• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Whenever you search in PBworks or on the Web, Dokkio Sidebar (from the makers of PBworks) will run the same search in your Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Gmail, Slack, and browsed web pages. Now you can find what you're looking for wherever it lives. Try Dokkio Sidebar for free.


A review of Teenage Liberation Handbook, and a summary of alternative colleges

Page history last edited by Deanne Bednar 14 years, 1 month ago

 These  reviews are by Jason Howard. 

Grace Lewellyn's Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education


Inspiration and many wonderful resources, often with an emphasis on ecology (lists the Whole Earth Catalog, talks a lot about learning from organic farms, rustic arts, etc.) One of the reasons I didn't pick up this book earlier, is that I didn't realize it would contain over 400 pages chock-full of truly fascinating ideas capable of changing my life. (It's not full of pictures and fancy boxes with quotes that take up half a page -- it's ALL great information.) A second reason I didn't pick up this book earlier is that I didn't realize it could have such a profound effect on the life of a college freshman who had already lost his chance to quit school. No, this is a book about how to live life. I'm a motivated self-learner (as we all could be, although many of us don't realize it). Many of the ideas, books, movies, and activities suggested in this book had already made an impact on me when I discovered them on my own. I'm excited because there are so many things suggested in this book that I haven't yet tried, which I'm sure will bring my understanding of the world to a new level. And it's already done that. It's a book about how to "advance confidently in the direction of your dreams," as Thoreau said in "Walden." First, I recommend this book to teenagers (or anyone old enough to read it) who thinks they don't have any options. If you've never thought quitting school as an option, read this book. It may very well change your life. (Even if you still want a high school diploma, or want to participate in school sports, Grace Llewellyn amazingly shows how you can still achieve these goals). It's definitely not a book just for teenagers (and it probably wouldn't be considered such if it weren't for the title.) It's intelligently written, and the treasures contained in this book are for everyone. It's ultimately about how to live the life you've always wanted to live by following your dreams. It's a book about taking advantage of the educational resources that we don't realize are all around us. It helps us to realize that most of us have simply forgotten how to learn. It includes many suggestions for helping us regain our natural desire to learn about our world. Things you never found interesting in school, if approached in a new way, might just fascinate you! I've never found a single book with so much new and fascinating information about how to live a fulfilling life.



John Holt's Learning All the Time. John Holt is a wonderful observer (and interacter) with children, and has written many books based on these unique observations. He finds that a lot of times when we think children are making 'mistakes,' they're actually seeing the situation in a different way, and that there is immense creativity in the particular mistakes they make. He shows us how we can take children seriously and take learning all the time seriously. Other books, How Children Learn and How Children Fail, contain his observations watching children in the classroom.




Alternative K-12 Models:



Sudbury Valley School (Framingham, MA). There are many schools around the country and the world based on the democratic Sudbury Valley model. All aspects of the school (rules, finances, etc.) are democratically run, students and staff having equal votes, and even the staff are selected this way each year via election. A friend of a friend of mine attended Sudbury Valley School and loved it. Students are free to choose what to do with their time. Teachers are around to guide and encourage, and resources are available for students to learn a wide variety of things. Students can lead classes of their own, or may request that teachers offer a particular class (none of which are compulsory). Most Sudbury Valley alumni are accepted to their first choice university. One negative I've gathered from being on Sudbury Valley mailing lists, is that a lot of people seem to think Sudbury Valley is the *only* model, and aren't very open to other possibilities. (The nearest SV School to Michigan seems to be The Chicago Sudbury School.)



Upland Hills School (Oxford, Michigan).



Free Shool (Albany, NY)




Interesting and Alternative Colleges and Graduate Programs



St. John's College (Annapolis, MD and Santa Fe, NM) has an undergraduate program (B.A. in Liberal Arts) and a graduate program (Masters in Liberal Arts) which is very similar. Professors are called "tutors" and lead students through reading, discussing, and interpreting important human issues in great books throughout history. Classes are discussion based and where they lead depends on where the students take them. Students are evaluated at the end of the course by a one-on-one discussion with the tutor at the end of the class, which takes on much the same format as in-class discussion. Students aren't expected to know the details of the books, but must be able to discuss some of the main issues. Studies are interdisciplinary, though in th graduate program, students can focus their readings in one of five areas: Politics and Society, Philosophy and Theology, Literature, Mathematics and Natural Science, and History (though the readings and discussion actually do transcend the boundaries of these categories.) The Santa Fe campus offers a focus in Eastern literatures. Students learn to analyse, ask questions and be curious about, reflect upon, and engage in serious discussion about their readings (skills which will carry into many other areas of life).


Goddard College. "Come to Goddard as you are. Leave the way you want to be." An excellent choice for students who want to direct their own study and be led by a mentor. Highlighted on their website is the Health Arts and Sciences -- Nature, Culture, and Healing program (B.A. and M.A.) -- in which students develop a personal philosophy of healing. Students have combined a study of: "Indigenous worldviews and ethnobotany." "Ecology, Organic Food, and Nutrition."  "Midwifery, Herbology, and Anthropology." "Expressive Arts and Eating Disorders." "Therapeutic Massage and Spirituality." (Information for BA: http://www.goddard.edu/academic/BAHealthArts.html. Information for MA: and http://www.goddard.edu/academic/MAHealthArts.html). Goddard also offers a BA in Individualized Studies (http://www.goddard.edu/academic/IndividualizedBA.html) and MA in Individualized Studies (http://www.goddard.edu/academic/InterdisciplinaryStudiesMA.html). The MA has possible concentrations in Consciousness Studies (http://www.goddard.edu/academic/Constud.html) and Environmental Studies (http://www.goddard.edu/academic/EnviroStudies.html), Leaders and Entrepreneurs: Creating a Just and Sustainable Future (http://www.goddard.edu/academic/leaders.html), and Transformative Language Arts (http://www.goddard.edu/academic/TLA.html). Goddard also offers a BA and MA in Teacher Education, and MFA's in Creative Writing and Interdisciplinary Arts. MA in psychology with a concentration in sexual orientation. M.F.A. in creative writing and M.F.A. in Interdisciplinary Arts. Reading any of these webpages will give you a good idea of the uniqueness of the program.


Antioch College. Campuses in Yellow Springs OH, Keene NH, Culver City CA, Santa Barbara CA, and Seattle WA. Combines education with social activism. Opportunities to design your own program of study. Narrative assessments are given in lieu of grades. Undergraduate BA in Liberal Studies (which is usually completed within 1 to 2 years). "Students build independent studies around research projects, internships, volunteer work, workshops, lectures and other learning activities." Offers credits for prior life-experience. (See FAQ: http://www.antiochsea.edu/academics/ba/faq.html). Undergraduate programs also offered in Elementary Education. Graduate programs: offers self-designed studies in psychology (http://www.antiochsea.edu/academics/psychology/integrative-overview.html) Environment and Community (http://www.antiochsea.edu/academics/enviro/index.html), Art Therapy (http://www.antiochsea.edu/academics/psychology/arttherapy-overview.html).


Bennington College. "At Bennington, students learn to challenge the traditional divides between intellect and emotion, vocational and cultural interests. They learn to express themselves in the rich and varied language of physics, choreography, history, sculpture, biochemistry, musical composition, poetry, philosophy, and drama. They learn to work hard, and to do well—at first because the faculty expects no less of them, but very soon because they expect no less of themselves."


Evergreen State College. Olympia, Washington.


Reed College


University of California Santa Cruz


Naropa University


Lesley University. A leader in sustainable and holistic education, offers on-campus programs as well as independent study programs. Some of Lesley's unique programs include the following: 1.) Interdisciplinary Studies Masters Program: "...lets you incorporate your career goals and personal interests into a self-designed degree format. The program's flexibility and innovative formats attract adults whose professional and personal interests and goals demand a wider academic context than is found in conventional graduate school program.s THe fields of study and variety of careers for graduates are virtually limitless. Here is just a sampling of what students have studied:" ... human development... museum studies... Montessori Education... yoga...  creativity and management... human services... holistic studies... elder studies... ecopsychology... writing... technology and language instruction.... This self-designed program can be completed off campus, through learning community residencies, or on campus in Cambridge." Interdisciplinary studies: design your own curriculum through internships, workshops, courses at Lesley or elsewhere, directed readings, etc. 2.) "Audubon expedition institute is an academically rigorous alternative to traditional colleges and universities for undergraduate or graduate students pursuing a deeper ecological understanding of environmental education, leadership and advocacy. Our goal is to create experiential learning communities that inspire informed and compassionate ecological leadership." (Camping and living out of a bus, exploring regional ecology in a number of choice settings.) 3.) Sustainable Practices Summer Program: "Learning and Living Practical Skills to Reduce Your Ecological Footprint. Earn 6 Undergraduate Credits exploring a sustainable lifestyle in rural Maine. You will put into practice ecological concepts and alternative solutions you may have heard of, but have never had the chance to try. The course takes place at the Ravenwood Homestead in beautiful Searsmont, Main. Ravenwood is hom to a diversity of plants and animals, fields, a riparian corridor, fores, and a small group of people associated with the Audubon Expedition Institute at Lesley University. The people's habitat includes sustainable/organic, bio-intensive food growing system, chickens, waste vegetable oil processing equipment, a biodiesel operated van, gray-water system, composting toilets, and buildings that are geared towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Owls hoot, coyotes sing and ravens chuckle while we all hearl together." 4.) Institute for Body, Mind, & Spirituality. "The Institute for Body, Mind and Spirituality (IBMS) at Lesley University was established for the purpose of promoting inquiry, training professionals, conducting research, developing new programs and providing leadership in the area of mind-body health and education. Health is broadly defined as a dynamic process of well-being, which integrates mental, physical, social/relational, aesthetic and spiritual elements...." 5.) Expressive therapies and holistic programs. Courses on: "Art and Healing," "Drawing from Within," "Drumming Rhythm and Healing," "Holistic Approaches to Pain and Stress," "Principles of Art Therapy," "Yoga and Therapeutic Touch," "Imaginal Psychology," "Jungian Art Therapy," "Introduction to Art and the Brain," "Women and Spirituality," Counseling and Spirituality." 6.) Interdisciplinary Travel Study programs. Include: "Traditions and Cultures of Ireland." "The Cuban Experience." "Peruvian Amazon: Tropical Ecology and Conservation." "Audubon Expedition Institute." "Traditions and Cultures of Martha's Vinyard." "Ecuador: Andes Healers to Amazon Tribesmen" (which includes: participating in healing ceremonies with Andean shaman, staying in a rainforest eco-lodge, staying with Shuar family in a longhouse). And "Bali: healing Rituals and Sacred Ceremonies -- visiting Balanese healers. ("Our fcus on this journey is the healing arts of the Balinese and the beauty that abounds in everyday expression through art, dance, ritual, costumes and textiles.")


Humboldt State University, Arcata California. Offers degrees in many fields including: American Indian Education, Biodiversity, Conservation Biology / Applied Vertebrate Ecology, Drawing, Environment & Community, Environmental Biology, Environmental Ethics, Environmental Science, Environmental Technology, Environmental Toxicology, First Nations Environmntal Protection, Forest Hydrology, Interdisciplinary Studies, Math Modeling, Multicultural Queer Studies, Native American Studies (Language and Literature, Law and Government, Natural Resources and Environment, Society and Culture), Natural Resources, etc. The more traditional majors are also unique..Their program in philosophy places "foundational importance on the history of philosophy both East and West" and includes courses: philosophy of sex and love, Philosophy Explores the Sacred, Reflections on the Arts, etc.


Sarah Lawrence College



Hampshire College


Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.