Saturday, April 10, 2010


We took a 2 week break to rest and refuel...well, we actually brought along the laptop and worked on grant proposals when the weather was bad, but it was a break none the less. We showed the latest rough cut to French friends involved in education and had very lively conversations. While they felt that French audiences would be aghast at certain cultural things (wearing a hat inside, table manners) and envious of others (the amount of open space we have) mainly they felt the film’s message is as important there as it is here. Their public schools also are dealing with more testing and less room for creativity in the classroom.

Today I spent 2 hours with Carol and Steve Rebscher planning fundraising parties at their house. In the process I shared about some of the resources for progressive educators I have discovered as I have researched for the film: The Coaltion of Essential Schools, the Deborah Meier Institute, Tghe Prospect Descriptive Processes. I am struck by how little we know about what has happened and is happening in progressive education across the US. Schooling is a local affair, and most teachers do not have time to look beyond their own community once they leave college. At least that was my case. I read trade magazines (that hardly touched progressive issues) and occasionally caught a book by Alfie Kohn or Jonathan Kozol, but I had almost no contact with other schools teaching the way we taught. Several groups have sprung up that may act as a bridge, but the recognition that progressive public schools have commonalities that are worth exploring is just reaching a larger conciousness. Perhaps that’s another way this film can help: letting folks know that they are not alone.

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