Who’s Who in the Island Alternoverse?

Island alternoocrat Lobie Daughton sent around an email today to the friends of the Full Circle Cooperative School. Because he cc’d the email to all of the 44 friends, I got an interesting glimpse into “who’s who” in the so-called “alternative community” on the Island. When you see all of their names together, you realize there’s a potent force to be reckoned with there, from which Full Circle is perhaps the greatest and most public product.

I’ve talked to at least three sets of parents in recent years who have sent their kids to Full Circle, and all have told a similar tale of children flowering once the weight of public school was lifted from their shoulders. It’s an exciting place, and worthy of support. And because they’re a registered charity now, supporting them is tax deductible.

So today, while I’m in the business of giving out lifestyle suggestions, let me further suggest the following: if you were dissatisified with your own public school education, and wished that there had been an “out,” a place where learning happened differently, and with different emphasis, perhaps you could make a donation? Details are available on their website.


Rob Paterson's picture
Rob Paterson on January 1, 2004 - 15:05 Permalink

Nancy came to have a chat with me several years ago as she was thinking about setting up the school. I think that she is a remarkable person. One who combines gentleness with an iron will. If I had young children today her school would be my only choice. Next to our home and our parental culture, school has a huge impact on our mindset. Her school offers an openness and a sense of enquiry. It also breaches the age cohort and brings back kids helping kids as an essential part of the process. I think that school as we have it on offer today in the mainstream is one of the most destructive forces in society.

Now that is quite a statement so I had better explain myself a bit. When I step back and ask myself what does school really teach us — this is what I com up with and hence my disquiet.

1. School teaches us that we must above all be obedient to authority. The teacher is the fount of wisdom and being still and quiet are vital aspects of behaviour. Above all do not question

2. School teaches us that only rational thought is important. All other forms of learning especially kinesthetic are off limits and are out of scope.

3. School teaches us that that simple cause and effect rules the world. In particular that knowledge is made up of separate and discrete parts.

4. School teaches us that school is where we learn and that all other learning that takes place outside of a formal context is not valid.

5. School teaches most kids that they are unworthy. As they do not fit this grid, they are losers for life

6. School has become a bastion for feminine values where boys are bored silly and likely do badly or fail. I know I have just waved the red flag. But for you mothers out there — how are boys doing? All the evidence is that as a group boys are having a miserable time at school.

7. School professionalizes teaching and thus excludes meaningful participation by parents and by other kids. The age cohort is ruthlessly enforced making inappropriate peer pressure the norm.

I could go on but won’t

Kelly's picture
Kelly on January 3, 2004 - 04:53 Permalink

My Goodness, they require a redesigned web presence! I couldn’t even read description of their learning plan; the Pink type on Green background. Thanks for the info, I never knew an alternate learning experience such as this was even available on the Island.

Ken's picture
Ken on January 3, 2004 - 05:55 Permalink

It’s the first of it’s kind here, I heard on the news PEI is or was the only province with 100% public school attendance, but there must be some home schooled kids as well. Anyway I wish they’d reform high school to fit me but that is 20 years too late and self centred, so this new school sounds like the next best thing to homeschooling, besides donating money send an email to Hon. Mildred Dover, Minister of Education, Premier Binns, and your local representative in the Legislature. They should support his and must be asked repeatedly until they do.

Sandy's picture
Sandy on January 5, 2004 - 01:03 Permalink

There are lots of homeschool families on PEI. I am not sure of the numbers, but I think well over 100. There is a homeschooling organization, but I think that it mainly consists of those who homeschool for religious reasons.

My husband and I are still trying to decide what to do about school for our children (4yrs. / 1yr.), but it is great to have some choices available.