Prog. Summit_402

Alfie Kohn, Keynote speaker along with Danique Dolly, Principal of City Neighbors High School, our students, and Cheyenne King, AP of CNHS.

Last Saturday over 300 folks gathered at City Neighbors to hear Alfie Kohn speak, to share best practices, and to create new possibilities for partnerships at the 3rd Annual Baltimore Progressive Education Summit.

The Summit has grown these past three years into an event where folks from across the many worlds of education gather to work together.  Charter schools, traditional schools, private schools, home schools, universities, businesses, non-profits, and families all come together to consider and imagine what our schools – all of our schools – could really be.    Through the workshops led by over 25 of our local schools and organizations, we explored everything from the best innovative practices of teaching and learning to race and culture in our schools to the existential challenges of standardization, testing, centralization and quantification.

Our Keynote, Alfie Kohn, spoke passionately about his beliefs.    He outlined for us a progressive vision of schools – where learning is authentic, children are honored in the deepest ways, and motivation is internal and genuine.   Alfie told us many stories of children and teachers, doing the work of learning.   With a beautifully illustrated anectode, an occasional yell, or a teasing provocation, he took us to the edge of our own beliefs.    He challenged us with his strong stance on standardized testing, homework, and the impact of separate school systems for the rich and the poor.    Whether folks were offering enthusiastic applause (and an eventual standing ovation) or whether folks were confronted by his challenging vision,  Alfie made us think.  And for that we are grateful.

We want to thank the hundreds of teachers, the folks from foundations and community partners, our university representatives, our student ambassadors, and the many City Neighbors volunteers who worked hard to make the event run smoothly.  Thanks to Zeke’s for the great breakfast and The Women’s Industrial Kitchen for the great lunch.  We were able to offer the Summit for free with the generosity of many foundations and businesses.  Thank you!

Check out some more photos HERE!

We’ll see you at the 4th Annual Progressive Education Summit next January!