Friday, April 29, 2016

Progressive Education Hits the Road

This is a story that is only tangentially about our students.

I had the great honor and privilege in early April to travel to the Friends School of Minnesota, an innovative and delightful school in St Paul, to facilitate a workshop I developed in the for two professional conferences: the Association of Independent Michigan Schools in suburban Detroit and the Independent School Association of the Central States in the Twin Cities. One of the members of our ISACS Visiting Team in the fall, Shane Zack, had been impressed enough with Summers-Knoll that he recommended my workshop to FSM's assistant head, Jeannette Lutter-Gardella, and she in turn invited me to come to Minnesota again to visit their school.

What I found there was delightful. The school speaks fluent Summers-Knoll, by which I mean that they are passionate about progressive education and adept at engaging it. They did their homework, looking over our school's website and reading many of our classroom blogs. This helped to make my visit wonderfully engaging! First thing in the morning, I attended their full-faculty meeting for my formal(ish) presentation, Progressive Education in Any Setting. After that, I met in turn, for about an hour apiece, with FSM's elementary teachers, specialists (music, Spanish etc), middle school teachers, and new Head of School.

The Head of the Kazoo School in Kalamazoo, Sally Read, also saw the presentation (at both conferences, actually), and came to SK this winter to see us in action. We hope to host teachers from the Friends School of Minnesota in the 2016-2017 academic year.

Here is a link to the presentation:

And here is a link to a description of, and rationale for, SK's philosophy of progressive education (from right here on this very blog):

And, yes, if you're a loyal reader, you've seen that Minnesota Twins* illustration of Minnie and Paul before:

*I love Minnesota's team names because they all reflect the location: Twins, Timberwolves, Vikings, even Wild, which is no North Stars, but it'll do.

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