Mar 3, 2021
- Kristen grew up in Tampa, Fl and attended
public schools her whole education. For elementary school she
attended an IB school. As a gifted student, she was given many fun
opportunities such as: Battle of the Books and
- In Middle, she felt a huge shift in pressure.
She had 4 hours of homework, so she switched to a local public
school. It was not very challenging though, and felt really
uninspired to attend.
- In high school, she moved to Texas. She
attended the 5th largest high school in the nation. It wasn’t a
positive experience. She noticed a huge cheating culture,
especially in the AP classes. Her opinion of education changed and
led her to an interest in self-directed learning.
- In her experience, elementary school was more
project-based, which left a lot of autonomy for the students.
Middle School focuses more on punishment and the relationships with
your teachers are shallow due to the constraints of scheduling and
organizational needs with so many students.
- She wasn’t quite sure what she wanted to major
in at the college level. She came upon self-directed learning on
her own online and became really interested in it. She found a
democratic school near her and asked to observe. Shortly after, she
began interning at the school while attending college. She earned
her degree in Child Learning and Development.
- Alternative education was not even mentioned in
her program, except Waldorf and Montessori. As part of a
presentation in school, Kristen showed the TED ED talk by Logan LePlante
and it sparked a lot of
- In democratic schools, students meet regularly
to vote on rules, how to allocate funds, etc. Mentors at the school
support the students by reminding them of the time, to eat, help
organize events and field trips, and be available to support them
however they need. Some of these schools offer classes or clubs
which students can opt into.
- At the democratic school where Kristen
interned, she offered a maker’s space and some classes in
psychology and tech.
- The school eventually developed into an Agile
Learning Center and moved to a new location, so Kristen
collaborated with others to develop a Liberated Learner’s Center
for ages 4-18. At the center, there were classes, games, and
workshops offered to students - all opt in.
- During Covid, Kristen transitioned to
- Democratic schools are schools where students
vote on how to run the school. They vary in style - Sudbury and
Summerhill are two examples of this model.
- Agile Learning Centers are schools where the
goal is more about intention. It’s run sociocratically. Students
use tools to visually keep track of their goals. Students are
offered pop-up classes and workshops based on their
- Liberated Learning Centers are based on the
North Star approach where each student is offered a mentor and
classes are offered to students based on their interests. They are
given a lot of guidance and support during the
- According to Kristen, mentoring (as opposed to
teaching) is great for three reasons; the learners want to be there
and are excited to attend your class and you have the opportunity
to build a deeper relationship since you share a passion with the
learner, and lastly you get to teach something you love. You aren’t
seen as an authority figure, so communication is open and trusting.
The learners get to decide what they learn related to the
- Galileo is a global online school for self directed
learners. They offer clubs where students get to decide when and if
they participate. Students have the freedom to try the clubs, but
aren't obligated to attend. The clubs provide challenges and
skill-building based on what the students want to know. The clubs
meet weekly. If they need help between club sessions, students can
contact the facilitators per message.
- In self-directed learning, learners get to
choose who they learn from and when it’s the right time to learn
that specific topic. In self-directed learning, there’s complete
flexibility in how you learn and what you learn, which gives
students the option to go as far as they want in any given
- Kristen has fun plans for her clubs at
Galileo this year. She will be offering game
development boot camps and Game Jams, where students work in teams
to complete a game around a theme. Through these clubs, learners
are exposed to software and experiences that adults and
professionals use as well.
Helpful Resources Mentioned in Today's
Battle of the Books
Ducky 3D YouTube Channel
Polygon Runway YouTube Channel
Brackeys YouTube Channel
Galileo Use code “Rogue Learner” and save $100 off your
Switched on Pop Podcast
Up and Vanished
LeVar Burton Reads
Sapiens by Yuval Noah
Why are You Still Sending Your Kids
to School by Blake Boles
Ways to Connect
Google Play: https://podcasts.google.com/search/rogue%20learner