—Systemic change begins with personal change—

144: Nikole Beckwith, part 1: Education and leadership


While Nikole's being a celebrated director and writer is a great reason to feature her and listen to her, I approached her because she graduated from Sudbury Valley School. I hope you've heard of Sudbury. If not, it's likely a different school than any you've heard of. Learning about in inspired me to learn as much as I could about it. Here are many of the links I read on it. As an educator I am as fascinated by its success and how it overturns my view of childhood, education, and humanity, as well as my own childhood. What better background could I find and feature on it than a student who loved her experience there and shares it. Nikole shares openly about herself, her childhood, her education before Sudbury and at Sudbury. This episode is longer than most, in part because I believe you'll find self-directed learning as fascinating as I do. I recommend learning about self-directed learning as part of learning about yourself, democracy, systems, . . . many important things in life. This conversation was beautiful to me. I relived trials and things about my childhood I couldn't stand. I don't know if self-directed learning would work for me, but I would love to have tried it. Her describing democracy in action made me think about the authoritarian-based schooling I experienced. Don't get me wrong, I loved it. I reached the pinnacle of education and did well. I teach now, but not rooted in authority. Not self-directed, though, either, since for college students who are making their way in the world based on their interests, I prefer project-based learning. By the way, speaking of the environment, walking around Silver Lake after this conversation, I kept passing taco stands and asked if I could get a taco without disposable anything, but not one could. So I missed out on Silver Lake tacos. Read the transcript.

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