Self-directed, non-coercive education has been proven successful, beneficial, and valuable by years of scientific research, as well as the anecdotal experiences of thousands of learners and teachers.
Children learn more in their first year of life than the remainder of their years put together. Self-Directed learning methodology capitalizes on that natural instinct by allowing for and supporting a life-long love of learning, intrinsic motivation, individual interests and learning styles.
As children grow, defiance, their other inherent instinct, begins to kick in. Evolutionarily speaking, resistance to coercion and institutional pressures is absolutely necessary to the survival of the species. Innovative questions, fresh ideas, and new techniques, simply put, prevent stagnation of the culture.
This intuitive rebellion, along with the intention of attempting to change cultural norms, however, is seen as a direct threat by stake holders within the status quo. Students in traditional educational situations are, therefore, taught to conform, follow the rules, and abstain from questioning authority.
Over the last twenty to thirty years, innumerable professionals have stepped out of the established educational model, with more joining the movement every day, simply, because they do not want to work counter to the natural human instinct of acquiring knowledge and skills. AERO a not-for-profit organization based on Long Island is a clearing house for the many versions of self-directed, child-centered education.
Deep Root Center is a member of the Liberated Learners Network of twelve functioning (open) learning centers with several more in the planning stages, opening in September. Each of the individual centers follow the North Star model, which was co-founded by Ken Danford in 1996. We are all completely unique, however, in the way we choose to operate. For example: at this point, DRC is the only center that works with young children (our Seedlings program); Lighthouse, in Holyoke, is much more structured; Compass, in Ottawa, offers individual classes to homeschoolers who don’t want to become members of the Compass community.
This is one of the reasons I traveled with two students to True North in Collinsville (Canton), CT, LightHouse in Holyoke MA, and North Star in Sunderland, MA this past week. We spent time observing and interacting with staff and members of these three sister centers to soak up ideas and inspiration to bring back to DRC. We had a ton of fun in the process and have started planning another mini-tour for next year.
Deep Root Center is building the future of education, right here in the NoCo, by supporting and encouraging our student member’s innate desire to explore their questions, ideas, and interests in our safe, dynamic, supportive community of engaged, self-motivated, and happy learners.
Last Week of the Academic Year This is our last week before summer break. The Center will be open during the summer as we work on: administrative tasks, plans for next year, and re-configuring the space (exciting news will be heading your way in a week or two). We will also have summer programming the last three weeks of August.
Become a Member Now is the time to begin exploring opportunities for next year. We anticipate an onslaught of applications over the next few weeks. Contact Maria today to schedule an appointment to learn more about becoming a member of DRC. Check out our “How it Works” and “Is DRC Membership Right for You?” pages for more information.
Thank You I am incredibly grateful to Christopher Raymo, our Seedlings Apprentice and Music Director. This place is better for his dedication to providing a nurturing, playful, and inspiring space for the Seedlings. He also brings a level of inclusiveness, patience, as well as professionalism to the DRC music program. I am looking forward to building more DRC awesomeness with him in the coming years.
Thank you also to André Lynch, the DRC Educational Program Director. André wandered in to DRC, out of curiosity, in the late fall of 2015. He volunteered for several months, and, when our student numbers started exploding last Spring, we hired him part-time. The innate curiosity that drove André to walk up the stairs has served DRC well. He is an integral part of our program and as he moves on to other endeavors, we send him with our love and best wishes. We will miss you!