Creating good co-op communities

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Creating good co-op communities

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I believe that a progressive education creates good citizens. So often when we hear our governmental leaders or our business leaders talk about education, they always put it in the context of the economy or the Chinese are beating us or we have to prepare our children for jobs for the future. From my perspective, that is a side effect of a good education. In a democracy, education is there to educate good citizens, people who have the skills, the attributes, and the knowledge for self-governance, and I really think that should be the focus of education. A progressive education is about building community, about learning to live with the other people, about creating this sense that we're all equals and we're all in this together and we all have an equal voice in our society. I think that too often when we focus on vocational skills, what we're teaching children to do is live in a hierarchy with a teacher at the top instructing all of these children what to do. That's the model of business. That's not the model of a democracy where we're all equal. I think that a cooperative pre-school really is a very beneficial model through elementary school. By the time the children hit middle school, I don't know of many cooperatives because they don't really want their parents around that much, and I think it's really important for them to be separate from their parents.

Watch Video: Creating good co-op communities by Tom Hobson, ...

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Tom Hobson

Co-Op Preschool Teacher

Tom is a preschool teacher, blogger, artist, and author. For the past 10 years, he’s worked for the Woodland Park Cooperative preschools, teaching two to five year olds in Seattle, Washington where he lives with his wife and daughter. His award-winning blog, “Teacher Tom,” has earned him an international following as a leading proponent of a progressive, play-based curriculum and the cooperative model of early childhood education, as well as a fierce advocate for public policies that support the whole child and the teaching of democratic values to even our youngest citizens. His blog, like his classroom, is a place of exploration of the physical, social, political, emotional, and even spiritual world. It’s a place of experimentation, where the adults learn every bit as much as the children.

Tom is the author of A Parent’s Guide To Seattle, a regular speaker on early childhood education, a board member of the Fremont Arts Council, and a founding member of the Superhuggers performance art ensemble.

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