Z asked me, “What are the benefits of going to a self-directed learning center?
I posed the question on the Liberated Learners google group and Maria immediately answered, “The benefits are unique for each individual. However, in the experience of people from Liberated Learning centers, when teens or kids are given the power to make their own decisions about their life and education, it changes something fundamental within them. Beyond feeling empowered, after a while, they are able to see things more clearly. They are able to think about their life differently.”
One parent of a teen attending North Star wrote, “I just wanted to tell you how thrilled we have been as a family that our son is attending North Star. He is such a happy guy, his stress has disappeared and his love of learning languages is being nourished and supported. It is such a pleasure everyday to drop him off. Thank you for providing such a wonderful program.”
Another parent emailed, “Our days and nights have changed for the better. My son and I are closer and share more with one another and everyday he comes up with new things he wants to explore.”
The students are equally pleased saying, “The approach to education has always felt right for me and the social scene is welcoming. I spent more time doing what I enjoy, less time being bored and less time fretting that I was falling behind. Through the classes, tutorials and assistance from my adviser, I was able to focus my energy on topics that interest me and fun things like rock climbing, hiking and socializing.”
Another member recounted, “It felt good to finally feel like I was allowed to be myself and to be surrounded by others who were being themselves, too. I joined Band and Theater, things I had never dared to do before, and I had the time of my life learning and performing.”
Teachers and mentors feel the benefits of being in a learning environment that has none of the constrictions of traditional school. One teacher wrote, “Through engaging with the students at North Star, I have found that building relationships with others through honest conversation is more valuable and impactful to people’s overall learning. Each week I facilitate a class titled Solutions for a Sustainable Future. This course has taken on the form of a discussion space for students to share their ideas and ask questions with regard to environmental, economic and social justice issues. Within this space, I have encouraged students to investigate the correlations that exist between the condition of our human society and the well-being of the planet we share.”
For more stories and testimonials, check out: http://www.northstarteens.org/liberated-learners-newsletter
Abot Tala is part of the Liberated Learners (LL) network of centers based on the North Star Self-Directed Learning for Teens, a model started by Ken Danford more than twenty years ago in Massachusetts. Each LL center has it’s own name and Ken always emphasizes how each center must respond to the unique local conditions and culture.
Abot Tala is opening soon on April 1 at the Commune, Poblacion, Makati — our temporary home for two months.
To learn more about the program and meet the people behind Abot Tala, please feel free to join any of these gatherings. We’d love to meet you!
- March 16 Saturday 3:30 – 5:30 pm Commune Café, Polaris St., Poblacion, Makati
- March 19 Tuesday 5:00 to 7:00 pm Bo’s Coffee, High Street, BGC
- March 20 Wednesday 2:00 to 4:00 pm Tim Horton’s, Glorietta 4, Makati
- March 21 Thursday 6:00 to 8:00 pm Starbucks, Grace Mall, Cayetano Blvd., Taguig
See you there!