Collaborate With Key Individuals To Effect Local And National Education Policy (Event)

March 16, 2011 at 6:59 am | Posted in AERO, Education Events | Leave a comment
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In collaboration with the Antioch Center for School Renewal, IDEA ( is pleased to extend you this select invitation to:

Join Us At Antioch New England, Keene, NH
Saturday, April 23 – 9:00 – 11:45 a.m.
Collaborate With Key Individuals To Effect Local And National Education Policy

Optional Afternoon Session: 1:30 – 2:45 p.m.

Critique IDEA’s Strategic Plan

More information at

RSVP by: 4/9/11 at or

Early Bird Registration Deadline: Voyagers’ 3rd Annual Conference ft. John Gatto/Ron Miller/Jerry Mintz (Event)

January 30, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Posted in AERO, Education Events | Leave a comment
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From Voyagers’ Director Karen Giuffre’
I am writing to you from Voyagers Community School in Farmingdale, NJ, where I am the Founder and Director. Voyagers’ is a progressive school serving children ages 4-18. Rooted in the philosophy of John Dewey, Loris Malaguzzi, Maria Montessori, Sylvia Ashton-Warner, Ron Miller, John Taylor Gatto and other prescient educators, our school has blossomed over the last six years. In our past two conference our speakers have included Nel Noddings and Lella Gandini.

This year we are proud to host our 3rd annual education conference from March 30 – April 1, 2011.

“Creating a Learning Environment with Children in Mind; An essential conversation”

Our keynote speaker for this event is John Taylor Gatto, renown for his advocacy in the area of progressive education; Ron Miller, a leader in holistic and Jerry Mintz, founder a director of the Alternative Education Resource Organization.

This conference provides a variety of opportunities.
* On Wednesday and/or Thursday tour our classrooms, meet with our students and attend our staff meetings.
* On Thursday evening enjoy a hearty dinner with colleagues and hear from John Taylor Gatto
* On Friday hear from Ron Miller and Jerry Mintz, choose three workshops among 12 options and participate in a panel discussion with Gatto, Miller, Mintz and me.

Our workshops include information about literacy, advocacy, curriculum development, school administration, and program development. Speakers will address all ages from preschool through high school and a variety of audiences including teachers, administrators, parents, older students and others working with children.

You can visit our Voyagers’ Community School website at for more information.

Early registration expires January 31, 2011. The savings are significant!
Please Karen directly at for more information.

Educators: Help Prepare Your Students for Their Future

January 21, 2011 at 10:10 am | Posted in AERO, Education Events | Leave a comment
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Today’s students are hungry to learn about meaningful, empowering, and relevant issues that connect to their daily lives and are passionate about exploring solutions to our global challenges. The Institute for Humane Education offers teachers and community educators a chance to help prepare their students for the future with its popular month-long online course, Teaching for a Positive Future (the next session runs February 7 – March 4, 2011).

Participants join the course looking for insights, support and strategies for exploring education as a tool for social change and nurturing their students to become leaders and changemakers for a healthy, just, compassionate world, and 30 days later, they’re inspired, empowered and already making meaningful changes in their teaching and curriculum.

Past participants called the course “excellent” and “valuable for any teacher to take.”

The course includes a downloadable course curriculum, an interactive online discussion forum, phone mentoring and support from the course faculty, and a copy of the course book, The Power and Promise of Humane Education by IHE President, Zoe Weil. Continuing Education Credits are available.

The normal cost for Teaching for a Positive Future is $125, but special discounts are available. Find out more:

2010’s ‘Best of Democratic Education’ List (Resource)

January 3, 2011 at 10:26 am | Posted in AERO, AERO Conference, AERO Online Video Series, Democratic Education, Education Events, Education News, Education Revolution Magazine, International Democratic Education Conference, New Resource | Leave a comment
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Isaac Graves

I recently read through Education Week’s “Revisiting the Most Popular Stories of 2010” list and was generally disenchanted. This is not to say it’s a bad list, rather it didn’t represent my work and passions in democratic and alternative education. After a few days of jogging my memory, looking through a few ‘cheat sheets,’ and asking around I now present to you my ‘Best of Democratic Education’ list for 2010. I’ve organized the links into a few categories with no ranking system (I wouldn’t want Alfie Kohn to get mad).

Best of…

Visit for the list.

Announcing the launch of the Purple Thistle Institute! (EVENT)

December 15, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Posted in AERO, Education Events | Leave a comment
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The Purple Thistle in East Vancouver, Coast Salish Territory is super‐pleased to announce that in JULY 2011 we will be running a three‐week summer institute. We’d be thrilled if you would consider attending.


The PTI will be something like an alternative university, or maybe better: an alternative‐to university. The idea is to bring together a bunch of engaged, interested people to talk about theory, ideas and practise for radical social change. We’ll have a great time, meet good people, get our praxischallenged and with luck refine and renew our ideas, politics and energies.Importantly, the conversations will very deliberately cut across radical orientations – anarchists,socialists, lefties, progressives, anti‐colonialists, anti‐authoritarians, ecologists of all stripes are welcome. The idea is to work, think and talk together – to articulate and comprehend differences sure – but tofind common ground, get beyond factionalized pettiness and stimulate radical ecological and egalitariansocial change. We want to get good people with good ideas together to talk and listen to each other.


July 4th – 23rd, 2011


Essentially all three weeks will follow the same pattern. We will be running 6 days a week with Sundays off. We will be offering 8 morning classes of whichparticipants will be able to choose up to four to attend. Then we will all have lunch together, then every afternoon community work placements will be offered. Evenings will be a mix of open‐space activities,shows, speakers, films and free time.WHAT WILL THE CLASSES BE LIKE? We have put together an awesome roster of instructors and speakersincluding Astra Taylor, Cecily Nicholson, Carla Bergman, Am Johal, Matt Hern, Geoff Mann, Glen Coulthard and lots more. The classes will be fairly rigorous (loosely at an upper‐year university level)and include a certain amount of reading and some writing. Attendance is not mandatory and you canengage with as much or as little as you like. The classes include: Decolonization, Activist Art, UrbanStudies, Deschooling, Understanding Economics, Contemporary Social Philosophy and Critical Theory.


The PTI is for anyone, of any age, but we will be giving priority to youth, racialized and low‐income folks. As mentioned the classes will be pretty rigourous intellectually, but please don’tlet that scare you off. The language will not be overly academicized and as long as you like to read, think,talk and listen you’ll probably be OK. The one real requirement is that you are keenly interested inradical social transformation and come with a generous spirit ready to listen and collaborate.


The three weeks are priced on a sliding scale: $350 ‐ $500. This includes lunch sixdays a week. If you are coming from out of town, need a place to stay and want to kick down an extra $100 we will find you a good billet who will give you a bed and feed you. There will be a few bursariesavailable, but we are going to need most people to pay at least the minimum.


Hit us with an email at and we’ll send you a formal application and instructions.

Creating Learning Environments with Children In Mind: An Essential Conversation

December 7, 2010 at 11:53 am | Posted in AERO, Education Events | Leave a comment
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John Taylor Gatto
Ron Miller
Jerry Mintz

March 30-April 1, 2011

Voyagers’ Community School
Serving children ages 4-18
Farmingdale, NJ 07727

Click on the link below for more details:

Green Festival (EVENT REPORT)

October 25, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Posted in AERO, Education Events | Leave a comment
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Jerry Mintz

AERO joined forces with IDEA, the Institute for Democratic Education in America, to staff an exhibitor booth at the Green Festival in Washington, DC on October 23-24. Tens of thousands of people filled the Washington DC Convention Center to participate in the Festival. There were a wide variety of exhibitors and presenters. Many people stopped by at our booth to sign up for the free e-newsletter, get a sample of Education Revolution magazine, and buy books from a selection we had brought with us. Our participation was arranged by Ron Miller, a key supporter of AERO and editor of Education Revolution. Ron was also a speaker and spoke about The Self-Organizing Revolution (the tile of his most recent book).

While I was there I did a lot of networking and handed out some review copies of Turning Points, the important hard cover book that AERO has just published. I gave one to Amy Goodman, who has the renowned public radio show, Democracy Now! She is interested in having us come on her show to talk about the book. I also gave one to Ralph Nader after his presentation. He was so interested in Turning Points and AERO that he kept talking to me and asking questions even as he signed his books for his admirers.

We also met potential interns and staff members. Overall it was an exciting time, and we are thankful to Ron Miller for arranging this out reach for AERO and IDEA.

To get your own copy of Turning Points, go to this site:


Education and the Need for Transformation (EVENT)

October 25, 2010 at 5:46 pm | Posted in AERO, Democratic Education, Education Events | Leave a comment
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This exciting panel and discussion will take place on October 27th from 6:30-8:30pm at New Vista High School in Boulder, CO.

There are a great deal of movies, articles and conversations surrounding education at the moment. The movie “Waiting for Superman” has focused attention on charter schools and the role of teachers unions. The flm “Race to Nowhere” has folks rethinking how we define success and a quality education.

However, there is all too little talk about what the deep purpose of our schools should be and the tangible practices that can take place on the local level to spur real reform. Come for a lively 90 minute discussion and panel on these themes and learn more about Nuestra Escuela, The Institute for Democratic Education in America (IDEA), and what can happen in Boulder.

Nuestra Escuela is a powerful model for what can happen when values of love and respect guide the mission of a school that embraces the realities of challenging social circumstances (poverty, violence, drugs, family breakdown, etc) while fiercely believing in their students ability to become independent and interdependent citizens.

The Institute for Democratic Education in America (IDEA) is an emerging national organization focused on ensuring that youth are meaningful involved in their education while gaining the tools to create a more just, democratic, and sustainable world. IDEA launched publicly in May 2010 and is making significant inroads in cutting across all the rhetoric and building a dynamic network of educators, youth, parents, researchers, and decision-makers capable of leading reform at local, regional, and national levels.

October 27th 6:30-8:30 PM
New Vista High School
700 20th St
Boulder, CO 80302

Sponsored by:
The Parent Engagement Network, The Patchwork School, IDEA, Boulder Valley School District

For more information visit

Read the flyer online at:

Kirsten Olson, “What is the purpose of education?” (FREE WEBINAR)

October 25, 2010 at 5:44 pm | Posted in AERO, Education Events | Leave a comment
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Kirsten Olson is the author of Wounded by School and is a contributor in our new book, Turning Points: 35 Visionaries in Education Tell Their Own Stories.

Space is limited.  Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
Webinar Description: In today’s world, people in education (and outside) often fight vociferously about the “right” ways to change and improve education. These conversations often end in raised voices and a sense of deep conflict. In this webinar, educational activist and school consultant Dr. Kirsten Olson will engage with you in a conversation about what you think the purpose of education is. Do you know? Have you really thought about it? Are you willing to hear someone else’s point of view? This webinar will be a chance to discuss some of the major “schools” of thinking about educational purpose in play right now, and a journey of self-understanding about where you fit in. Join us!

Title: Kirsten Olson: What Is The Purpose of Education?
Date: Thursday, November 4, 2010
Time: 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM EDT

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.


October 19th: Turning Points Book Party/Forum at Brecht Forum in New York City (EVENT)

October 18, 2010 at 7:43 pm | Posted in AERO, Education Events | Leave a comment
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Turning Points

Basir Mchawi of WBAI and I will be hosting a forum about our new book Tomorrow at the Brecht Forum in Manhattan. If you are in the NYC area please come and support this! Chris Mercogliano, author and former director of Albany’s Free School will also be participating.

Jerry Mintz, Director of Alternative Education Resource Organization


Tuesday October 19th, 2010 7:30 PM

Turning Points: 35 Visionaries in Education Tell Their Stories

Hosted by Basir Mchawi

Thirty-five visionary educators were asked: What was your schooling like?; When did youealize that there is a need for an alternative approach?; What have you done since to help realizethat vision?; What are you doing now? Turning Points is an anthology of their responses, a peek into the lives and journeys of thesepioneering individuals who have—and are—transforming what it means to be a teacher, astudent, and a life-long learner.

Sliding scale: $6/$10/$15, Free for Brecht Forum Subscribers

451 West Street (between Bank & Bethune Streets, New York, NY 10014

Phone: (212) 242-4201 – Email: brechtforum at


Order Turning Points today at

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