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AERO Conference - June 2022 - Shared screen with speaker view
Samantha Kifer
10:04:25
Definitely, "Free to Learn" is what got me on this journey!
Samantha Kifer
10:05:42
Did not get the handout
Alison Snieckus, Liberated Learners
10:05:51
The handout for this talk is at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1z3OWHTjXSiE4PhjFx5QzKDb0jrl8QKIA/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=106011845139349910688&rtpof=true&sd=true
Michael Maser
10:21:48
John Holt, ‘Learning all the Time (1983?): “We can best help children learn by making the world accessible to them, paying serious attention to what they do, answering their questions and helping them explore the things they are most interested in.”
theCoderSchool North Shore
10:22:01
There are 6 million people employed by the public schools in America, and there are 164.6 million people in the American workforce overall. Did I hear that 6 million people is "a quarter" of the American workforce? Did I mishear that?
Samantha Kifer
10:22:15
No you didn't mishear, thanks for clarifying that
theCoderSchool North Shore
10:22:46
So it's actually about 3%, then.
Samantha Kifer
10:22:56
Right
Michael Maser
10:24:53
Add ‘high-stakes testing' into the mix and ... you straight-jacket all educators and administrators.
Carl Rust he/him
10:24:57
In the self-directed program I ran our test scores beat the average. I think there is research that says that happy unstressed people do better on standardized tests.
theCoderSchool North Shore
10:25:34
@Carl The question is whether those gains show up in the short term. I would guess not
Samantha Kifer
10:26:06
And the gains stop at some point because an SDE child may not explore math to the degree they are being tested on
Carl Rust he/him
10:26:45
In our program it showed up the first year of the program.
theCoderSchool North Shore
10:27:10
Interesting
Carl Rust he/him
10:27:46
I would argue that sde kids learn to think mathematically whether they study math or not. I think there are studies of Sudbury Valley and Summerhill alumni that did fine on standardized tests
Samantha Kifer
10:28:14
I'd be interested to see that data
Carl Rust he/him
10:28:50
I agree that changing conventional schools from the inside is not likely. But in the meantime we might make some kids lives more bearable.
aero 9
10:29:34
True Carl kids are still in school so make as SDE as possible
Samantha Kifer
10:29:48
Right
Carl Rust he/him
10:31:32
Peter makes great points about how conventional school has gotten worse.
Samantha Kifer
10:32:09
Many people will blame internet/social media on mental health issues rather than increased academic pressures
Carl Rust he/him
10:32:42
or parents do the homework for the kids
Sylvie
10:32:44
@Samantha: my kids explore math their own way and come up with way more creative problem solving solution than I’ve ever seen in schooled kids. This is a good read: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/freedom-learn/201004/kids-learn-math-easily-when-they-control-their-own-learning
Samantha Kifer
10:34:24
Wow that is striking
Carl Rust he/him
10:35:28
Every educator should be required to hear this talk.
Samantha Kifer
10:35:34
FACTS
Joules Perradian
10:35:41
^ That.
Sylvie
10:35:55
Agreed, Carl
Amanda MacKenzie (she/her)
10:36:26
If every teacher heard this, we'd run out of teachers. I read Peter's book and quit my job!
Samantha Kifer
10:36:34
OMG seriously!
Samantha Kifer
10:36:41
If we all quit then the system would HAVE to change
Samantha Kifer
10:36:48
Strike for SDE, not higher pay!
Sylvie
10:37:13
You're not alone, Amanda! Many teachers quit when they realize the impact of public schools on kids
theCoderSchool North Shore
10:37:49
I had one elementary teacher who bucked the system and gave us a lot of freedom. It was wonderful; I've never forgotten that experience.
Joules Perradian
10:37:53
And we're starting alternative schools. >:)
Amanda MacKenzie (she/her)
10:39:45
I loved the book, but it didn't land well. It was validation of twenty years of struggle with the school system!
Samantha Kifer
10:40:08
I'd say it landed well, because you got out!
Amanda MacKenzie (she/her)
10:40:27
It was a messy few weeks!
Michael Maser
10:40:51
And the handmaiden to anxiety has been medication ... and medication rates began spiking in school children and youth in the 90s. Hello Ritalin and Adderall and and and …
theCoderSchool North Shore
10:40:56
Schools are like prisons.Just gonna leave this here for whoever wants it. You can save the link and watch it later:Les Misérables Sudbury Edition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irFNKBAwl4MYou can reach out to me at office@riverwindsudbury.org
Samantha Kifer
10:40:57
That book sparked my own career crisis as well
Luba Vangelova
10:41:53
The ‘80s is also when the economy changed. Going Postal by Mark Ames connects a lot of dots and touches on education too.
theCoderSchool North Shore
10:42:23
I was insanely stressed-out in high school. I'm still recovering. =(
Samantha Kifer
10:42:25
MMm… good point Luba
Sylvie
10:42:38
So relatable, Amanda. I was a mess after reading The Continuum Concept.
Samantha Kifer
10:43:03
Hmm not familiar with that book Sylvie
Dileepa Manawadu
10:43:14
The internet enabled devices are demonised rather unfairly. In my case - Games is where my son began to get interested in maths as well as reading. And at 7 he is doing far better than the peers in conventional school And more importantly he loves maths and reading (where I notice the other kids shy away from it)
Sylvie
10:43:37
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/331046.The_Continuum_Concept
Derry Hannam
10:44:27
Hi Stephanie, Carl, Sidney, Richard - Its late here I”e got to go. Always great to listen to Peter even though I don’t totally agree with him about the impossibility of change in our public school system in England. One reason is that more teachers have heard of the ideas of Peter and realise that so much of what goes on in authoritarian coercive test driven schools is a principal reason for the crisis in the mental health of kids. Significantly the main teachers’ union (NEU) is beginning to think this unthinkable thought. G’Night all.
Samantha Kifer
10:44:56
So glad England is waking up, Derry!
Sylvie
10:45:06
Another great read that I often recommend at the same time as Peter Gray's Free to Learn is Naomi Fisher's Changing Our Minds https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56970182-changing-our-minds
Samantha Kifer
10:45:27
I've also read and enjoyed Naomi's book
Stephanie Sewell
10:45:30
good night, Derry:)
Crystal Widado (she/they)
10:45:38
"Gifted kid burnout" is so true - (from a burnt out former "gifted kid")
theCoderSchool North Shore
10:45:55
@Crystal me too =(
Amanda MacKenzie (she/her)
10:45:56
I have some reading to do! Lol. Current passion is neurodivergence...
Dileepa Manawadu
10:46:14
The danger of school is being articulated so well here by Peter Gray. More people need to hear this world over.
Samantha Kifer
10:46:14
I'm passionate about neurodivergence too, Amanda
Samantha Kifer
10:46:33
I agree Dileepa! This is so clear and spot on
Samantha Kifer
10:47:21
I can't wait to get the recording on this talk
Amanda MacKenzie (she/her)
10:48:18
We're trying to eat family dinner, so I'm missing a lot. I will look forward to rewatching.
Joules Perradian
10:48:21
I just recovered from the worst burnout of my life, as an autistic "gifted kid" grown into an adult "well-trained" by the public school system. The toxicity doesn't end when you graduate.
Michael Maser
10:48:33
I agree that Covid has initially spurred some families to experience and value home learning, but the scary words I've been hearing this spring is that “everybody wants to go ‘back to normal’ and that's what we're gearing up for.” And normal is ... everyone back in schools and seats. Grrrrr.
Stephanie Sewell
10:48:41
It takes such a long time to recognize the trauma, and to heal.
Sylvie
10:48:47
So true, Joules! I relate <#
theCoderSchool North Shore
10:49:07
@Michael Yeah, I feel like not much has changed yet and not much will change in the next couple years =(
Amanda MacKenzie (she/her)
10:49:54
Even though people want to go back, I feel like many cracks in the system have been exposed. Other options are more available.
Derry Hannam
10:50:31
For only $2.49 you could read the (my) e-book “Another Way Is Possible.Becoming a Democratic Teacher in a State School.” https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1029100 - also on Amazon as a paperback. It got a nice review from Naomi Fisher.
Clara Atal
10:50:44
As a member of the COVID homeschoolers cohort, I feel like this experience has been like “The Truman Show” , hitting the edge of the set and saying… what has been happening?!?The poison of the system is that kids are told their value is determined by others. Vs them doing something they enjoy and thrive at.My heart breaks for MY high performance life I hadIn the system before this shutdown… and my recovery through doing better with my children.“If you know better, do better” maya Angelou.
Sylvie
10:51:42
Thanks for sharing, Derry! 🙂
Amanda MacKenzie (she/her)
10:51:46
Yes, I agree Clara. That's my story too... and now I'm trying to figure out my own neurotype too.
Roy Karp
10:53:52
https://bookshop.org/lists/democratic-education-and-unschoolingFYI - Goodreads is owned by Amazon; please buy your books from AERO or indie or co-operative bookstores!!
Wildwood ALC Nicole she/her
10:54:28
my 15 year old (pretty typical kiddo) has been unschooled (SDE) her whole life. like Peter said.. she knew how to read/write and do basic math because of living life but no formal curriculum. She chose to take math and English at our local high school...She made high A's in 9th and 10th grade math and honors English. It was her choice and she barely studies...... the curriculum and being "behind" is a myth.
Carl Rust he/him
10:54:40
better world books is another good place to get books.
Carl Rust he/him
10:55:40
not only cellphones but they give them ipads or laptops and then want to ban them from using them for what they are designed to do
Joules Perradian
10:56:17
For anyone who is unfamiliar with this book and is interested in neurodiversity, I highly recommend Dr. Nick Walker's book "Neuroqueer Heresies". It's revolutionary.
Samantha Kifer
10:57:41
Which library does that!
Michael Maser
10:57:46
Outschool and DIY.org are also good places for kids to find online courses and resources geared to personal interests. ‘Candy-store' style schooling that I wish had been around wayyyy back when I was a kid!
Dileepa Manawadu
10:57:54
Where is this library again?
Maribel Garcia
10:58:11
Outschool 🥰
Monica Kmetz Cochran
10:58:15
Makerspaces are also great places for play
Monica Kmetz Cochran
10:58:45
Librairans are the best friends of homelearners
Amanda MacKenzie (she/her)
10:59:18
Got it Derry! Thanks!
Samantha Kifer
10:59:45
True, I learned how to replace the side mirror in my car because of YouTube
Amanda MacKenzie (she/her)
11:00:09
For 20 years, we've said, "I wish every kid had a computer!" Now they all have one for online learning and teachers are having a fit.
Joules Perradian
11:00:23
XD
Amanda MacKenzie (she/her)
11:01:18
I loved pandemic distance learning, because we could do really authentic things.
Amanda MacKenzie (she/her)
11:02:19
Creative, innovative, collaborative problem solvers... and then we put them in a system that not only doesn't teach those skills, we actively punish them!
Michael Maser
11:02:20
@Amanda: I remember in the 90s, at the inception of the 'digital revolution' that schools and teachers loathed computerization. They feared it. And many kids would race home at 3 and turn on their machines and ... start doing whatever. It was the beginning of a self-taught, bootstrap revolution and school had almost nothing to do with it.
Monica Kmetz Cochran
11:02:38
We need People who can ask the important questions!
Elmarie Hyman
11:02:40
Learn Beyond the Book is similar to Outschool and carefully curated teachers with a self-directed focushttps://learnbeyondthebook.com/
Amanda MacKenzie (she/her)
11:02:41
Yup!
Amanda MacKenzie (she/her)
11:03:08
Omg, I have 50 tabs open.
Elmarie Hyman
11:03:28
Haha Amanda me too!
theCoderSchool North Shore
11:04:48
https://www.newsweek.com/creativity-crisis-74665
Elmarie Hyman
11:06:05
Thanks for the link! Was just looking it up
Samantha Kifer
11:07:02
College gets you pretty handily in debt!
Sylvie
11:07:12
That's why I always find it funny when people ask me how my kids will cope with the real world if they don't go to school; XD
Michael Maser
11:07:24
I heard Chinese-American educator-author Yong Zhao speak a few years ago, opining that, while America is known worldwide for its innovation and that innovation has spurred the American economy in so many years, and yet ... American schooling stifles innovation. He says innovation has succeeded because the ed system has not been very successful. But as Peter points out, the screws have continued to tighten.
theCoderSchool North Shore
11:07:33
The real question is: How will you cope with the real world if you DID go to school?
Sylvie
11:07:41
exactly!
Roy Karp
11:08:01
“20 years of schooling and they put you on the day shift.” - Bob Dylan
theCoderSchool North Shore
11:08:13
Personally, I can't cope with the real world very well. I blame my schooling =(
Sue Haynes
11:08:28
I wrote a book about creative learners, Creative Mavericks: Beacons of Authentic Learning. Also a book about teachers promoting self-directed learning in public school settings: Pockets of Freedom: Unlocking the Power of Intuitive Teaching and Learning. https://creativemavericks.net/
Dileepa Manawadu
11:08:42
Where I am from, the fear of all mobile screens is very big and real. is there any solid research that I can use to bust this myth and fear. All experts ranging from Educational psychologist to paeds tell parents to reduce their use! Where its a a great tool in so many ways.
Sylvie
11:09:56
Dileepa: there are many blog posts by Peter Gray on the topic, and the book Changing Our Minds by Naomi FIsher goes into quite a lot of details on the topic.
theCoderSchool North Shore
11:10:19
"is there any solid research that I can use to bust this myth" You can start here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/freedom-learn/202011/myth-versus-fact-social-media-and-teens-mental-health
Dileepa Manawadu
11:10:56
Have seen Peter's blog posts.
Kelley Birch
11:11:13
Community Colleges are a great resource!
Michael Maser
11:11:36
@ Dileepa: I would encourage you or anyone to hold your assumptions about what kids are doing via tech or social media, and get really curious and ask them and sit with them and learn and determine for yourself what you think is the value of their investment in tech and social media. Many people making assumptions aren't parents and don't know. Take the time to learn, is my suggestion. And work it out your kids if this is a worthwhile investment of their time and life energy.
Sylvie
11:12:15
Or maybe girls are better at masking, but the long-term effects are huge nonetheless
Amanda MacKenzie (she/her)
11:12:30
I agree with Michael - talk to your kids. Sit with them and see what they are doing on screens.
Samantha Kifer
11:12:31
True that Sylvie
Erin
11:12:37
It was easier for me to go to low income for 5 years (1 year prior to college entrance + 4 years college) than to even think I could afford to pay for my kid's education.
Joules Perradian
11:12:41
That's because girls/women are socialized in our culture to mask more.
Monica Kmetz Cochran
11:13:17
@Joules . I agree about the masking
Joules Perradian
11:14:00
I see @Sylvie said the same thing, lol!
Sylvie
11:14:22
I spent my entire childhood masking, still dealing with the side-effects nowadays, in my forties...
Joules Perradian
11:14:38
Yep, me too. (Same age, too!)
theCoderSchool North Shore
11:14:50
What a sad situation =(
Amanda MacKenzie (she/her)
11:14:56
Me too. Still trying to figure it out.
theCoderSchool North Shore
11:15:08
We need some sort of School Recovery Group
Samantha Kifer
11:15:10
Me too Sylvie!
Samantha Kifer
11:15:18
OMG seriously
Sylvie
11:15:19
<3 hugs to you, Joules, Amanda, and Samantha
Clara Atal
11:15:39
Systematic discrimination :( recognition of it.
theCoderSchool North Shore
11:15:51
Children are an oppressed minority group
Samantha Kifer
11:16:01
FACTS
theCoderSchool North Shore
11:16:12
Let kids vote, and see what happens to the school!
Sylvie
11:16:42
Love that idea! YES!
Joules Perradian
11:16:52
@Sylvie and @Amanda MacKenzie and @Samantha if you (and anyone else) want to connect with me about neurodivergent explorations (or anything else): livinglimegreen@gmail.com
Samantha Kifer
11:16:55
Hahah that would be great!
Dileepa Manawadu
11:16:57
“Let kids vote, and see what happens to the school! " - Yes, spot on. So much disrespect of children because they cannot vote :-(
Clara Atal
11:17:14
My favorite is bringing them to library and they choose what they want. So simple yet so empowering and enriching.
theCoderSchool North Shore
11:17:15
I have half a mind to start a "Let kids vote" petition and hang around with a sign at my local library. But I doubt I would get much support =(
Dileepa Manawadu
11:17:49
Let Kids Vote - can be a useful worldwide movement :-)
April Huard
11:17:58
My school serves homeschoolers in one of our programs, and we have seen a big increase in enrollment both in the US and internationally since COVID.
Joules Perradian
11:17:59
There's a mini-talk about giving kids the right to vote tomorrow!
Dileepa Manawadu
11:18:04
The world will become a better place.
Monica Kmetz Cochran
11:18:06
I heard this comment from families who watched online schools .. especially those who were neurodivergent
theCoderSchool North Shore
11:18:14
I'm at office@riverwindsudbury.org if anyone wants to reach out.
aero 9
11:18:17
Speaker from Yesterday Ava Mateo has an organization dedicted to that
Sylvie
11:18:28
https://www.childrenvoting.org
aero 9
11:18:31
John Wall presemts at that tomorrow
aero 9
11:18:35
presents
aero 9
11:19:44
https://18by.vote/
Clara Atal
11:20:09
https://g.co/kgs/3HYbpK. Lyrics greatest love of all. I believe that children are a future.
Dileepa Manawadu
11:20:16
Awesome - Re: Kids Voting session!
Monica Kmetz Cochran
11:21:01
@clara.. I love that song too ❤️
Clara Atal
11:21:34
Honestly.,this conference. .. the song just started playing in my head and I am like..how did I miss this…
Amanda MacKenzie (she/her)
11:21:36
You can also do it faster at home, because there's so much wasted time in school.
Samantha Kifer
11:22:12
Very true, Amanda
Sylvie
11:23:00
Like my middle son says when asked “so, you're homeschooled, you mom is your teacher?”: “no, we don't homeschool, we don't do any kind of schooling, I play and that's how I learn. I have better things to do with my time on earth than wasting my time in school." <3
Samantha Kifer
11:23:13
Love that
Amanda MacKenzie (she/her)
11:23:20
I love it!
Samantha Kifer
11:23:36
Please keep talking Peter!
Dileepa Manawadu
11:23:56
Sylvie - can I quote this! ‘Like my middle son says when asked “so, you're homeschooled, you mom is your teacher?”: “no, we don't homeschool, we don't do any kind of schooling, I play and that's how I learn. I have better things to do with my time on earth than wasting my time in school." <3”
Sylvie
11:24:28
Yes you may. I've asked him if we could share it and he said “of course!"
Sylvie
11:24:35
THanks for asking 🙂
Roger Horton
11:25:08
If a parent cannot homeschool because of work, do their children get left behind with a system not working for them?
Samantha Kifer
11:25:52
Yeah I worry about how to support parents who can't homeschool
Joules Perradian
11:26:00
I believe that's where alternative schools come in.
Joules Perradian
11:26:34
More and more people are creating alternative schools (myself included).
Amanda MacKenzie (she/her)
11:26:41
We need childcare. Period. Schooling is secondary. We don't say it that way, but that's what happens now. We just need to have more SDL childcare...
laura watson
11:26:45
@Roger Horton, that's why I’m creating an alternative. I was that parent and hated it.
theCoderSchool North Shore
11:26:47
@Joulse Where is your school?
Alison Snieckus, Liberated Learners
11:26:56
Most of the learning centers have a sliding scale. We work with families to pay what they can afford.
Stephanie Sewell
11:26:56
@amanda - so true
Samantha Kifer
11:27:27
Right but for some families it can't compare to free public school. I wish there was a way for there to be free SDE
Luba Vangelova
11:27:30
Anecdotally, more people may have started homeschooling, but the number of previously homeschooled kids choosing to go to school (primarily for social reasons) doesn't seem to have abated. I can think offhand of five previously homeschooled children (ages 8 to 11) in our circles who have chosen to go to school in the past year.
Sylvie
11:27:46
@Roger: we had to reinvent our lifestyle to be able to do SDE at home, but we also offer support to schooled kids during their time out of school, so they have opportunities to explore SDE in their free time. I could have chosen to keep working outside the home instead but with 3 kids, sending them to an alternative school full time, it didn't make sense financially.
Roger Horton
11:28:22
Thanks, appreciate those responses
Joules Perradian
11:29:04
@theCoderSchool North Shore I am based out of Portland. We're still early stages, and I'm inviting people to build it with me, even remotely. I have ideas for how to make it extremely low cost or even free.
Sylvie
11:29:11
They do attend 1 day a week, and that's all we can afford. That's why I see libraries and a strong community (retired people, older kids, etc) to be critical in creating the support system needed to pursue alternative education.
Dileepa Manawadu
11:30:13
Wildwoood ALC - Can I quote this in my platforms? “my 15 year old (pretty typical kiddo) has been unschooled (SDE) her whole life. like Peter said.. she knew how to read/write and do basic math because of living life but no formal curriculum. She chose to take math and English at our local high school...She made high A's in 9th and 10th grade math and honors English. It was her choice and she barely studies...... the curriculum and being "behind" is a myth."
Clara Atal
11:31:02
Thank you for this keynote.
Roy Karp
11:31:11
Bad “historians” can do serious damage, esp. when they sit on the US Supreme Court! 😳
Alison Snieckus, Liberated Learners
11:31:13
So awesome Peter, thank you!!
Dileepa Manawadu
11:31:46
Thank you so much Peter, AERO and everyone else here contributing. I feel more energised now. Especially when talking with parents :-)
Joules Perradian
11:32:05
Yes, that talk was amazing! Thank you so much!
Samantha Kifer
11:32:21
This keynote needs to be on YouTube and shared FAR AND WIDE
Elmarie Hyman
11:32:23
Yes, thanks Peter, 100% on board with all you said, thanks for all you do!
Elmarie Hyman
11:32:39
I agree Samantha!
Dileepa Manawadu
11:33:06
@Samantha - yes. Every parent Everywhere needs to hear this! Will this be available for sharing?
Samantha Kifer
11:33:15
Yes I wonder that too
Samantha Kifer
11:33:35
I really want to share this with others not at this conference
theCoderSchool North Shore
11:33:40
It's similar material to his TEDx talks, which are already on youtube
Roy Karp
11:33:52
Thank you, Peter! I love your books and greatly enjoyed your presentation. Spot on and thoughtful all around.
aero 9
11:34:07
This will be put on AERO's you tube page
Dileepa Manawadu
11:34:25
Thank you AERO!
aero 9
11:34:28
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuhlEwdXXCz2dVB5ryxJXqA
Samantha Kifer
11:34:42
I"ve watched many of Peter's TED talks, and this is organized in a profoundly convincing way
Amanda MacKenzie (she/her)
11:34:46
This needs to be shared with EVERY prospective teacher. That's where the change would come.
Samantha Kifer
11:35:15
ABSOLUTELY, Amanda!
Amanda MacKenzie (she/her)
11:35:17
I WISH SO MUCH that I had found this all 10 years ago or more.
theCoderSchool North Shore
11:35:33
@Amanda It would have made all the difference in my life =(
Wendy Raver (She/Her)
11:35:45
Thank you so much
Dileepa Manawadu
11:35:47
I"ve watched many of Peter's TED talks, and this is organized in a profoundly convincing way - Yep. This brings many of his talks in to one place
Roger Horton
11:35:53
Thank you Peter!!
Amanda MacKenzie (she/her)
11:35:55
Me too, and even more so for my oldest son.
Sylvie
11:35:57
Thank you so much, Peter!