Our education system is a obsolete.
It was designed for a world that’s radically different from the world we live in today.
We now know infinitely more about how, when and why people….all people of all ages…actually learn.
We now live in an age where the entirety of human knowledge is available at our fingertips. This is a world where creativity, critical thinking, and innovation are the key indicators of success.
Our schools, from pre-K to college, are still programming kids with messages like: ‘curiosity is a dangerous thing’ , ‘don’t question authority’, ’worth must be externally validated’, ‘if you can’t sit still through a boring lecture about something you don’t care about you must be broken and need medication’, ’the only acceptable life path is good grades = good college = good job’.
These messages are toxic.
They’re toxic to our children and to our ability to function in this world as adults. More and more people are living lives that they hate. They’ve done what was expected. They went to school, went to college, got the job and the house and the cars, they wear all the right clothes, drink all the right alcohol, go on all the right vacations. And they carry the debt that comes with all of that. So much debt that they can’t possibly leave the job they hate.
They’re stuck and they’re miserable.
Miserable people numb their misery with all kinds of useless and harmful things. Alcohol, prescription drugs, over-eating, gambling, reality TV, promiscuity, shopping….there are a million and one ways to feel better about your crappy life. But the best way, is to never get there.
This begins with changing how we learn.
So, rather than waiting for the politicians to yet again rearrange the deck chairs the sinking ship of public education, we’ve decided to ‘be the change’.
Education cannot be reformed. It must be re-imagined.
We are in the very early stages of launching the next generation, hyper-local, community-based school for learners between the ages of 5 and 105.
This year, we will pilot our hackerspace & maker-faire inspired, learner-led, collaborative, project-based, intergenerational learning center (whew, that’s a mouthful!).
Once the pilot is a success, we will make our system available for replication by other education anarchists, er um, concerned parents and community members.
There are number of growing movements (homeschooling/unschooling, charter schools, free schools, hackers, makers, perma-culture, and the liberty movement to name a few) that are converging now to make this the perfect time to create the perfect school for this new world we live in.
Right now, the project needs input from homeschoolers, private school families, charter school families, hackers, makers, entrepreneurs, the world.
We would also love to talk to potential sponsors, donors and partner organizations to see what kind of relationships they’d be interested in pursuing.
And press. Press would help a ton.
Before we can move very far with any of that, we need a name!
Here are the names we’ve been tossing around (in no particular order). What’s your choice? Or feel free to add a new one to the mix!
- Incite Independent Learning Labs
- Tinker Independent Learning Labs
- Holt Independent Learning Labs
- Spark Independent Learning Labs
- Make Independent Learning Labs
Note: In case you can’t tell, we’re kinda loving “Independent Learning Labs” …though we aren’t married to it.
We just love how it defines what kind of learning people will be doing and it talks about the different “labs” or “spaces” we want the center to have (such as a tech/mech lab, art/craft studio, workshop, kitchen, garden, computer lab, audio/video/photography studio, science lab and of course a kick ass book collection).
Thank you SO much everyone for your help with the naming and with spreading the word about this project!!
The Independent Learning Labs, then! Independence is the main thing in your reasoning-don’t cover it up with cute adjectives. The term should have pride od place (if I am putting this right, but you will know what I mean, as a fellow anar..er.. teacher).