I spent eleven years (1974-1985) living and working at a place called Pendle Hill, near Philadelphia, where I served as Dean of Studies. Pendle Hill is a Quaker living-learning community—founded in 1930 and going strong to this day—where some 80 people share a daily round of classes, communal meals, physical work, silent worship, communal decision-making, outreach to the larger world, … Read More
It's about intellectual AND vocational skills
I have always been a person who views learning as essentially a practical thing. You take action, you practice in activities and immerse yourself in projects, taking risks and as such making a great many mistakes that you end up learning and growing from. Where does all this learning take a person? Well for one, hopefully we become better people … Read More
Jenerra Williams' Learning Story
At Mission Hill School, we publish a weekly newsletter that goes out to our extended community, both near and far. Within the newsletter is a short piece from each classroom teacher. Usually, the piece is a reflection on the children’s learning and growth. As I searched a few weeks ago for a topic to write I stepped away from writing … Read More
Dorothy Boddy's Learning Story
I am a teacher in a Title I school in Phoenix. For the past six years, I have been able to raise the funds to take some of my students to the Grand Canyon to take a class called “Dynamic Earth.” It is taught by the Park Rangers, who specifically deal with education and align the trips to the Arizona … Read More
"The Color Line"
One of the most powerful learning experiences of my life is a recent one where, pursuing a personal goal to develop my “will, knowledge, skill and capacity” for interrupting social inequities, I signed up for a two-day training. The most significant learning took place around an exercise called “The Color Line.” After filling out a self-report questionnaire and scoring myself … Read More
Scott Nine's Learning Story
I still remember every book I was asked to read for Dr. Tom Nolen’s class, The One and the Many. It was my first semester at Northern Arizona University. I entered the classroom curious — but also defined. Raised a devout and conservative Christian, I had helped my family start a church and began giving sermons when I was 14. … Read More
"Prison gave me a sense of urgency."
My soul looks back and wonders how I got over. How I stumbled past classrooms that couldn’t hold my attention into jail cells that couldn’t hold my hunger for knowledge. I’ve come to realize that a thousand baby steps led me to prison, steps that aren’t always definable, aren’t always recognizable. But the steps that took me away from the … Read More
"The Child is Father to the Man"
“The Child is Father to the Man.” That’s what Wordsworth wrote, and some months ago a three-year-old youngster demonstrated the truism (I want to pun it, ‘proved the altruism’) yet again. He and I were sitting in a car in a suburban parking lot, waiting for his grandma. Adric noticed, then looked closely at a black man striding across the … Read More