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107: Child Liberation Theology w/ R.L. Stollar

Ep. 107

*This podcast contains content regarding suicide and child abuse.


In this podcast we are joined by R.L. Stollar, a Child Liberation Theologian and child and survivor advocate. Stollar is the author of the upcoming book, The Kingdom of Children, which reports on the issues and concerns of the evangelical homeschooling movement. Stollar, who was himself homeschooled, is an advocate of homeschooling who is calling attention to the issues that many face in the system, connecting the concept to faith — which is often juxtaposed with the practice of homeschooling. His work in Child Liberation Theology, which you’ll hear about shortly, centers the idea of young people being leaders in their faith-based decisions.


This is an interesting topic, because it blends ideas that aren’t commonplace in progressive education. Although I am personally not religious, there are fascinating connections between a faith-based education, self-directed learning, critical pedagogy, and more that we’ll explore in this podcast.


As a side note, this podcast also features Thomas White. Thomas is our prior development director who accepted a new position after this podcast aired. Essentially, Thomas did his job so well with us that he accepted a full-time position doing development work, leading to a conflict of interest with his current part-time role. We’re sorry to see him go! Thomas is writing a book on Classical Christian Education, which has a lot of overlap with the upcoming conversation.


We introduce R.L. Stollar as a Dr....but in fact he has not earned a doctorate (yet!)


GUESTS

R.L. Stollar, Child Liberation Theologian and child and survivor advocate and author of the upcoming book Kingdom of Children


Thomas White, former HRP development director and author of upcoming book on Classical Christian Education


RESOURCES

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11/19/2022

122: On Self-Directed Education & "What Works" w/ Dr. Naomi Fisher

Ep. 122
This conversation comes at an interesting time in the broader context of the future of education. In the wake of progress 8 results in the UK and NAEP scores in the United States, there appears to be a narrowing of educational possibilities toward a very particular model of schooling, or at least a model whose proponents have been the loudest in proclaiming victory. It has has gone by many names over the years but recently solidified under the umbrella of #ResearchEd or the “science of learning”. The claim here is that we understand and agree upon the ends of education - that is to raise standardized achievement scores - and it’s simply a matter of aligning the means around “what works” to close gaps, raise scores - and at least in the context of pandemic schooling since 2020 - combat & reverse “learning loss”. “What works” of course, is the reiteration of adult authority with a laser focus on high expectations and results, the centrality of explicit/direct instruction, and above all a strict approach to school discipline. It’s a model listeners in the United States might associate with Doug Lemov’s Teach Like a Champion and listeners in the UK with Katharine Birbalsingh’s Michaela School, where I imagine the notion of a self-directed education would be greeted with the same incredulity as geocentrism. Bolstered by these measures of success in national contexts, this model is increasingly decontextualized and exported as the solution to educational ills the world over.GUESTSDr. Naomi Fisher is a clinical psychologist and mother of two self-directed learners. She has a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and a PhD in Developmental Cognitive Psychology, focusing on autism. She combines years of hands-on experience of self-directed education with an in-depth knowledge of the psychology of learning and well-being. Her work has been published in The Green Parent, The Psychologist, SEN Magazine, Juno and Tipping Points. She is a regular speaker on self-directed education, presenting at the Freedom to Learn Forum, Homeschooling Summit, and recently was a keynote at the Rethinking Education Conference in London. She is also the author of “Changing Our Minds: How Children Can Take Control of Their Own Learning”, which I would highly recommend, and the upcoming book “A Different Way to Learn: Neurodiversity and Self-Directed Education” to be published in 2023.RESOURCESNaomi Fisher's websiteNaomi Fisher's TwitterChanging Our Minds by Naomi Fisher
11/5/2022

121: Showcase: One Stone | Lab51 (Student-Driven Schooling)

Ep. 121
This is our third “spotlight series” episode where we’re reaching out to schools who are doing intriguing progressive practices that could inspire and influence others to do the same. Each has a twist on how their school is operated, and we’re bringing in students and teachers to talk about it. They’re not all perfect, and they’d all acknowledge there are things they’d change; but there’s so much to learn from these schools as we reimagine education in our communities.Today we’re featuring One Stone, a student-led nonprofit in Boise, Idaho. One Stone has a variety of initiatives to help students use their voice to change the world. Two thirds of One Stone’s board are young people, who have voted to establish multiple initiatives including Project Good: an experiential service program, Two Birds: a student-led creative studio, Solution Lab: a business incubator for young people, and now Lab 51 - who we’re talking with today - an independent sliding scale tuition program high school.Lab51 features interdisciplinary, human-centered problem solving which is a collaboration between young people and mentors. Students engage in a variety of selections including “Deep Dives”, which are two-week passion-driven endeavors like photography or wilderness survival, “Immersions”, which are slightly longer and mostly take place off campus, “Cannonballs” which have students experiencing a wide variety of topics in a short period of time, and finally: service- and project-based learning.Joining us are four students: Ian, Reya, Lyla, and Ella and Jesse, who is the Director of Strategic Partnerships.We talk about the fundamentals of Lab51's program, its importance to young people, and how this model could scale and be used within traditional settings.SCHOOLOne Stone's Lab51, a student-led nonprofit High School program in Boise, Idaho, centered on students navigating their path to purpose, promoting their well-being, and self-directing their learningRESOURCESOne StoneLab51BLOB (Bold Learning Objectives)Two Birds Creative Studio (One Stone's student-driven creative studio, you can sign up to work with them!)Wayfinding Mentorship Professional Growth series for educators and mentorsHuman Centered Design for supporting student-driven learning