Book TV: Jonathan Kozol, “In Depth” (VIDEO)

September 22, 2010 at 11:54 am | Posted in AERO, AERO Online Video Series | Leave a comment
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Book TV: Jonathan Kozol – Advice to Writers (VIDEO)

September 22, 2010 at 11:28 am | Posted in AERO, AERO Online Video Series | Leave a comment
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Book TV: Jonathan Kozol – On His Writing Habits (VIDEO)

September 22, 2010 at 11:20 am | Posted in AERO, AERO Online Video Series | Leave a comment
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Job Opening: Executive Director of Institute for Humane Education (IHE)

September 17, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Posted in AERO | Leave a comment
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Job Opening

Executive Director, Institute for Humane Education

Posted 9/13/10Institute for Humane Education

Help build a more sustainable and peaceful word. The Institute for Humane Education (IHE), headquartered in Surry, ME, seeks a full-time executive director to lead our unique non-profit that brings people the knowledge, tools and motivation to create a humane world. Comprehensive humane education connects the issues of human rights, animal protection, and environmental preservation and provides learners with the skills to create positive change in the world.

We offer graduate level training in humane education, humane education courses and workshops for teens through adults, in addition to working to advance this field in the educational system and within social movements.

Applicants will ideally have the following qualifications:

Fundraising: Proven track record of increasing fundraising through mix of major donor cultivation, grant writing, general appeals, and events.

Leadership and personnel management: Ability to inspire, develop, and oversee staff. Past supervisory responsibilities for staff of three or more people. Experience with remotely located and part-time staff a plus.

Marketing, program management, and publicity: Demonstrated results increasing program participation and revenues and gaining media exposure.

Finance: Understanding of nonprofit financial reporting, developing and managing a budget, overseeing financial transactions, and ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.

Strong writing skills: Ability to create clear, accurate, compelling communications to donors, foundations, program participants, newsletter recipients and web and blog visitors.

Board management: Experience with appropriate reporting, engaging board members in oversight activities, managing board-led fundraising efforts, helping run board meetings, and recruiting effective board members.

Planning, analysis and monitoring: Skill in strategic planning processes with board and staff, including recommending priorities and goals, assessing results vs. plan and determining course corrections.

Interest in and commitment to humane education issues: Basic understanding of human rights, animal protection, and environmental preservation issues and the connections between them. Strong interest in continuing to learn more. Commitment to modeling humane and sustainable values.

Education experience: Experience and/or knowledge of K-12, higher ed, alternative education and/or education reform, including understanding of challenges to bringing humane education into schools and curricula.

Computer skills: Knowledge of Microsoft Excel and Word and, to a lesser degree, PowerPoint. Expertise in Filemaker, graphic design software and html helpful but not required.

Salary: $44-50K

Please fully acquaint yourself with our organization through our website: www.HumaneEducation.org and send resume, cover letter, and referrals to:

Zoe Weil, zoe@HumaneEducation.org

Download the complete job description in PDF: http://humaneeducation.org/documents/view/281

Dr. Ron Miller on Unschooling (VIDEO)

September 17, 2010 at 11:08 am | Posted in AERO, AERO Conference, AERO Online Video Series | Leave a comment
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The following interview took place at the 7th annual AERO conference and was conducted by Dr. Carlo Ricci.  Carlo is the co-editor along with AERO’s Jerry Mintz for the new book, Turning Points: 35 Visionaries in Education Tell Their Own Stories.

Ron Miller is the editor of Education Revolution, the magazine of the Alternative Education Resource Organization. He has written or edited nine books, most recentlyThe Self-Organizing Revolution: Common Principles of the Educational Alternatives Movement. He has helped start two alternative schools in the Burlington, Vermont area and at times was involved in homeschooling with his own three sons. Ron currently teaches at Champlain College in Burlington. Many of his writings are posted at www.pathsoflearning.net.

Ron was asked to address the following questions:

1. How would you define or explain unschooling to someone?

2. What are the strengths of unschooling?

3. What are the weaknesses of unschooling?

4. Different people use different terms to refer to a similar concept. For example, John Taylor Gatto refers to open source learning,  Ron Miller to Holistic education or organic learning, Wendy Priesnitz refers to life learning, there is natural learning, unschooling and so on. Do you have a preferred

Jerry Mintz on Unschooling (VIDEO)

September 17, 2010 at 11:06 am | Posted in AERO, AERO Conference, AERO Online Video Series | Leave a comment
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The following interview took place at the 7th annual AERO conference and was conducted by Dr. Carlo Ricci.  Carlo is the co-editor along with Jerry for the new book, Turning Points: 35 Visionaries in Education Tell Their Own Stories.

Jerry Mintz has been a leading voice in the alternative school movement for over thirty years. He was a public school teacher and principal, and, for seventeen years, an independent alternative school principal. In 1989, he founded the Alternative Education Resource Organization and has helped found dozens of alternative schools and organizations. He has been on National Public Radio and the major TV networks, and in The New York TimesNewsday, and many other publications. He was Editor-in-Chief for the Handbook of Alternative Education, and the Almanac of Education Choices. He is the author of No Homework and Recess All Day: How to Have Freedom and Democracy in Education and is managing editor of Education Revolution magazine. He continues to lecture and consult around the world.

Jerry was asked to address the following questions:

1. How would you define or explain unschooling to someone?

2. What are the strengths of unschooling?

3. What are the weaknesses of unschooling?

4. Different people use different terms to refer to a similar concept. For example, John Taylor Gatto refers to open source learning,  Ron Miller to Holistic education or organic learning, Wendy Priesnitz refers to life learning, there is natural learning, unschooling and so on. Do you have a preferred term?

Dr. Kellie Rolstad on Unschooling (VIDEO)

September 17, 2010 at 11:01 am | Posted in AERO, AERO Conference, AERO Online Video Series | Leave a comment
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The following interview took place at the 7th annual AERO conference and was conducted by Dr. Carlo Ricci.  Carlo is the co-editor along with AERO’s Jerry Mintz for the new book, Turning Points: 35 Visionaries in Education Tell Their Own Stories.

Kellie was asked to address the following questions:

1. How would you define or explain unschooling to someone?

2. What are the strengths of unschooling?

3. What are the weaknesses of unschooling?

4. Different people use different terms to refer to a similar concept. For example, John Taylor Gatto refers to open source learning,  Ron Miller to Holistic education or organic learning, Wendy Priesnitz refers to life learning, there is natural learning, unschooling and so on. Do you have a preferred term?

Pat Farenga Unschooling Video at AERO Conference (VIDEO)

September 16, 2010 at 11:27 am | Posted in AERO, AERO Conference, AERO Online Video Series | Leave a comment
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The following interview took place at the 7th annual AERO conference and was conducted by Dr. Carlo Ricci.  Carlo is the co-editor along with AERO’s Jerry Mintz for the new book, Turning Points: 35 Visionaries in Education Tell Their Own Stories.

Patrick (Pat) Farenga worked closely with the author and teacher John Holt, until Holt’s death in 1985. He is the President of Holt Associates Inc. and was the Publisher of Growing Without Schooling magazine (GWS) from 1985 until it stopped publishing in 2001. GWS was the nation’s first periodical about homeschooling, started by Holt in 1977. Farenga speaks as a homeschooling expert at education conferences as well as on commercial radio and television talk shows. His appearances discussing homeschooling include The Today Show, Voice of America, Geraldo, Learning Matters, Parenting Today, Fox and Friends, The Exhausted School at Carnegie Hall and the National University of Colombia—Bogota. Farenga and his wife unschooled their daughters, ages 23, 20, and 17. In addition to writing for GWS for twenty years, he has written many articles and book chapters about homeschooling, including Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book of Homeschooling (Perseus) and the entry about homeschooling for the International Encyclopedia of Education, 3rd Edition (Elsevier, 2010).

Pat was asked to address the following questions:

1. How would you define or explain unschooling to someone?

2. What are the strengths of unschooling?

3. What are the weaknesses of unschooling?

4. Different people use different terms to refer to a similar concept. For example, John Taylor Gatto refers to open source learning,  Ron Miller to Holistic education or organic learning, Wendy Priesnitz refers to life learning, there is natural learning, unschooling and so on. Do you have a preferred term?

Modern School Reunion 2010 (REPORT)

September 14, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Posted in AERO | Leave a comment
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Jerry Mintz

I first heard about the Modern School over twenty years ago when I talked to 96 year old Nellie Dick. The Modern School was started by Francisco Ferrer in 1901, after he returned from learning about freedom in education from Louise Michel, Paul Robin and Sebastian Faure.
http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/goldman/aando/ferrer.html

They were anarchists, with an approach championed by Prince Kropotin of Russia.

Here is an excerpt of a story about Ferrer’s return to Spain from exile in France.

“On the ninth of September, 1901, the first Modern School was opened. It was enthusiastically received by the people of Barcelona, who pledged their support. In a short address at the opening of the School, Ferrer submitted his program to his friends. He said: “I am not a speaker, not a propagandist, not a fighter. I am a teacher; I love children above everything. I think I understand them. I want my contribution to the cause of liberty to be a young generation ready to meet a new era.” He was cautioned by his friends to be careful in his opposition to the Catholic Church. They knew to what lengths she would go to dispose of an enemy. Ferrer, too, knew. But, like Brand, he believed in all or nothing. He would not erect the Modern School on the same old lie. He would be frank and honest and open with the children.

Francisco Ferrer became a marked man. From the very first day of the opening of the School, he was shadowed. The school building was watched his little home in Mangat was watched. He was followed every step, even when he went to France or England to confer with his colleagues. He was a marked man, and it was only a question of time when the lurking enemy would tighten the noose.”

The school turned out to be very successful and popular in Barcelona. It was also ground breaking as a democratic school and coeducational. His school was seen as a threat to the establishment. Eventually Ferrer was killed by the government.
“On the first of September, 1909, the Spanish government–at the behest of the Catholic Church–arrested Francisco Ferrer. On the thirteenth of October, after a mock trial, he was placed in the ditch at Montjuich prison, against the hideous wall of many sighs, and shot dead. Instantly Ferrer, the obscure teacher, became a universal figure, blazing forth the indignation and wrath of the whole civilized world against the wanton murder.”

Hundreds of schools were started in his name after he was shot. One of them was the Ferrer Modern School that was started in New York City in 1911. It was started by notable anarchists of the time, Leonard Abbott, Alexander Berkman, and Emma Goldman. It was visited by Upton Sinclaire, Jack London, famous artists Robert Henri and George Bellows, and Margaret Sanger, pioneer in contraception, had her son there as one of the first nine students. Will Durant was one of the first teachers.

Nellie Dick had been a teacher at the Modern School in the 1920’s. She told me that there was a reunion of former Modern School students even though the last school had closed in 1958. I’ve gone to most of the Modern School reunions since then. I’ve made video documentaries of them, as well as one of Nellie Nick and her son Jim, who became a pediatrician after attending the Modern School. I also met Alfred Levitt at a Modern School reunion when he was 100 years old. He told me that he emigrated from Ukraine and became a Modern School student when it was in New York City. He learned from the many artists who visited the school and eventually had 20 of his painting selected to be at the Metropolitan Museum. I did a documentary of him when he was honored at the age of 103 by Ellis Island as one of the 25 most important people to have passed through there.

This year’s Modern School reunion was at Rutgers University on September 11th. There were only 50 attendees. Several more had died this year. At the reunion people spoke about them and their lives, indeed the lives of former Modern School students are absolutely fascinating. The reunion also attracts people from the next generation, as well, as those involved with the democratic school movement, and young anarchists from this generation.

Friends of the Modern School convener Jon Scott, a former Modern School student in the 30’s and 40’s, spoke about some of the people who had passed away this year, including David Friedman, a former student who became a world-renowned inventor and founded New Brunswick Scientific. Later he showed slides of a geriatric contingent he headed that traveled to Barcelona, Spain for the 100th anniversary of Ferrer’s death. They were treated like royalty. Now there are streets and schools named for Ferrer.

There was an open mike discussion about the preservation of a house at the old Modern School location, as well as a discussion about whether these reunions should continue, especially since Rutgers University was doubling the rental cost. The result of the latter was a resounding “Yes.” Both former students and others recognized the importance of letting people know about the Modern School, what it did and what it stood for.

The main speaker was Barry Pateman, a professor who had traveled from the University of Berkeley. He spoke about the life of Harry Kelly, a European anarchist and key organizer of the Modern School when it made its move from New York City to become a living community in Stelton, New Jersey.

In his talk he pointed out that Kelly originally went to his first anarchist meeting in England because he happened on a scrap of paper announcing it. He was out of work and cold, so he decided to go to the meeting to keep warm. Once there he became enthralled with their ideas.
But what almost knocked me off my chair was when he mentioned that the original Modern School was on 107th Street in Manhattan. I’m involved with the Manhattan Free School. AERO was helpful in its founding two years ago. They just moved to a new rented location, on 107th Street! They had no idea the Modern School had been there nearly 100 years ago!

We videotaped this whole Modern School Reunion, as we have many others. They are fascinating and involve historical information not available anywhere else. You can see some of the ones we have on the AERO website. Let us know if you are interested in this year’s so we know how many to make.  E-mail jerryaero@aol.com or reply to this e-newsletter.

You can watch past reunions and interviews with Nellie Dick & Alfred Levitt for free online at www.educationrevolution.org/freevideos.html

If you’re interested in finding out more about modern schools, we sell a few incredible books.  The Modern School Movement by Paul Avrich (http://www.educationrevolution.org/modernschool.html), The Modern School of Stelton (http://www.educationrevolution.org/modschool.html), Freedom in Education (http://www.educationrevolution.org/freeedu.html), and Recollections of the Modern School Ferrer Colony (http://www.educationrevolution.org/recollections.html).

John Taylor Gatto Unschooling Interview at AERO Conference (VIDEO)

September 14, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Posted in AERO, AERO Conference, AERO Online Video Series | Leave a comment
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The following two part interview took place at the 7th annual AERO conference and was conducted by Dr. Carlo Ricci.  Carlo is the co-editor along with AERO’s Jerry Mintz for the new book, Turning Points: 35 Visionaries in Education Tell Their Own Stories.  In Turning Points, John Taylor Gatto is one of the 35 remarkable educators sharing his personal and riveting journey to becoming a leader and proponent of learner-centered education (see bottom for full bio).

John’s latest book, Weapons of Mass Instruction, is on sale this week for only $9!  Visit www.educationrevolution.org/weapons.html

You can watch numerous keynotes by John at past AERO conferences by visiting www.educationrevolution.org/freevideos.html

John was asked to address the following questions:
1. How would you define or explain unschooling to someone?
2. What are the strengths of unschooling?
3. What are the weaknesses of unschooling?
4. Different people use different terms to refer to a similar concept. For example, John Taylor Gatto refers to open source learning,  Ron Miller to Holistic education or organic learning, Wendy Priesnitz refers to life learning, there is natural learning, unschooling and so on. Do you have a preferred term?
Part 1:
Part 2:

John Taylor Gatto taught for thirty years in public schools before resigning dramatically in 1991, on the op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal, claiming he was no longer willing to hurt children. He had recently been named New York State’s official “Teacher of the Year” for the third time.

Later that year, he was the subject of a show at Carnegie Hall called “An Evening with John Taylor Gatto,” which launched a career of public speaking that has now taken him around the world and nearly three million miles.

In 1992, he was named Secretary of Education in the Libertarian Party Shadow Cabinet and has been included in Who’s Who in America since 1996. In 1997, he received the Alexis de Tocqueville Award for contributions to liberty, and in 2004, the QuaQua Award for service to humanity. He gave the keynote speech for Australia’s Leadership Convention in 2005, and for South Korea’s Alternative Education Convention in 2006. He has been on the Board of Advisers for National TV Turnoff Week since its inception.

His books include Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory SchoolingThe Exhausted SchoolA Different Kind of TeacherThe Underground History Of American Education; and Weapons of Mass Instruction.

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