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Friday - 6/21
Breakout Sessions

12:30 pm - 1:45 pm. 

Breakout Session | Derek Peterson 
Introduction to Changing the World"Introduction to Changing the World" is an experiential and engaging seminar designed to empower individuals by amplifying their voices through coherence change-making practices. We enable participants to practice timeless grassroots lobbying skills, while guiding them to identify their benchmarks for change making. Participants will explore the process of capacity building, foster group cohesiveness, and use coherence to compel change. This seminar has been taught for 40+ years by its creator. Designed at Prescott College in the mid 1980’s, he has taught it around the world. Attendees leave with a renewed sense of focus and tools to effect meaningful change.
Breakout Session | Terri Broce 
Student-Led Conferences - A profound experience for all involved: The Student-Led Parent-Teacher Conference doesn’t take away from teaching and learning time, it IS the learning. Children from pre-k through 12th grade become their own best educational advocates, fostering lifelong reflection, growth and learning. Let's delve into the why, then explore ways to create the hows that work for your children. The child is leader and partner in every step of this ongoing process. Get ready to be awed by the children. They’re much more capable than we permit.
Breakout Session | Julie Giles, Denise Marti, Norah Watkins,                                            Isabelle Bolynn
Breaking the Mold: Revolutionizing Upper Education with Heutagogy - Are you ready to challenge the status quo in education? Join forces with Julie Giles and Denise in our groundbreaking workshop, 'Breaking the Mold: Revolutionizing Upper Education with Heutagogy.' This session is designed for educators who dare to think differently and are eager to disrupt traditional teaching paradigms. We'll take you on a deep dive into the contrasting worlds of heutagogy, andragogy, and pedagogy, revealing why heutagogy’s learner-centered approach is the game-changer American education needs right now. Engage in interactive and thought-provoking activities that will equip you with unconventional strategies for dialoguing with students, reimagining assignments, and reshaping teacher-student dynamics. This workshop is not just about tweaking your teaching methods; it's about transforming them entirely. We're calling on all rule-breaking educators to join us in redefining the future of education through empowerment, innovation, and bold new perspectives. Let's create learning environments where students don't just learn—they thrive on their own terms.
Gaia Democratic School | TBD

Saturday - 6/22
Breakout Sessions

9:15 am  - 10:30 am 

Elmarie Hyman
How should I decide? - the role of critical thinking and global social awareness in a successful democracies and creative ways to teach it - Often students are not exposed to resources or encouraged to develop critical thinking and global social awareness as they grow up because all that most educational environments focus on is how to do well on the next test. The test of life presents other challenges, however. How do we make informed decisions? How do we teach logic and other decision making tools in a creative way that engages students to learn these crucial skills for any successful democracy and life? Let's put our heads together and discuss practical steps towards the goal of well-informed citizens of the world.
 Nasiyah Isra-Ul & Sharown Isra-Ul
Innovative, Intergenerational, Intentional: How Youth and Grown-Ups Can Unite to Rethink Education Together - In this session, Mother-daughter team, Nasiyah and Sharown, present on the 5 components of intergenerational activism, community advocacy, and education innovation. It's very rare to see youth advocating for or leading education alternatives, and older generations are often the ones running the alternative/unconventional learning sites. But Nasiyah believes that the best education solutions are created in collaboration with the learners the solution intends to serve, so how can we work together, uniting the various generations to reform and innovate in education?
 Don Berg 
Measuring Educational Nutrients and Toxins: The Instant Climate Formative Climate Assessment Tool - If a school uses a spoonful of sugar to disguise the same psychological toxins as mainstream schooling, it is NOT an alternative. Discerning the toxins from the nutrients is critically important. Agency is the educational nutrient that need to be maximized. Imposed authority can be an educational toxin that needs to be minimized. Academics are a neutral ingredient that can be safely de-emphasized, though not eliminated. The Instant Climate Formative Climate Assessment Tool prototype helps school leaders to quickly assess how well they support the well-being and deepen the learning of both children and adults.
Monica Cochran & Kathy Magnusson 
Embracing Diversity: Using Strength Based Learning Approaches with Neurodivergent Learner -
Neurodiversity is the idea that different ways of thinking and learning are natural and valuable. Neurodivergent learners have diverse neurological characteristics, such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia, trauma, and others . They often face challenges in a system that focuses on their struggles instead of their strengths. In this workshop, you will learn how to use strength-based approaches with neurodivergent learners, and discover the secret sauce ingredients that make this approach work. You will also learn how to support and accommodate their unique brain wiring, so that their strengths and talents can shine through.
Zaynab Baalbaki & Skylar L. Primm
How Teacher-Powered Schools Foster Student and Teacher Democracy - Teacher-Powered Schools bring democratic design to schools. Educators using Teacher-Powered models focus on collaborative structures, student-centered learning, and sharing power with students, families, and communities. This workshop will showcase a model that can be tailored to individual schools’ needs. Since each team creates the best system for their students and staff, each Teacher-Powered school is unique. Attendees will leave with a framework to equitably address student success by reflecting on their teacher autonomies and gain a better understanding of how Teacher-Powered practices have been shown to cultivate a positive, democratic learning environment for all stakeholders.
Ashley Nielsen 
Self-Design Principles and Elements - 5-85 years old - 
An essential element of democracy is the freedom of choice. A self-design educational environment builds this skill and others needed to be able to participate in a democracy if designed well. No matter what age the student is, 5 - 85 years old, there are common themes to the self-design/individualized educational environment. This session will begin with moving through a series of questions to discuss and reveal these universal principles. Next, we will highlight design/undesign elements of a learning environment so learners can thrive with the freedom of choice.
Jerry Mintz
Starting & Sustaining An Alternative (Session 1)  -
In this Multi - part-session Jerry will guide participants through starting and sustaining an educational alternative. Jerry has over 30 years experience consulting and being a part of hundreds of startups.  This session will lead into session 2. Participants will come away with practical steps and an outline for starting and sustaining an alternative. 
Amy Marotz
Hit the Road: A Practical Guide to Roadschooling for Adventure and Learning  - Embark on a transformative journey with "Hit the Road: A Practical Guide to Roadschooling for Adventure and Learning." Led by Amy Marotz, M.Ed, this dynamic workshop invites educators AND students on an exploration of innovative education beyond the classroom. Discover how Roadschooling enriches learning through real-world experiences and place-based education. Gain practical insights into planning and implementing unforgettable road trips that blend adventure and academic enrichment seamlessly. Prepare to ignite a passion for learning as you embrace the open road and unlock boundless opportunities for discovery. Join us for an empowering adventure that will revolutionize your approach to education.

Sunday - 6/23

Carl Rust 
How We Can Take Over Public Schools - 
With teacher and other staff shortages we have a unique opportunity to take over public schools. They are so desperate for help that they will "tolerate" democracy and freedom to get warm bodies in classrooms. I have been teaching since August in a public school and have received almost zero pushback for running the class democratically and encouraging learners to be self-directed.
Ali Ronder & Terri Sperry
Accreditation? What is it good for anyway? - 
Finding our way together - improvement through reflective self evaluation: A holistic approach to democratic school development. Teri and Ali will share simple activities with profound results for understanding the unique needs of the members of a school community and how to harness the power of the organization to meet those needs.
Jerry Mintz 
Starting & Sustaining An Alternative (Session 2)  -In this Multi - part-session Jerry will guide participants through starting and sustaining an educational alternative. You can join this session even if you didn't attend session 1. Jerry has over 30 years experience consulting and being a part of hundreds of startups.  This session will lead into session 2. Participants will come away with practical steps and an outline for starting and sustaining an alternative. 
Steve Hornstein  
Why doe we really have schools (or home schooling)
anyway? - 
Far to often schools exist without really defining what
they are trying to achieve. This workshop will help participants to define for themselves what they want their graduates to do in their lives. The workshop will then explore schooling approaches that actually promote grads doing these things (as opposed to simply learning how to do things, or about things.
Peter Berg
Democracy, The Education Revolution & Youth Mental Health Democracy is crucial for agency and freedom, the education revolution is about creating this freedom, youth mental health isn't in
the best of states right now. What does one of these have to do with the other? This is what we will explore during this interactive session. 
Denice Dixon 
Microschools as a Solution to Educational Inequities
Objective: Discuss how microschools can address and mitigate longstanding educational inequities. Content: I will present data on the effectiveness of microschools in diverse communities. I will have panel discussions with microschool parents and students who can share firsthand experiences. Interactive: Participants can solve hypothetical challenges based on inequities seen in their area.
Terry Travers 
Empowering Connections: Harnessing Self-DirectedLearning for Parent-Child Bonding
Join us for an engaging workshop designed to guide parents through the vast landscape of self-directed learning and its capacity to strengthen the parent-child relationship. This session delves into recognizing and celebrating the unique qualities of each child, understanding their individual strengths, and leveraging these insights to foster a supportive learning environment. Through personal anecdotes and proven strategies, we'll uncover key parenting lessons that pave the way for deeper connections and a tailored educational journey. Discover how to empower your child's learning experience, ensuring it's not just educational but also a journey of mutual growth and understanding.
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Why The Education Revolution is Crucial
For Democracy

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