, and community projects, etc, can lead to a return to post compulsory (College / university) education for those who previously failed thier education, or didnt have any chances / interest at continuing for whatever reason.  Including but not limited to the APEL (Accreditation Of Prior Experiential Learning) system.

Although this study is mainly UK based, I will be very interested in any web links from insitutions, or similar studies, anywhere in the world to which I can also refer in my study. 

Thanks :)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

3:16PM - New community - X-posted

Hello! I just created a new community as part of a grad school project, books_not_gangs.

The goal of this community is to find out how schools are using literacy to fight gangs and youth violence and to come up with new ideas of how to do so.

Please join! Thanks!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

5:10PM - Feminist Homeschooling

This is an article I wrote for the current issue of Briarpatch Magazine. Check it out, and if you like it, feel free to post it in other places!


Sunday, April 6, 2008

12:33PM - From motivationquote

'Never again clutter your days or nights with so many menial and unimportant things that you have no time to accept a real challenge when it comes along. This applies to play as well as work. A day merely survived is no cause for celebration. You are not here to fritter away your precious hours when you have the ability to accomplish so much by making a slight change in your routine. No more busy work. No more hiding from success. Leave time, leave space, to grow. Now. Now! Not tomorrow!' --Og Mandino

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

7:04AM - aside from NCACS and Aero

are there any other good places to look online for open school/democratic school jobs?

Friday, February 15, 2008

10:33AM - Is five too soon to start school?


Is five too soon to start school?
By Sean Coughlan
BBC News education reporter

Do children start school at too young an age in England? Is childhood freedom being curtailed too soon?

Compared to most other western European countries, English pupils are extremely early starters in the classroom.

Children starting school
Children start school in England up to three years earlier than Sweden

While compulsory education begins in England at the age of five (with many children actually starting at four), in countries such as Sweden, Denmark and Finland, school doesn't begin until the age of seven.

English children are ploughing through a fixed curriculum while their continental counterparts are still ploughing up the kindergarten sandpit or playing at home.

But which system delivers the best results?
Read more...Collapse )

Monday, January 14, 2008

2:02PM - Maybe of use to other student teachers

 Just a thought. If you dont want to spend a fortune on Microsoft Office, you can get Openoffice. Ots legal and free from http://www.openoffice.org/product/ - has excellent equivilents to Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc. 

Although I have Word, at home, I dont have Excel or Powerpoint, and couldnt afford them, although they are vital for me to use as a student teacher! so I make use of Openoffice. And you can save work in formats that you can then open elsewhere in the Microsoft equivilents.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

12:34PM - Kids & Advertisers on LIVEbrary Week 4

The LIVEbrary, an online educational program from children's book publisher Annick Press, welcomes guest author Shari Graydon for the fourth week of Media Awareness. The two-year program for middle school and junior high schools students, teachers, librarians and homeschoolers is funded by a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.

Graydon will be chatting about her book "Made You Look," which challenges kids to become aware of how advertisers try to manipulate them. Graydon was also the guest author during Week 2, in which she discussed her book dealing with society's conceptions about beauty, "In Your Face." You can view a transcript from that live chat at the LIVEbrary blog:


Live chats are every Thursday afternoon from 2-3 p.m. ET. The chats are put on with assistance from Skype Technologies <http://www.skype.com>.

The LIVEbrary blog also features lesson plans, instructions for using the chats in the classroom, and registration information. Teachers, librarians, parents and homeschoolers must register in advance to participate in the LIVEbrary.

For more information, please contact LIVEbrary@annickpress.com

Thursday, November 1, 2007

1:23PM - Thanksgiving is Coming

I recently attended a workshop for teachers in Maine about the Passamaquoddy people. This has led me to research how to teach about Thanksgiving and Native Americans from a less mythological point of view. I found a page, here http://www.ewebtribe.com/NACulture/articles/thanksgiving.html which has some interesting thoughts, a Thanksgiving story and a bibliography to look at the holiday from another perspective. It might be of use to teachers and homeschooling parents (like me) who are interested.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

12:41PM - Grades 4-8: Media Awareness Program

Annick Press has begun an ambitious new online program for middle school and junior high schools students, teachers, librarians and homeschoolers called the "LIVEbrary." The two-year program is funded by a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.

The first season begins October 15th with a 5-week program on Media Awareness. Among others, it features media literacy pioneer Shari Graydon, author of "Made You Look" and "In Your Face," books that challenge kids to become aware of how advertisers try to manipulate them.

The Series Librarian for the LIVEbrary program is Gary Price, editor of ResourceShelf.com and director of information technology for Internet search engine, ASK.com.

The LIVEbrary publishes a lesson plan each week that includes a reading, discussion questions, an assignment, and a quiz. Students may participate through the LIVEbrary blog, email, and/or live chat. Live chats are every Thursday afternoon from 2-3 p.m. ET. The chats are put on with assistance from Skype Technologies, makers of the popular SKYPE Internet phone software, which recently introduced a new secure Public Chat capability.

Teachers, librarians, parents and homeschoolers must register in advance to participate in the LIVEbrary. More information, including registration, instructions, and a complete schedule are available at the LIVEbrary Blog <http://annickpress.blogspot.com> or via email from LIVEbrary@annickpress.com.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

8:17PM - Oh hell yes.


About reading and writing, and how school has utterly fucked them up for us. We should all be demanding 'Where is the joy?' when looking at any sort of learning or alleged teaching. Written by Philip Pullman, an Englishman who has taught both kids and adults, and who is probably best known for writing book such as the His Dark Materials trilogy (the first book of which is Northern Lights, called The Golden Compass in the US). Entirely worth reading even if you aren't a fan of his books.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

10:35AM - Unschooling Conference announcements: join UnschoolingCircuitRiders!

Have you attended a unschooling conference wishing you could go to more during the year? Have you never had a chance to attend a conference and have heard everyone sharing how much they loved the one that just past? Do you belong to unschooling yahoo groups but don't have time to get on and read as much as you would like since you are busy doing other things with your family? Would you like to know about other types of conferences where there will be at least one speaker who will be talking about unschooling?

Here is one place where all statewide and larger unschooling conferences, gatherings, speakers and events can be posted so that those of us who would like to "ride the circuit" can easily find which ones are coming up. This includes anything from statewide to international.

This particular Yahoo group is not covering local unschooling groups. For local get-togethers, please find a list for your local area.


Sunday, August 26, 2007


I stumbled across this really nifty-looking geography and earth-science material on geology.com:

Designing and Creating Earth Science Lessons with Google EarthTM

I could just wallow in this for hours.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

1:47PM - World Moron Death

If we were able, hypothetically, to painlessly exterminate every person of low intelligence on planet earth, why would anyone be against it? After all, our societies would go farther, and the people alive would have a better experience of life. Society would function more intelligently. I can't think of a single logical argument against it. Any ideas?


Thursday, July 26, 2007

10:16PM - New unschooling zine

Issue # 1 of a new unschooling zine - Left Learning - is now available. Left Learning is a zine that explores unschooling (the practice of letting children be in control of their own learning) from a feminist, radical perspective. Articles in this issue include a short history on the development of the unschooling philosophy, a photo essay about celebrating International Women's Day with kids and an essay about unschooling on the city bus.

If you would like a copy please email me at rebecca.a.ellis at gmail.com

Monday, July 23, 2007

8:03PM - From qotdrss

'Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.' --Leonardo da Vinci

Current mood: numb

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

7:46AM - Ahem.

Why was the previous entry deleted? I thought it was quite a good discussion.

Current mood: bummed

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