Personal Favorite Resources*

*related to “What is Self-Directed Education?” and “Is ALC for my self and my family?”



These Sir Ken Robinson talks are classics for those interested in what our school system is, where it came from, what it does, and how it is/isn’t related to education.

Here’s the RSA Animate video on changing paradigms.

Of course, all his videos are pretty spectacular…


The ALC-NYC website––has a pretty great video resource page, too…

Trusting Children to Learn

Marley Richards (age 12) helps us see education from from a child's perspective.

Posted by Alliance for Self-Directed Education on Friday, March 10, 2017


These videos were shared by the new and exciting Alliance for Self-Directed Education.

There’s more at Self-Directed.Org

What is Self-Directed Education?

Peter Gray describes Self-Directed Education. Learn more at the brand new home for the Alliance.

Posted by Alliance for Self-Directed Education on Thursday, December 8, 2016

ALC Specific

The Agile Learning Centers network website has information about what the model is and the philosophy behind it. It’s got a lot of information, put together by the original ALFs over the course of three summer sessions. Use the “Education Model” tab at the top to jump to the topic most interesting to you.

Peek into ALC-NYC!

The only question that comes up at NYC info sessions that isn’t covered on the FAQ page is our status with the state. The answer to that is we’re an education-centered 501(c)(3), chartered through New York State as a non-public school, and able to award private school diplomas. Simply: yes K-12, yes diploma-granting, and no to homeschool registration paperwork.


Free To Learn

by Dr. Peter Gray

This is a book I recommend to those new to Self-Directed Education as an accessible, well-written introduction by one of the most foremost experts on the topic. 

Anthropology of Childhood: Cherubs, Chattel, Changelings

by Dr. David Lancy

A little more dense than Free to Learn, this book is a great for those interested in how human ideas about childhood have changed over time and how the influence of such changes on our ideas about education.

Far From The Tree

by Andrew Solomon

While in every relationship the individuals involved are magnificent, strange universes, sometimes reading striking illustrations–such as these case studies in which parents reflect on their relationships with their distinctly different children–helps me reflect on my perspective and relationships.

Super Parents, Super Children

by Frances Kendall

This one is slightly more obscure…It’s a parenting book lent to me by a friend back when I was first practicing facilitating. I read it in two subway rides, and it helped me put language to some of my ideas about responsibility, consequences, and engaging with young people in a way that’s more about empowerment than control. I honestly haven’t read it a second time, and I couldn’t point to what specifically I learned from it; however, I distinctly remember it clarifying my language and thinking in helpful ways.

How to Love

by Thich Nhat Hanh

I relate to facilitation as a practice, because my facilitation is connected to my work being in relationship in ways that recognize, cherish, celebrate, and make space for the continued blossoming of the best in all involved. This is a book I keep on hand (and frequently replace quietly when curious minds pocket the copy I have at school), along with it’s companion booklet True Love, because it has lots of light, clear action steps tied to the kind of love I’m trying to practice.

Here’s the Brainpickings synopsis.

There are tons of other resources relevant for Self-Directed Education, Agile Learning Centers, facilitation, self-reflection, how we learn, schooling versus education, etc. 

Sometimes they’re clearly related (like Akilah Richards’ amazing podcast, Blake Boles’ work, and anything on Adventure Playgrounds). Sometimes they’re less obvious (like The Little Prince movie, bell hooks’ writings, Neofuturist shows, and the Bronx Zoo lion sign explaining how cubs learn through play). Always, though, discovering a new resource makes me smile. What are your favorites?