As a child I loved learning but hated school. There was so much I wanted to learn and understand but in school I was simply expected to do as I was told. I just didn’t fit into the one-size-fits-all model of education. My early educational experiences and forty years of working with other people who didn’t fit the mold have helped me become the learning facilitator I am today. I believe that all people are unique with our own strengths, challenges, experiences, and interests and that the best way to support learning is to start where each learner is and help them expand and extend their interests, experiences, and expertise from there.
I have used this guiding principle to help learners in business and in K-12 public and alternative schools, as Director of Educational Services at NeXT Computer, as an Education Professor teaching undergraduate and graduate-level education courses, and as principal of The Farm School in Summertown, TN. In this next phase of my time on Earth, I am really excited about bringing all that I have learned through these endeavors and offering that to the amazing mountain community of Idyllwild!
BA Psychology (UC Santa Cruz), MA Educational Psychology (UC Berkeley), PhD Science and Math Education (UC Berkeley)
An Interview that Features Me Talking About The Farm School
A Talk I Gave at a UU Church
A Segment of a Segment Where I Talk about my Work at The Farm’s Summer Program for City Kids
I was one of those kids who always did well in school and for the most part I enjoyed it. That was great and… the further I went in my education, especially by the time I got to graduate school, I realized that while I could easily perform up to and beyond expectations most of the time, I was scared that I didn’t know enough, that I wouldn’t be able to ask the right questions, that I might make a mistake that would blow my cover, … I think I felt this way in part because I had learned a lot about how to successfully respond to teachers’ questions, but hadn’t learned enough about asking and answering my own questions. I’ve often thought that standardized multiple-choice tests contributed to these fears because discrete questions were posed, there was always a right answer out of very few possibilities, and how you got to that answer didn’t really matter. Recognizing these fears, raising my own children, and working with learners of all ages—K-12, undergraduate, and graduate—helped me understand that life isn’t a multiple-choice test, that making mistakes motivates learning, and that deep understanding comes from exploring things that you really want to understand. Helping learners make these realizations at a younger age than I is what inspires me to do what we do.
BS Biology (Pennsylvania State University), MS Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (UC Santa Barbara), and PhD Science and Math Education (UC Berkeley)