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Schools Of Conscience, Issue #026- Changing website- New Video- New Book
August 20, 2018

A Word From Don

Thank you for your patience with the lengthy gap in newsletters. The changes that are coming are a thorough re-thinking of what the work of Schools of Conscience entails. I am still figuring it all out, but you can get a sense of the new direction from the description of the book below and by watching the video.

I am changing the website for Schools of Conscience. The new site will be at The old website content for the public is being gradually reposted on my blog at I have not yet decided how I will archive the member's only content.


Don Berg, Founder

Schools of Conscience Newsletter Contents

Event: Movies on Oct. 12th at PSU - Being & Becoming plus Summerhill

New Book: More Joy, More Genius

New Video: Back to Basics 2.0

Being and Becoming along with Summerhill

As part of the Portland State of Mind annual celebration we are co-hosting the screening of two films, a documentary for adults and a based-on-a-true story children's drama.

Being and Becoming explores the choice not to school ones children, to trust them and to let them learn freely what they are passionate about.

Through four countries, the US, Germany (where it's illegal not to go to school), France and the UK, the film is one parent's truth quest about the natural desire to learn.

[from IMdB]

Based on a true story, written by an alumnus, and partly filmed at Summerhill school, this award winning movie is an enchanting drama that will captivate the whole family.

Maddy, an eleven year old broken by exam pressures, and Ryan, a fourteen year old all but abandoned by his feckless dad after being chucked out of other schools, are new arrivals who find healing and happiness in the parent-free Neverland.

They find that being held responsible for their own learning by the school community changes them in ways they would never imagine.

But when an inspection report goes against the school, staff and pupils join forces to do battle against the government.

[based on IMdB and this review in the Independent]

What: The movies Being and Becoming with Summerhill

When: 7:00PM on Friday, October 12th, 2018

Where: Portland State University, Smith Memorial Hall, Rooms 327 and 238

How Much: FREE!

The movies will be screened simultaneously in two separate rooms.

Both screenings will be followed by discussion.

The adults will be treated to a panel of local folks associated with self-directed learning (and we are hoping to have the filmmaker, too).

The children will be treated to improv games and activies that will help them think about and discuss their movie.

Brought to you by Schools of Conscience in association with
Portland Alliance for Self-Directed Education
Village Free School
Village Home Education Resource Center
Portland State University

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More Joy, More Genius Book

By Don Berg

More Joy, More Genius is about how to sustainably fuel deeper learning by inviting more joy into K-12 schools.

When students or teachers run out of motivation and disengage, the purpose of school is defeated in the same way that running out of gas defeats the purpose of a car; that’s why cars have fuel gauges.

Psychologists have already developed the tools to gauge the fuel for deeper learning; school leaders just need to start using them.

More Joy, More Genius provides you with the tools you need to encourage your favorite school leaders to better manage the fuel for learning.

Refilling that gas tank is as simple as supporting the joys of teaching and learning.

The tools are:

  • Back to Basics 2.0: Rethinking what’s basic in K-12
    (an expansion of the video script)
  • A Theory of Deeper Learning
  • A policy resolution to help you organize a deeper learning reform campaign
  • Design criteria for making deeper learning into a sustainable organizational habit

Be a Pre-Publication Reader:

I need readers to give me feedback about how to improve the book.

If you e-mail me I will send you a confidential pre-publication manuscript.

FYI- It is currently ~28,000 words long which would make the book about 100 pages.

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Back to Basics 2.0 Draft Video

This is a draft, so e-mail me your comments and questions to help me make it better.

Is it ready to be released?

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