Putting the Revolution Into Education (ARTICLE)October 25, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Posted in AERO, Democratic Education | Leave a comment
Tags: althea baird, amber woods, Democratic Education, Education Revolution, i want to do this all day, making changes freedom school, not back to school camp, radical learning
Observations on Learning and Democracy from a Nation-wide Tour
Originally published in Education Revolution magazine, Summer 2009. You can find this and many other issues of Education Revolution magazine online at http://issuu.com/alternativeeducation/docs
In the fall of 2005. Amber and I were crossing paths for a few hours, meeting up in a friend’s kitchen, when we hatched our plan to make an audio documentary about democratic (or what we call “radical”) alternative education. I was one year out of high school and still unlearning, with great passion, the rules of compulsory public school. Amber was a year out of college doing her own de-schooling and working in an after-school program. We read books, compiled lists and by the spring of 2006, we were on the road. In three months, we visited 25 private schools, public schools, community centers and after school programs. We drove through the nights, visited schools by day, and made gas money performing a multimedia dance piece at local venues in the evenings. Then at the crack of dawn we would rise again, armed with gas station coffee, microphone and headphones. We sat in on morning meetings, went to classes, visited students’ internships, studios and playgrounds. We even started a band with a group of free schoolers in Pennsylvania. Our goal in these recordings and interviews was to document the practice of radical learning. We sought out examples that illustrated the principles of democratic education that we had identified.