As many of our readers already know, the Educational Institute for Democratic Renewal at the Woodring College of Education at Western Washington University, that houses the Journal of Educational Controversy, also partners with a creative, innovative and progressive school, the Whatcom Day Academy, to promote a democratic vision on what schools can be. Our work together is also associated with the League of Democratic Schools, a project initiated by educator, John Goodlad. On our institute’s page, readers can read about the philosophy of the school and view some of the videos featuring actual practices in the school along with a slide show of student art in which Susan Donnelly, the head of the school, guides the viewer into seeing more deeply into the artistic creations and evolution of young children’s drawings. On that page, the viewer can also view a section of a public forum that the Institute sponsored, in which teacher, Vale Hartley, describes her use of Socratic questioning with her young students along with short video clips that illustrate her technique. Readers can also read Vale’s article in our journal’s issue on Schooling as if Democracy Matters and Susan’s articles in our issue on Art, Social Imagination and Democratic Education.
One of the goals of both the Institute and the Whatcom Day Academy is to provide leadership to the community. I am so pleased to announce that Susan Donnelly in conjunction with Professor Matthew Miller of Western Washington University has received a $30000 grant that will enable them to both develop new ideas for childhood literacy practices but also to share their ideas with the community.
Congratulations to Susan and Matt. We hope to share more about this in future blogs.
But our readers will not have to wait too long to learn more about Susan’s school. Susan Donnelly is the co-editor for the upcoming summer issue of the Journal of Educational Controversy. In addition to our printed articles, readers can anticipate a lot of video footage highlighting innovative practices in schools. The theme for the issue is, “The Education and Schools Our Children Deserve.” For a look at another school in the League, see our post below on Schools that Make a Difference: A Look at the League of Democratic Schools.