Dear Families and Friends of the Columbus Learning Cooperative,
We'd like take this opportunity to share our journey and reflections of our first full month at the Columbus Learning Cooperative.
Devin Fraze, the director of CLC, describes some aspects of our emerging path of shared learning and discovery:
"At CLC, we are all co-authors and co-creators. But understanding self-directed learning has not been without challenges. Deciding on cleaning and governance and roles has required each of us to be part of that discussion. This is often very new territory."
Devin is currently teaching three classes. But what delights him most are the small lessons that occur all the time. It is not just running a class on habits or questions or math but being able to integrate habits and questions and math into every moment, when the situation is ripe and the kids are most available to that learning. That is what is most excites him about our program.
While interviewing other teachers at CLC about the first full month of our school, each shared their view of how CLC is working. Kate Weigel, who teaches Art Appreciation and Woodworking said:
"Everyone is becoming more comfortable with this idea [of self-directed learning] and with what might be possible. But even when you say "anything is possible," it is difficult to understand what that means. We don't realize that "anything is possible" is still informed by what we already know to be possible. Because of this our progress happens slowly. As [pioneers] of this program, [our first enrollees] are dipping their toes into the pool of infinite possibility- testing the waters and beginning to take risks and explore. That is what this month has been about."
And just last week, Tommy Jones, who leads outdoor explorations of Columbus each Friday, organized a quest for the our members. Tommy drew a picture of a place and everyone had to find this place by exploring our neighborhood. Tommy said:
"In these processes, we are becoming more familiar with our surroundings. We aren't looking at our phones. We are not participating in a virtual reality. We are completely and whole-heartedly engaged in what we are doing. We are directly interacting with Columbus as a community and a city and as a place to learn and develop. We are discovering the physical spaces inside Columbus and a world inside ourselves."
Devin Fraze is introducing computer programming and cultivating the agency that connects curiosity to the vast resources of information and opportunity that are always available, WIlliam Dunlap is using Risk to teach critical thinking. Ulises Cruz is collaborating with Jeremiah to make a potato gun. Kate Weigel has taken her Art Appreciation class on four tours of exhibitions at Mint, OSU Wexner Center, CMA and CCAD. Tommy Jones is taking everyone out on Friday adventures to explore and discover buildings in our neighborhood. And we are each learning about ourselves - exploring our joys, our frustrations, our talents and our perceived limits. Everything, and everyone, has something to teach us.
Please consider joining us next Thursday (the 17th), 7-9pm to learn more about our programs, find out how you can volunteer or enroll your student. There will be some examples of recent student projects and light refreshments will be served! All are welcome.
Enjoying sharing the journey,
Marcelle Gilkerson, Mentor
(on behalf of)
Devin Fraze, Director and Principal
Kate Weigel, Multimedia Director
Ulises Cruz, Teacher
Tommy Jones, Teacher
William Dunlap, Teacher
In the wholeheartedness of concentration, world and self begin to cohere. With that state comes an enlarging: of what may be known, what may be felt, what may be done.” - Jane Hirshfield