Monday, November 29, 2010

Collaboration and Community in Education

There are two items I've worked on with my friend and colleague, Maria D ofNatural Math, that I would love for people to check out and comment on.  One is the conclusion of the "Family Educator Commons" article that we wrote for the Shareable website.  This part, entitled "Online Communities, Agile Methods and the Commons" addresses the common myth that homeschool students are sitting at home, tackling their subjects alone or with just the company of their immediate family.  We share one example of "a day in the life of" a homeschool student that shows how family educators, working within a community setting, share their different abilities and resources, usually in a non-monetary or informal bartering system, and work together to ensure that all their children receive a complete, stimulating, and individualized education.  We also discuss online education, the ability to change educational directions on the fly when something is not working, and what is possible when you channel the parents' commitment to their children's educational success into a connected and cohesive community.

On another front, I've been helping Maria with a grant proposal for her idea of constructing an international database of math education communities that want to support students and families in developing their math capabilities.  You can see her proposal to the Knight Foundation News Challenge, and even vote for or comment on it, at least through tomorrow.  Or if you miss that deadline (I don't know how long they will keep up the proposals), you can comment through her blog at  What would you like to see from an effort like this?

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