Beacon helps young people be true to themselves now because the best preparation for a meaningful and productive future is a meaningful and productive present.
People naturally want to learn and grow
Under the right circumstances, in the right environment, the drive to learn kicks in. When we change the approach, the structure, and the assumptions, all kinds of other changes can follow.
It really is okay to leave school and rethink education
Does education need to be so complicated? Why not learn for the value of learning? Moreover, young people can achieve a meaningful and successful adulthood without going to school. We have repeatedly seen Beacon members, and youth from other Liberated Learners' centers, go on to college and other productive endeavors.
Change the learning environment and change the learner
Remove school paradigms, such as grades, testing and other forms of external validation and open wide pathways to intrinsic motivation. What are you good at? What do you love to do? Discover there are many ways to learn: internships, online classes, projects, tutorials, work experiences, self-study. At Beacon we inspire learning, not force it.
Learning happens everywhere
As one Beacon member who had recently left school observed, “Everything I do, counts now.”
At Beacon, we see the the whole person and take the time to know them and understand them. We give them a space, the time and the tools to help them develop, understand themselves, and identify and meet personally meaningful goals.
Self-Directed Learning is lifelong learning
Being a lifelong learner is essential in a world that is changing as rapidly as the one we live in. Meaningful experiences that cultivate intrinsic curiosity and motivation are the essential ingredients for a life that embodies Beacon's core values:
Autonomy. Mastery. Purpose.
We want our children to be self-motivated, and to value learning for its own sake, which is central to the nature of an inspired learner. Voluntary (rather than compulsory) classes, the ability to choose what one studies rather than following a required curriculum, and the absence of tests and grades supports and facilitates intrinsic motivation and self-directed learning.
TedX talks at Amherst - exploring inspiring ideas that have disrupted societies, markets, and world standards. Ken Danford, Beacon's Mentor and founder of North Star speaks on education and the driving philosophies behind Self-Directed Learning for teens.