Too often, traditional educational structures work like the attached image portrays: students memorize information for a test (for which there are penalties for failure), then promptly forget the information afterward. Students rarely have the opportunity to integrate the information in a meaningful context to turn it into true knowledge.
My dear friend +George Popham
-- and several other current and former public school teachers -- are tired of seeing this pattern. They're tired of seeing students come to associate learning with coercion in an environment where authority cannot be questioned. Most of all, they're tired of seeing students' rare expressions of enthusiasm and excitement in the classroom quashed by teachers who (fearing for their own jobs) crack down on them in the name of "classroom discipline."
Bay State Learning Cooperative is seeking to create a self-directed, non-coercive learning environment for students aged 10-19. Right now, BSLC is looking seriously at a space in Jamaica Plain, which would allow them to serve students of a wide variety of socioeconomic backgrounds. BSLC's educational model is based on the Northstar model, and similar cooperatives have a proven track record of producing students who are admitted to excellent colleges -- and, more importantly, who succeed there, because they are already accustomed to motivating their own learning.
Naturally, any project like this requires money to get started. I'm e-mailing you because I suspect you're sympathetic to the desire to let students take control of their own education, or because you have children who might benefit from BSLC.
My family has already contributed $250 to the current crowdfunding initiative, and I am also donating my time as a BSLC board member to help spread the word about the project via social media. Would you consider contributing $20, $10, or even $5?
If you'd like to learn more about BSLC, there are several public information sessions coming up, including one this Thursday in JP. See below for more information, or check out the website or Facebook page.http://www.baystatelearning.orghttps://www.facebook.com/baystatelearning
PUBLIC INFO SESSIONS:
Thursday, November 21st at 7:00 pm at 365 Center St., Jamaica Plain, Hyde Square Task Force Building
Public Forum: Student Motivation and Creativity - December, 11 7:00 pm, Dedham Public Library
Thanks for taking the time to learn about BSLC! Please feel free to share this message.