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A school of our own: Where the children live
DISSERTATION

, University of Alberta , Canada

University of Alberta . Awarded

Abstract

A School of Our Own: Where the Children Live is a story of schooling. It ventures to weave a vision of schooling into several versions, at least three PLACES where schooling can happen--up to 2020 A.D. and beyond. The stories are built on the weaving metaphor and a profound sense of place. Experiences of the author weave themselves into and through a conversation with her granddaughter and her great-granddaughter, through a Book of Schools, an historical journey through the research (A Logbook), and a fictional (and critical) journey (conversation) through the Internet. In telling the story of these utopian schools, the author creates a place for school in the daily life of the community. The children engage fully in the place; they LIVE there. Parents and community members and resources are integral to the daily happenings of A School. Each child works at what interests him/her, yet the learning often revolves around a particular place created in the classroom or found in the community. As one student becomes interested in the Amazon jungle, for example, the others are drawn in and the classroom becomes a jungle ... where the children live ... and learn.

From the one-room schoolhouse and tutoring to private schools, boarding schools, non-coercive schools, free schools, home schools, charter schools and virtual schools, the journey of research includes stories (The Once and Future King), movies (Dead Poet's Society), and Summerhill, Sudbury Valley, Montessori, Steiner, and Dewey, for example. Each school is different; each school has an impact. Each story is intended to perturb the reader, to push boundaries, and expand comfort zones. It is an exploration that weaves in and out of the question of "what school can and should be".

In the end, the journey comes together in conversation--on the Internet where a wide variety of interested commentators/critics enter lively and feisty conversation over A School of Our Own--in a gentler return to conversation with the granddaughter and ... another Place!

Citation

Reynolds, K. A school of our own: Where the children live. Ph.D. thesis, University of Alberta. Retrieved December 1, 2020 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

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