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"Nic Warmenhoven I recently moved from Seattle to a rural island in the middle of Puget Sound. I still commute into the city; this is what I see."
nicwarmenhoven  pugetsoundcommunityschool  pscs  seattle 
june 2014 by robertogreco
The Foundation(s) is Strong! | Puget Sound Community School
"New to PSCS this year is the term “Foundations.” It refers specifically to the first two weeks of school, 9 school days in which the staff help the students build the foundation on which the rest of the school year is built. For instance, as this post is being written, the high school teaching staff is conducting a session with the high schoolers about the importance of self-reflection.

What do we mean by self-reflection?

For PSCS, it’s the ability to candidly and accurately measure one’s involvement in an activity. And it is something we want our students to learn how to do this year, and do even better than PSCS students have ever done before. That requires some structure and some guidance. And a foundation.

Other activities during foundation include a retreat, an explanation of the school’s code of conduct, how to run an effective check-in, how to be a good audience member, the scheduling circus, conflict resolution, and more. Of course, there is a lot of time to just play…"
communitybuilding  community  howweteach  cv  environment  teambuilding  foundations  self-reflection  tcsnmy  teaching  firstdays  2012  pugetsoundcommunityschool  pscs 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Apprenticeships and internships « Re-educate Seattle
"I’m using these two words—apprenticeship and certification—in a way that’s overly simplistic, but I’m doing it to make a point: when your daughter heads off to school each morning, does she treat it like an apprenticeship or an internship?

Is she more concerned with learning something interesting, or her GPA? Is she developing deep relationships with mentors, or merely securing snazzy letters of recommendation? Is she learning something useful right now, or participating in a ritual as preparation for the future?

* * *

Here’s perhaps the most important question: does your daughter’s school view it’s work as closer to providing apprenticeships, or internships?"
stevemiranda  2011  pscs  learning  apprenticeships  internships  unschooling  deschooling  learningbydoing  credentials  grades  grading  tcsnmy  toshare  usefulness  meaning  purpose  pugetsoundcommunityschool  from delicious
november 2011 by robertogreco
Certifying 14-year-old poets « Re-educate Seattle
"But here’s a question: should a 14-year-old who is forced to take a required class in poetry be subjected to a process of certification?

Given their brain development and the fact that traditional schooling places kids in required activities, should a 14-year-old—or an 8-year-old, or 16-year-old—be subjected to a process of certification for anything?

There are profound differences between the developmental needs of kids in K-12 versus those in higher education. Young kids need to be in environments in which they can try new things, experiment, grow up, discover who they are.

They need teachers to draw out the genius within them. Higher education, for those who choose that path, is a place where that genius can get refined into certified expertise."
certification  stevemiranda  learning  grades  grading  caltech  unschooling  deschooling  education  pscs  pugetsoundcommunityschool  highered  highereducation  discovery  exploration  maturity  k12  lcproject  tcsnmy  from delicious
october 2011 by robertogreco
The high school transcript is the most nefarious force in education that no one is talking about « Re-educate Seattle
"High school is a game that’s played by a certain set of rules. Those who are good at understanding and following the rules are rewarded with A’s. The problem is that, often, these rules have nothing to do with a student’s command of academic content.

So all the complexity of Jane, Andrew, and Zelia are reduced to this:

Jane – A
Andrew – B
Zelia – F

As their classroom teacher, I can tell you with certainty: these letters, they do not mean what you think they mean."
stevemiranda  collegeadmissions  highschool  grades  grading  assessment  learning  education  pscs  pugetsoundcommunityschool  2011  transcripts  schooliness  unschooling  deschooling  tcsnmy  lcproject  standardization  thegameofschool  theprincessbride  from delicious
september 2011 by robertogreco
Pick yourself « Re-educate Seattle
"In school, students are taught to wait to be picked. If you want to speak in class, you…raise your hand & wait until the teacher calls on you. If you want to be editor of the school newspaper, you have to hope the faculty advisor picks you. If you want to gain approval from your parents & teachers upon graduation, you have to hope Harvard picks you.

What if, instead of training students to wait to be picked, we encouraged students to pick themselves?

Instead of waiting for the teacher to call on them, we could encourage students to facilitate their own learning experiences, w/ support from a guide/mentor. We could encourage them to start their own underground newspaper. Instead of dedicating their high school years trying to please Ivy League admissions officers, we could encourage them to focus on the things they’re passionate about & help them create a personalized, customized post-high school plan that fed their soul & gave them a chance to make an impact on the world."
stevemiranda  pscs  agency  entrepreneurship  unschooling  deschooling  learning  doing  richardbranson  2011  lcproject  tcsnmy  actionminded  pugetsoundcommunityschool  from delicious
september 2011 by robertogreco
We have to stop daydreaming about this « Re-educate Seattle
"we’re trying something new: What if we invited people to come to campus and just to do something they love doing?

[Examples]…

This is a different kind of teaching in that it’s spontaneously responding to a student’s curiosity in the moment. This is the kind of activity that enriches the school environment.

* * *

Will these new ideas work? I don’t know. But we’re going to find out.

There are two things we’re not going to. We’re not going to force students to participate in a battery of required activities, then use punishments and rewards to ensure compliance.

And, we’re not going to sit around watching Sir Ken Robinson’s “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” TED talk, lament the sad state of education in this country, & daydream about what it would be like if school was different.

As a society, we have to stop daydreaming about this."
stevemiranda  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  modeling  teaching  learning  education  2011  pscs  pugetsoundcommunityschool  doing  cv  daydreaming  motivation  punishment  rewards  coercion  compliance  schools  todo  tcsnmy  curriculumisdead  domanifesto  action  actionminded  from delicious
september 2011 by robertogreco
The lesson that I took me more than a decade to learn « Re-educate Seattle
"I walked into the office of PSCS founder Andy Smallman and asked him, “Are we an alternative school?”

“No,” he said.

“I know that, but what do you say when people ask that question?”

“Alternative schools use alternative strategies for helping kids understand geography and science and math and literature,” he said. “That’s not our product.”

“What’s our product?”

“Our product is this environment,” he said. “We provide a safe, loving, nurturing environment in which kids feel connected to a caring community, then we surround them with people of high character who are excited about life and excited about learning. Then we partner with them to help them figure out what they love to do, what brings them joy.”"
andysmallman  pscs  stevemiranda  pugetsoundcommunityschool  education  unschooling  deschooling  2011  2009  progressive  learning  environment  schooldesign  lcproject  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
Why euphoria in school can’t last (from the archives) « Re-educate Seattle
"first stage [PSCS students tend to move through] being “euphoria.” Students can’t believe it when they find themselves in a place where everyone is so focused on helping them engage in activities that bring them joy.

…can fade…students can begin to grow bored. No one is forcing them do anything. They haven’t yet learned skill of self-direction…don’t know what to do w/ themselves.

…by the time PSCS students head to college, they’ve had years of practice at self-direction & support in learning how to handle responsibility. Sometimes, they report being disappointed in their first semester in college because other students are only there to party & mess around.

I can relate: I wasted a great deal of the first 3 years of my college experience simply going through a process of growing up.

“Those students are just entering stage one. They go off to college, & it’s the first time they ever get to make decisions that affect their life. They’re in a state of euphoria.”"
self-directedlearning  self-directed  stevemiranda  tcsnmy  pscs  pugetsoundcommunityschool  learning  maturity  colleges  universities  education  motivation  life  responsibility  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
What does it mean to “love the child”? « Re-educate Seattle
"In our staff meetings at PSCS, we rarely talk about academic subjects. The content of our staff meetings is typically filled with dialogue about individual kids. Our goal is to make sure that every student in the school—and with eight staff members serving 38 students, it’s not hard to track, literally, every student in the school—is excited about something in their life, excited about something at school, feeling connected to other members of the community, and challenging herself to stretch outside her comfort zone."
pscs  teaching  caring  education  love  tcsnmy  pugetsoundcommunityschool  stevemiranda  2011  progressive  lcproject  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
What does your school stand for? « Re-educate Seattle
"What does it stand for? What is its mission? What does it believe in? What outcomes does it consistently deliver? Is there a match between what the school offers & what kids & families want?…

Finally, it’s unlikely that a match exists between the school & families because the school has never really figured out what it’s trying to accomplish. Many families have reduced their hopes to merely surviving the ordeal w/ a minimum amount of pain.

One of the best things we can do to help transform our schools is figure out—specifically—what they’re trying to accomplish. & that doesn’t mean all schools should have the same mission. In fact, each school should have its own unique mission.

Once that’s established, schools can go about the business of connecting w/ families that are a good fit for their particular mission. Either that, or they can continue declaring “academic achievement for all” & stumbling on the never-ending “reform” treadmill."
education  values  mission  missionstatements  tcsnmy  clarity  purpose  outcomes  lcproject  teaching  learning  community  parents  students  stevemiranda  pscs  publicschools  2011  pugetsoundcommunityschool  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
Now, we make projects « Re-educate Seattle
"we don’t live in a factory economy anymore. There’s no such thing as “set it & forget it.” The pace of change in the digital age is too rapid, & the competition too relentless. You’d think that Facebook, w/ it’s hundreds of millions of users, would be able to sit back & simply let the profits come rolling in. But it recently recruited the CEO of Netflix to its Board of Directors because it knows that it’s not 2009 anymore. Times have changed since then.

We don’t go to work in factories anymore. Now, we work on projects. Sometimes those projects last 3 months, or they might last 9 years. These projects typically involve either solving a specific problem or, if you’re doing truly innovative work, identifying a problem before it becomes a problem & being the first to market with a solution. The have a beginning, middle, & end. When the project is finished—remember, there’s no specific timetable for how long any given project will take—then it’s time to get busy on the next one."
projects  projectbasedlearning  education  tcsnmy  toshare  sethgodin  stevemiranda  learning  factoryschools  unschooling  deschooling  facebook  making  doing  self-directedlearning  problemsolving  criticalthinking  2011  thisiswhatwedo  howwework  howwelearn  pscs  pugetsoundcommunityschool  pbl  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
Sitting around « Re-educate Seattle
"I visited an awesome progressive school today. The thing that was most impressive was this: there were kids all over the place who were doing absolutely nothing productive.

That may sound strange, but I think it’s the defining characteristic of a progressive school. Having anti-racist values or an environmental curriculum don’t make your school progressive. It’s not about your lesson plans, it’s the structure of the educational environment that makes all the difference…

A lot of schools talk about lifelong learning and nurturing curiosity, but when they stand at the edge of that precipice—what happens if we give students freedom to direct their own learning, and they just sit around?—they refuse to jump…

It takes patience. It takes faith. But sometimes, you have to let kids just sit around and do nothing. It’s in those moments when they’re learning the lesson they’ll carry with them for the rest of their lives: I am in charge of my own education."
pscs  pugetsoundcommunityschool  tcsnmy  lcproject  progressive  teaching  education  schooliness  unschooling  deschooling  agency  empowerment  learning  schools  unstructuredtime  productivity  stevemiranda  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco

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