… is one of those words that acts as a double edge sword. At Deep Root Center, we accept every student as they are. We embrace and honor their individuality, along with their idiosyncrasies, uniqueness, originality, and, even, plain old lovable wackiness; however, everyone here is also encouraged to be creative, kind, to think for themselves, and constantly question the world around them. Yes, therein lies the conundrum; our student members, in fact, are discouraged from believing something (anything), merely, because it has been normalized by our society, or, because someone in authority told them it was true. As mentors, we expect them to research and investigate those pervasive behaviors, rules, and information surrounding - racism, xenophobia, educational systems, poverty and assistance programs, misogyny and the objectification of women, or, for that matter, the judgment of anyone’s physical attributes, clothing, or personal decoration, etc. - which are so deeply ingrained in our culture that they are simply accepted as true or inevitable.
Active engagement, respectful debate, responsible inquiry, and an underlying commitment to change detrimental cultural norms are where acceptance and accountability merge; it is, indeed, the sweet spot where all real learning happens.
DRC FAQ (a new feature of the Deep Root Center Blog)
Who is Deep Root Center for?
DRC is for young people who for one reason or another are dissatisfied with their current schooling experience and are bold enough to try to live their lives in a more empowered way.
In most Liberated Learner centers, the students tend to fall into one of a few wide categories. The first group are the Inspired. These are students who have passions and interests and want to pursue them, or they believe in the possibility of having passions and interests and they want to have a life that prioritizes meaningful learning. Young people like this tend to thrive in Liberated Learners settings with a relatively short transitional period.
Another type of child our centers tend to attract are struggling in some way or another. They’re oppositional, or anxious, depressed, bullied, ostracized, struggling academically, or managing some other challenges. Often they used to be an inspired type, but somewhere their light started to go out. There are those who are somewhere in the middle- open to the possibility of being Inspired, but not really there yet. They are often doing fine in whatever academic environment they find themselves in, but while it may be easy enough, it doesn’t feel rewarding or meaningful. They suspect that there must be more to living than just getting through it, and they are ready to start now. DRC also attracts those families who have always had an alternative mindset and are seeking a non-standardized, personalized education for their children where they can follow their interests and embrace their love of learning.
Language altered by permission – LightHouse Holyoke