This summer I’m launching a new initiative which I’m calling Young Creators Studio (YCS). It’s an outgrowth and evolution of several ideas I’ve fomented over the past few years. I’ve been involved with groups that have promoted project-based learning, self-directed learning, out-of-school learning, maker labs, un-schooling, home-schooling, and so forth. I’ve tried to synthesize what I appreciate about all these “movements”. Most recently I sponsored a showing of an education documentary called Most Likely to Succeed, about an innovative charter school in California that among other things, has no homework, grades, or standardized tests. I am also the parent of two creative, curious kids who are doing amazing things on their own (and I am not just saying that because I’m their dad!). Allowing kids time and space to create things they are naturally interested in doing seems to me the essential tagline behind all those other important aspects of progressive education. And working with these kids, whether they are in mainstream public schools, charter schools, private ones, online ones, or are home-schooled is the main thing. Providing the infrastructure, mentors, and environment for these kids to flourish may be the best way to serve as an example to transform how we think about education.
To kick things off, I’m organizing a small book discussion group on Ted Dintersmith’s new book, What Schools Could Be. Ted produced the MLTS documentary a few years ago and is the real-deal advocate for innovation in education. Here’s a talk he gave recently in the suburbs of Chicago.
Give it a watch if you aren’t able to obtain his book or see the film. Happy Summer!