About a month ago I attended a presentation by Ken Danford on Liberated Learners / North Star Teens. Since then, I can’t get an idea out of my head: I’d love to be part of starting one of these in the Northern Kentucky / Greater Cincinnati area. To be completely transparent, my motivations are three-fold:
- I would love for this to be available to my son has he finishes up the next 3-4 years before he takes his next step (college, travel, work or some combination of all three)
- I would love to be able to be part of something like this, not only when my son would be taking part, but potentially as a long-term “second act” career / calling.
- I would love for this sort of resource to be available to my community to make it easier for parents and teens (more on that later) to make the decision to take responsibility for their own education.
I won’t repeat everything about the Liberated Learners model. You can read that for yourself on their site. But I there are a few things I really like about the approach:
- It’s specifically targeted at teens. The thinking being that it’s the HS years that can benefit the most from a group setting with more resources available.
- It’s a pay for what you want model. You can join at everything from a 1 day a week to a 4 day a week plan (most centers are specifically closed on Wednesday’s to make you do something other that school ;-).
- It’s learner lead without a lot of central control / structure. There are all the benefits of the Sudbury model without some of the downsides.
So I’m stoked. But I also know that there is no way I could get something like this started on my own. So here’s what I am looking for: six to eight families / parents / learners who are interested enough in opening a Liberated Learners style center in NKY that they will agree to:
- participate in the “Intro to the Model” Google Hangout that is offered by the Liberated Learners org to give an overview of the model and answer our questions (I will cover the small fee they ask for)
- meet face to face shortly thereafter to decide if there is enough of a core group that is interested enough to take some next steps (and to decide what those steps should be…visit a center?…build a business case?…etc).
No commitment beyond a few hours of time. Before posting this I reached out directly to a few people I though would be interested and already have a small group, but I am looking for a few more. So, take a look at the Liberated Learners site (specifically the page I linked to above), do some basic research, share with any of your friends that might be interested and then look in your heart and let me know if this calls to you as strongly as it does to me.