I thought I'd start talking about the school my partner and I plan to open, as he and I are still in the process of figuring out where we want to open it (still looking for "home"). Since this is a great community of interested people, I thought it might be just the place to start a dialogue - I would be so grateful for feedback and thoughts. We want to open a roughly K-12 mixed ages democratically run school, based on the Sudbury model, but incorporating the ideas/philosophies/practices of social ecology (the one sentence "definition" is roughly, that ecological problems have social roots, and we will not be able to change ecologically speaking, until we make changes in our society) - sort of Sudbury with a more deliberately political and social and ecological awareness and activeness. We're planning on organic gardens and permaculture, alternative/sustainable technologies, composting toilets and living machines if we can get away with it, etc., for some of the physical side of it. Academics would be determined by the kids, what they were interested in, and so on, with all activities being initiated by them. Ideally, we adults would like to play a more deliberate role in helping change education, but the purpose and focus is the kids - giving kids the chance to become their own unique and amazing selves, at their own pace, in an environment that allows them to learn and grow and think for themselves and as a community. My partner and I would both consider ourselves politically radical, interested in significant social transformation, direct democracy and human-scaled living, living a lifestyle that endeavors to understand the connections between ecology and society, and making a difference in the world. He might call himself a social ecologist with particularly anarchistic tendencies, I would say I am a social ecologist with a particular interest in ecofeminism in its original form (that is, highly political, radical, and anarchistic in its roots, not the goddess/spiritual "nature" of its more current expression) and a special interest in the horse-human relationship. We're both creative, hard working, decent people, committed to changing the way kids are "educated" as opposed to allowing them to learn. Parts of the country we are looking at are southern OR, the Bozeman, MT area, where else? I guess at this point, I would just really dig thoughts, comments, questions, ideas, whatever you might want to share. We're also trying to figure out where to go and make our home, which we hope to do sometime in early 2003. So comments and questions and such are most welcome, plus any suggestions of places to consider, and so on. Details, we're 26 and almost 29, no kids of our own yet, our educational backgrounds are in alternative education, social ecology, art, literature, green medicine, agriculture, woodworking/timber framing, animals (esp. horses), history, philosophy, feminist studies, and so on (we both got our BAs from Goddard, if that means anything to anyone). OK, this is getting too long, thanks for reading through this whole thing!
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11/20/01 at 4:41pm