All posts tagged bioregions

Rural Learning: Joy and Exchange in the open spaces of North America


Most peoples individual decisions in life are dominated by their hopes for their children. Is the country the ideal child-rearing habitat?….Children do not choose their parents, their economic circumstances or their place of residence. Lets help them make the best of what they’ve got.

Colin Ward (1998) The Child in the Country

First Words

The time has come for me to embark on a book project to record a philosophy, theory, design and praxis happening in rural North American learning. In 2012 the forces of social imagination at flow in many projects along with a landscape in state and federal educational systems showing a de-regulatory trend combine in many places with an increased energy for a systemic redefinition of what learning “is” in rural areas and what the potential for new learning ecologies may be.  This project will attempt to build on the work of  giants in the field of education, sociology and rural geography as well as sociopolitical and participatory movements happening in North America and around the world. Ivan Illich, Colin Ward, John Stilgoe, Micheal Woods and others have contributed to the fields covered in this project with care and passion. Their work is paramount in understanding the currency of issues at play in rural learning today.  Beyond the academy and history of recorded work on topics,  movements like Transition Town Initiatives, The Innovation Lab of Colorado, Connected Learning from DML Central and many projects underway or proposed for Rural North America and Maine in particular will factor into the posts and pages that follow.

At root here is a project about rural children and the possibilities for their learning being liberated.  It will be part history, part geography and part design for recording a field guide to innovation in Rural Learning.  It is my hope that the project acts as catalyst to a wide group of individuals with varied interests and environments.  Our goal will be to build a better future with our children as co-designers in the open spaces of North America.

Call for research assistance:

If you are interested in or know of Rural Education or Rural Learning Exchange projects  from one room school houses and agricultural or marine trades education to  outdoor experiential education (that takes the place of “school”) or unschooling in the country please contact me or join the conversation:

@steelemaley #rurallearning

contact me:  steelemaley at gmail dot com

tags: rurallearning, rural_learning_exchange