Creating Learning Communities
edited by Ron Miller
Reviewed by Beverley Paine
IImagine... a future in which all people will be able to learn what and when they want, regardless of age - a future where learning can be life-long, where the old paradigms are torn away and we can intellectually roam and seek out as much knowledge, information and experience as we wish, where we can both learn and teach according to our curiosity, needs, and knowledge. In most segments of society we are far from this future - but here and there, in vastly growing numbers, all around the world, people are actually living this future today.
Robin and I are in the process or organising a Natural Learning Resource Centre on our Bungala Ridge Permaculture Gardens property and I couldn't wait to get hold of a copy of this book... I know it will be an invaluable tool to us and our fellow unschooling friends as we build this alternative learning resource for all in the community to use. It's packed with great tips, interesting and thought provoking ideas that challenge and extend our goals, actions and visions.
Creating Learning Communities is a landmark book that brings together a wealth of real-world information and innovative theoretical thinking on the present and future state of education. In recent years alternative educators and homeschooling families have looked beyond the routines and structures of the conventional school classroom and developed more open-ended, community-based, collaborative programs for lifelong learning. This book features home-school resource centres, democratic schools, Internet-linked
distance learning programs and other pioneering efforts to redesign education for the twenty-first century. More than thirty leading activists and writers in the alternative education and homeschooling movements have contributed original chapters to this visionary gathering of ideas, including Linda Dobson, Mary Leue, Jerry Mintz, Pat Farenga, Don Glines, Wayne Jennings, Sandy Hurst, Wendy Priesnitz, Katharine Houk and Dayle Bethel.
Creating Learning Communities tells the stories of successful programs for lifelong learning and describes how they work. A section on "philosophical roots" explores the differences between the industrial-age model of mass schooling and emerging models of community-based learning. The authors challenge common assumptions about curriculum, testing, grading and management, and portray a way of learning that arises naturally and organically through experience and active involvement in the world around the
Parents, educators, policymakers and teacher educators will be inspired and informed by this book's straight-forward prose and delightful photos. Contact names and addresses are given for most of the models presented, and a resource directory describes organizations and publications that can help readers grow their own learning communities.
For our children, for ourselves, for each other, and for our planet, a new kind of world is envisioned here - a world of true learning communities.
ISBN 1 885580 04 5
Paperback, 378 pages, 815g, 180mm x250mm, illustrated.
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