#8. How I Feel (guest blog)

by Jeff N.* Every day of school I feel is a constant struggle. I get up and go to my class and the same things happens: nothing but disappointment. I feel every time I get back an assignment or test, I put it in my backpack soaked in tears. Every day in our classes, we strive for a letter. A …

#7. Rigor and Joy

Rigor and joy… For many, the concepts are mutually exclusive: one rules out the other. Rigorous learning allows little room for joy. But for those of us in the world of self-directed learning, they go together perfectly, naturally… even obviously. The term “joy” is heard rarely if ever among educators. The term “rigor” is heard often. It’s a strange word: …

#6. Emergent Curriculum… Strewing and Whatnot

Parents ask us two questions: “Can my kid get into college?” and “How does your curriculum work?” The first question is easy: Yes! Everybody who attends Ingenuity Hub can apply to any college they want. They have other options as well. We are eager and enthusiastic to talk about this any time, but for right now, we’re going to focus …

#5. Zero for Talking

This morning, I overheard a conversation between two students: “Yeah, that teacher gives zeros out so easy.” “I know. Like the other day, she told Mario, ‘Zero for talking.’ He was doing his work, too.” In my last two entries (#3 and #4), I worked out how I am going to approach this blog. Building Ingenuity Hub has been a …

#4. Another Personal Note

Personal Note #2 When I thought about what kind of blog I wanted to write for Ingenuity Hub, before I wrote the first one, I imagined entries about the organization, how it grows, and the young people who come to it in order to take control of their own education. I remember clearly thinking to myself, “No personal stuff, Lane. …

#3. A Personal Note

As I work on ideas and drafts for this blog, I keep hitting up against my own personal situation. I want the focus for every entry of this blog to be positive. I want to share how powerfully transformative self-directed learning (SDL) can be for young people, and how Ingenuity Hub is making it more available in central Massachusetts. I cannot write about …

#2. The Stormiest Seas

An engineer can speak to other engineers in a way only they understand. So can a shipbuilder to other shipbuilders. A cartographer to cartographers. A sailor to sailors. Those of us in the self-directed learning community can speak to each other in our special language, too. We use terms like ‘de-schooling’ and ‘autodidact.’ We discuss ‘non-coercive education’ and worry over …

#1. First Things First

So many possibilities exist for this very first Ingenuity Hub blog post. I could thank the dozens and dozens of people who have helped make Ingenuity Hub a reality for teens in central Massachusetts. I could offer an impassioned argument about why they deserve this alternative to school. I could focus on a comparison of traditional school and our approach, …