Start a School by Sharing Alternative Education Ideas

The authors share their experiences on how to start a school and offer different scenarios when forming the basis of alternative schools.

| November/December 1971

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    Good life learning means understanding is integrated in action. We display our knowledge of the culture of specialized roles, with its destructive systems of education, competition and authority, by how we manage to be each other's teachers, siblings and lovers, parents and children, by how we tend and heal and share each other's growth. 
    Photo courtesy of Salli Rasberry and Robert Greenway
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    The price of making of our lives a school for our children is our own transformation. We believe it is possible, because it is already begun.
    Photo courtesy of Salli Rasberry and Robert Greenway
  • Starting an alternative school
    For those not already in communities of fighters or farmers, the catalyst may be someone with a sudden conviction about a particularly bad local public school scene.
    PHOTO: FOTOLIA/PAYLESSIMAGES
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    Nevertheless, the time is now, the need is vivid. Kids who on their own are seeking free schools can use plenty of non-exploitative help. Take them in. Help them find other escapees with whom to work . . . and be.
    Photo courtesy of Salli Rasberry and Robert Greenway
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    We learn in a larger community. To free our young many must come together, to share their powers in critical mass and intimacy. We believe it involves all entering equal as children into the School of a larger Family. 
    Photo courtesy of Salli Rasberry and Robert Greenway

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  • Starting an alternative school
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Reprinted by permission from RASBERRY. 

"Getting started" means a few people come together to start a school.

For those not already in communities of fighters or farmers, the catalyst may be someone with a sudden conviction about a particularly bad local public school scene; or a graduate student reading Maslow or Holt and becoming inspired; a high school kid in trouble with the police, or fighting with a principal who has demanded that his hair be cut; some public school teachers meeting to share anguish; someone coming out of a particularly revealing acid trip.

Coming together is like a dance, like dogs coming together to sniff each other's vital private premises. Impressions are quickly formed—people's dress., what they bring to eat ("They're still into white sugar!"), whether they take an offered joint, how open and straight they are with their children.



Goals are raised: some want to protect or convey or expand an ideology or social cause; some simply want to add to an existing community; some have a heavy personal need, perhaps loneliness; some have an idea—a vision about what a learning environment could be; some simply can go no further than hating public schools. Some have all these goals.

It's terribly complicated—if you want to look at it that way. But mostly it's exciting and beautiful: sometimes a group with goals exploding outwards like their own growth rates. Every group has its unique mix, its balance, its "magic mood of harmony" waiting to be discovered. Some make it, some don't.






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