In communities around the world, a story is unfolding of young people, educators, networks, and communities generating solutions to the challenges of today’s complex world. That unfolding story is the story of democratic education.
Democratic education is not a type of school or research-based practice. It isn’t one kind of learning program or philosophy. It is a frame. It’s a way of gathering together a vast set of ideas, resources, and visions so that a powerful story can be told that reclaims education for people and communities. There are thousands of people and organizations around the globe engaged in democratic education. Many have similar values but di‑erent definitions. IDEC 2013 is for all of them.
I wanted to personally thank all of you as we reach the final couple hours of our campaign! We all have came a long way… We stop promoting at midnight last night, but it officially ends at 2pm. Still time to donate!
It has been amazing month of new connections, generous support and lots of positive energy for the work we are doing and for the simple and profound idea that young people can and should be part of transforming the world and education!
Here are a few of the highlights from the last month.
Big thanks to all my Imagining Learning friends! Big deep hearted thank you to Charles Kouns for sharing this work with me. My life will never be the same!I want to thank each and all of you for generous supporting this work and for helping to create ripples of transformation in education. Much love.
Where ever you are, let’s celebrate this amazing journey! More to come! Children everywhere are smiling!
The future belongs to those who give the next generation reason for hope.”-Pierre Teilhard de Chadin
Last call to donate from David Loitz of Imagining Learning and Adventures in Learning! (by Imagining Learning)
I need your help! We only have less then 5 hours til the end of Imagining Learning’s Crowdfunding campaign. My personal goal is to reach 200 donors. Charles Kouns goal is crossing the 10,000 dollar! I think we can reach both of them. You have all heard our story now for the last 30+ days and you all know my passion for providing learning experiences for young people that can change their life and change their capacity for changing education and the way we live together! Please stand with the young people of the world and donate at least 10 dollars to our campaign! Please be one of the 41 people to donate today! Much Love! http://www.incited.org/projects/imagining-learning-creating-a-national-collective-voice-through-listening
This video is of ME (Adventures in Learning) If you ever wondered what I look like :)
Only two hours left donate! Please help us reach 10,000 dollars! We are 104 dollars short! We can do it with your help. I have 40,000 plus followers! Can I get at least 10 of you to donate 10 dollars and one person to donate 4 dollars :)! It has been amazing month of new connections, generous support and lots of positive energy for the work we are doing at Imagining Learning and for the simple and profound idea that young people can and should be part of transforming the world and education! Join us by helping to push us over the finish line! Please donate here www.imagininglearning.us
With much love,
Adventure in Learning
Last call to donate from David Loitz of Imagining Learning and Adventures in Learning! (by Imagining Learning)
I need your help! We only have less then 5 hours til the end of Imagining Learning's Crowdfunding campaign. My personal goal is to reach 200 donors. Charles Kouns goal is crossing the 10,000 dollar! I think we can reach both of them. You have all heard our story now for the last 30+ days and you all know my passion for providing learning experiences for young people that can change their life and change their capacity for changing education and the way we live together! Please stand with the young people of the world and donate at least 10 dollars to our campaign! Please be one of the 41 people to donate today! Much Love! http://www.incited.org/projects/imagining-learning-creating-a-national-collective-voice-through-listening
For the last few months I have shared with you how moved I am by my work with Imagining Learning. For the last month I have been asking my friends and blog followers to be moved too. These visions of school came from students in Atlanta, GA and Jackson, MS. I ask you to hear what they are saying and think about what it is like to be a young person experiencing life and school, yet you don’t have a positive space to share your thoughts and ideas. Many of the young people we meet tell us this was the first time any one has listened to them and really heard them. Their visions are full of possibility and full of hope, the go straight to the heart of what education can be in the present and the future! I hear their voices everyday as I do the work to make sure more people hear them and are moved like I am. I can’t ask you be moved by their voices, but I will continue to ask you to support this work, and help more young people be truly heard! We only have 30 hours left to raise the money we need to travel to 50 communities and help give young people the chance to be heard and be a part of changing education. Please support this work with a donation to our campaign. We are hoping to reach 200 donors, which would send a power message to the young people of the country. Donate here: www.imagininglearning.us
Over the past few days since the launch of our campaign, as people have chosen to share our campaign with others, we have seen some wonderful statements written telling others about what we do. These are coming from people who have been in touch with our work in some way and have chosen to make an offering to their friends and networks. These are all unsolicited comments!
“This project is important because it makes a strong statement to the collective of humanity that is it time to listen to what the children have to say about their education. I believe that this project has the potential to create a bridge for the public systems by generating conversation that may inspire policy makers to move away from the current “factory” schooling.” Sue, teacher and mother
“(Imagining Learning) has launched a project that could transform education. As a former teacher, I have often voiced my concern for the state of education in our country, and am so excited by the potential of Imagining Learning to make a profound difference for the future of our children and our culture.” Bob, former teacher
“What an AMAZING job Charles Kouns and David Loitz are doing with Imagining Learning to capture the honest and authentic voices of students all over the country. These listening sessions allow students to share their ideas and vision of what learning should look like.” Okaikor, teacher, mother
“I authentically believe Imagining Learning has an opportunity to change the future of education. Please contribute if you can and want to get student voices in the conversation about education.” Cameron, university professor, father
We would add two other statements that were written about us recently:
“By traveling the country to listen to young people about what they imagine education could be, Charles and Stella, along with David Loitz, are conducting invaluable research – and to their credit, they are thoughtful and deliberate about how they gather their research…They are staying true to a fundamental tenet of design – start with empathy and a genuine desire to understand those for whom you are designing. Seek first to understand and then to be understood.” Bo, former principal, father, education thought leader
Bo even created this video without our knowledge to share his experience with the Listening Sessions. Click here.
“Most adults are simply not doing enough, except for perhaps Charlie Kouns and David Loitz—the visionaries at Imagining Learning. Around the United States, Kouns, Loitz, and their team have been hosting listening sessions, inviting young people to share their revelations and insights on education. After these listening sessions, Kouns and Loitz analyze and try to make sense of what they have learned by connecting the voices of young people around the nation. Now students are even calling up Imagining Learning to hold sessions in their own communities.” Nikhil Goyal, age 17, author, student voice advocate, from an article he wrote in Good Magazine
We are moved by these responses and thank everyone for sharing. Perhaps you see something in here you might share in your networks. Perhaps there is something here that helps you see why this effort is so important to support. Please let us know if you see other comments or quotes that would help us move our story forward.
Visit Imagining Learning’s IncitED campaign, share it with others, and give the gift of a Listening Session: http://www.incited.org/projects/13.
You were invited to this online celebration of Imagining Learning's crowdfunding campaign by David Loitz, and Charles Kouns of Imagining Learning!
Help us meet our crowdfunding goal by June 13th at 2pm PST! We will be updating you here with all the latest news and all the milestones passes! 4 days to go!
Please donate today! In the US: http://bit.ly/15IE8P6
Outside of the US: www.imagininglearning.us
Thank you in advance!
Here our some links to check out or share out!
Article published in GOOD: How Can We Fix Education? Listen to Young People (http://bit.ly/1417k0y)
Facebook page www.facebook.com/imagininglearning
David Loitz’s Video: http://youtu.be/1W2ChK14508
Open to everyone that wants to help young people have a voice in education transformation!
What is Imagining Learning? Imagining Learning (www.imagininglearning.us) is working with young people across the country to create a national collective vision of how they would transform education. We believe that young people have an innate wisdom and authenticity about how future generations would best be educated, but they aren’t usually invited to participate in discussions or decision making inÂ their communities. To see a video about us,Â https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBjMVkpANM4 Imagining Learning is built on the idea of Listening. Our Listening Sessions are designed to create an appreciative environment of trust and openness so their natural wisdom can emerge. Within each Listening Session, young people, ages 13 - 19,Â co-createÂ paintings containingÂ their visions for transforming education. These paintings are visual stories containing the key themes that each group believes is essential to changing education. Visit our gallery to see some of these paintings. As we do Listening Sessions with young people all across the country, certain themes appear over and over again.Â These represent their collective voice, a voice rich in passion, ideas, and wisdom. Currently, we have done 20 Listening Sessions in locations such as San Francisco, CA;Â Birmingham, AL; Seattle, WA;Â Jackson, MS; Portland, OR, etc. In the past, the Listening Sessions have been self-funded, but today more than 40Â localities are asking us to do Listening Sessions. Learn more about our work here and email us with any questions at email@example.com Excited to share that an article about Imagining Learning by Charlie Kouns and David Loitz just want live on GOOD, an national magazine and online community for social good!Â How Can We Fix Education? Listen to Young People Many people have asked us if they could donate via check. The answer is a big yes. Here is the address to send the checks. Please email us and let us know so we can email a thank you note and thank you gift. Imagining Learning C/O Charlie Kouns P.O. Box 1410 Waynesville, NC 28786 Checks can be made out to Imagining Learning.Â How Will We Use the Funds? and Next Steps In 2013, more than 40 communities are asking us to do Listening Sessions. We will complete 50 total by June 2014. Our seed steward and filmmaker David Loitz has started production on a series of documentaries showcasing the stories of all the unique young voices we meet.Â In 2014, we will share a student field guide, so that young people across America can express to their communities the collective vision of how their think education should be transformed. In 2015, we intend to launch a major national event in Washington, DC, featuring these voice called, “Collective Voice: The Wisdom of Young People on Education.Â the event will feature: An exhibition of the student’s art for political, social, education, and cultural leaders; A national educational conference for students, educators, parents, advocates, and politicians; A feature book highlighting the visions of students across the country, to be shared with all attendees and education leaders across the United States. The key emergent themes from more than 75 Listening Sessions with young people from all backgrounds and walks of life will be presented along with many interactive sessions between young people and the adults present. It will be a time for true intergenerational exchange. Requested Listening Sessions We have created a series of tours of various regions of the country to keep costs down and to create a momentum and visibility for young people to know how serious we are about supporting their voice (learn more). Â Each Listening Session costs around $500 and most of that is travel. About 95% of your gift will go toward helping us travel.Â A small amount is for staffing help and the rest is for art supplies. Imagining Learning’s Founding Steward receives no personal compensation for leading the organization and the Listening Sessions. Letâs break down whatâs possible when a few committed people get together to enact change:Â Each Listening Session costs about $500. Just 20 people giving $25 each can make that happen.Â For the price of a $10 lunch, 50 people can bring the Imagining Learning revolution to a city thatâs begging for it.Â If you and two of your friends agreed to donate $20 each and then each found three more people to do the same, that would only need to happen 4 more times to raise over $21,000 for Imagining Learning!Â Activate your crowd to accelerate change and help us lead Listening Sessions in communities all across the country! Giving the Gift of a Listening Session! As you can see from the Listening Session paintings above, the collective voice of young people is vibrant and alive with ideas and much more. We believe that the stewardship of Imagining Learning is a partnership between all who support it, including you! To the right are a list of gifts you will receive for your donations. These gifts have been thoughtfully created in order for you to connect withÂ others about Imagining Learning and the national collective voice of young people. Other Ways to Help! In addition to contributing directly for our Listening Session Tours, we have a number of ways you might choose to join in! TELL EVERYONE you know about us! ShareÂ this link. Host a Listening Session in your community!Â Host us in Seattle or in Boulder, CO when we attend conferences in those cities. Donate in-kind gifts (see our Wish List page on the website) Offer your time and expertise or other items: Website: create an interactive chat section and more inspiring area for young people to share Fundraising: writing grants and helping us with strategic advice Donating flat files for storage of paintings Donating office space in the Asheville, NC area Offering us art supplies and paper for the paintings Offering supplies to help us create a documentary filmÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â
Listen to the recording of the interview with Charles Kouns and David Loitz to find out more about their wonderful initiative “Imagining Learning” designed to giving teens a voice to create a new vision for learning. www.imagininglearning.us And please join me in supporting this grass roots movement by donating to their Crowdfunding Campaign that is expiring in less than two weeks at www.IncitEd.org/projects/13
99 donors! Who is going to be number 100? Time to listen to our young people! http://www.incited.org/projects/13 Help Imagining Learning Reach 100 donors!
Which one of my 40,000 follower will be number 100! If you donate in the next 10 minutes, I have a special gift for you. Message me when you donate!
*EDUCATION NOW! In this June 6 Edition, host Athena Melville welcomes
Charles Kouns and David Loitz to discuss their project Imagining
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Imagining Learning has an inter-generational team of people from around the country who are working to bring forward young people’s voices about how they would transform education. They are writing, researching and
contacting communities around the country to arrange for Listening Sessions with teens, ages 13 - 19. Their wisdom, energy and passion for change are evident in the choices they are making for their own lives and for the future lives of young people in this country. We are excited they have such a commitment to change and invite you to meet them here.
Websites and links noted in this interview:
Facebook Page for Imagining Learning
You can listen,and download free anytime at the website. And please, join
us on the Education Now! Facebook page, or our Google + page to leave
comments and join the conversation.
Education Now! is a production of The Hermeneutic Institute for
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website at: http://www.amshq.org/Events/Local%20Events.aspx