*And please check out our Blog Posts for additional perspectives on and resources about Learning and Education.*
Resources for Children's Learning
PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) hosts a website devoted to teaching and learning for pre-K through high school. Here you will find free instructional resources for various disciplines - you can search by grade, subject, or media form to locate useful content. You will also find a Teachers' Lounge where you can look for and share teaching ideas and a page that features Digital Innovators. Additionally, PBS Education offers Professional Development materials.
National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian Institute)
This website offers a wide breadth of materials organized through Native Knowledge 360°. Under “Materials for Teachers and Students”, you’ll find lessons, websites, and videos that are searchable by: Subject, Nation, Grade, Language, Region, and Format. Follow the “Essential Understandings” link to familiarize yourself with “key concepts about the rich and diverse cultures, histories, and contemporary lives of Native Peoples. These concepts reflect a multitude of untold stories about American Indians that can deepen and expand your teaching of history, geography, civics, economics, science, engineering, and other subject areas.”
“Infusing Indigenous Perspectives in K-12 Teaching” (University of Toronto)
Here you will find a “materials that centre or focus on First Nations, Métis, and Inuit worldviews, experiences and knowledges for teaching in the K-12 classroom.” These materials are organized by Books, Kits & Games, Video & Audio, Lesson Plans, Indigenous Language Materials, Online Resources, and Course Support. Under “Lesson Plans,” you will also find a Teacher’s Toolkit on Indigenous Perspectives and a document outlining “Ontario’s Commitment to Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples”.
The link above takes you to a listing of great websites for kids. The links are organized by: Performer-Based, Symphony-Based, Music Game/Theory/History/Listening, and Teacher Resources. From learning about specific musical instruments and safe listening habits for kids to discovering jazz and different perspectives of an orchestral event, children of all ages can explore music and play musical games.
Michael Johnathon's Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour has partnered with the University of Kentucky to develop some classroom performing arts projects. "WOODSONGS in the CLASSROOM is a Music & Arts Education Project involving music, history, language arts and more designed to encourage community and creativity."
The learning resources, tools, and activities on this website introduce visual art as creative, exciting, and interactive. Learn about art and art history through online platforms and programs. Use your imagination to create unique art projects. Create a Still Life painting, decorate a 17th-century dollhouse, design an animated seascape, and much more!
This publisher of children's and young adults' reading material has great online resources for K-8 students. The link here will take you to a page with ready-made lesson plans—great for homeschoolers! If you want to navigate to other parts of the site, simply click the link, look to the left, and choose one of the many offerings.
A great resource for educators, administrators, policy-makers, and families! "Chalkbeat is a nonprofit news organization committed to covering one of America’s most important stories: the effort to improve schools for all children, especially those who have historically lacked access to a quality education." Currently, they report stories from Colorado, Indiana, Tennessee, New York, Newark, Detroit, and Chicago. Topics include: Who's In Charge (tracks policy & legislation), Movers & Shakers (introduces people & organizations driving education conversations), Are Children Learning (explains how state exams are changing), and The Other 60 Percent (examines how schools contribute to students' well-being).
Resources for Adult Learning
"Open Culture editor Dan Colman scours the web for the best educational media. He finds the free courses and audio books you need, the language lessons & movies you want, and plenty of enlightenment in between." This site is an amazing resource -- have fun exploring!
“Native America” Documentary Series (produced by Providence Pictures for PBS)
This 4-part Documentary Series moves across 15,000 years and thousands of miles. “Native America” chronicles the scientific, artistic, cultural, and technological achievements of communities living between (what is now) northern Canada and southern Peru. The series “reveals a belief that is shared by the diverse cultures of Native America — people are deeply connected to earth, sky, water, and all living things. It is a belief rooted in over ten thousand years of living on this land and continues to resonate in the lives of Native Americans to this day.” The website features a Native Voices blog (with a wide array of topics from DJing to traditional recipes to ceremonial rituals), Extended Video Interviews, and an animated series of Sacred Stories.
Tremendous online archive of avant-garde and Modernist works of art. The site contains countless videos, audio recordings, essays, and other documents produced by and about major artists like John Cage, Samuel Beckett, Yvonne Rainer, Trisha Brown, Yoko Ono, and many, many more.
Curious about the life of Danish thinker Søren Kierkegaard? Looking for resources on Africana Philosophy? Trying to understand the dynamics of Feminist Ethics? This continually updated online encyclopedia can help you find detailed information to answer these questions and much more in the ever-evolving realm of philosophy. The website includes the voices of scholars from around the world; its Table of Contents and Search tool enable you to dive into this exciting world.
The Poetry Foundation - Online and On-site Events -- Chicago
Established in 2003, "The Poetry Foundation works to raise poetry to a more visible and influential position in our culture. The Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry." You can search their website by Poet or School (Black Arts Movement, Beat, etc.). You can also browse by Poetry category, such as: Poems for Teens or Audio Poems. The site also contains resources for Educators and information on Events & Exhibits taking place at their home in Chicago.
Omega Institute - Online Learning and On-Site Events -- Rhinebeck, NY
Begun in 1977, the Omega Institute functions as a dynamic center for lifelong learning. It brings together exciting thinkers in the fields of spirituality and religion, the arts, the physical & social sciences, and the humanities through its initiatives and centers. Values of holism, community, sustainability, service, and integrity guide Omega's multi-faceted efforts. Check out their online and on-site offerings!
"Founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012, edX is an online learning destination and MOOC [Massive Open Online Course] provider, offering high-quality courses from the world’s best universities and institutions to learners everywhere. With more than 130 global partners, we are proud to count the world’s leading universities, nonprofits, and institutions as our members. EdX university members top the QS World University Rankings® with our founders receiving the top honors, and edX partner institutions ranking highly on the full list." These courses are free and many of them are self-paced. You can also pay a minimal fee to receive a certificate proving your completion of the class.
Resources for Environmental Learning
Center for Ecoliteracy -- Berkeley, CA
The Center provides resources and support for ecological education. These include reports on school projects related to food networks and sustainability as well as publications on cultivating ecological literacy. One of their primary initiatives involves redesigning school meal programs and supporting the creation of school gardens. The Center also facilitates conferences and professional development. You'll find articles, videos, recipes, and ways to connect with them on their site.
School Garden Learning Resources -- University of Georgia Extension website
This website provides helpful step-by-step instructions and tips for starting a school garden, lesson plan PDFs for Kindergarten through 8th Grade curricula, recipes and tips for cooking with school gardens, a list of additional resources (essays, books, etc.) on topics including Children's Health, Environmental Stewardship, and Academic Performance and Engagement, and much more. This site is well worth a look if you are interested in edible pedagogy and the learning garden movement!
Environmental Education Activities & Resources (National Education Association)
This site provides links to various organizations, projects, curricula, and posters that help kids and adults learn about our relationship to the natural world. Whether you are looking for creative home projects, short videos to supplement your teaching, resources about climate change or forest conservation & restoration, or materials to create lessons about environmental justice, this is a great resource to explore.
The Children & Nature Network are “leading a global movement to increase equitable access to nature so that children– and natural places–can thrive. We do this by investing in leadership and communities through sharing evidence-based resources, scaling innovative solutions and driving policy change. “ The link above will take you to their Tools & Resources page where you will find Infographics about the Benefits of Nature and of Green Schoolyards as well as publications (guides, toolkits) focused on Nature Clubs, Family Bonding, Healthcare, Leadership Writing, and more.
Permaculture Design Certification -- Various Locations
If you find yourself thinking about the health of your community or the planet, or you are interested in becoming more self-reliant by growing your own food and medicinal plants, or you recognize the need to educate children and adults about the connections between nutrition, wellbeing, health, and & environmental social justice, then learning about permaculture design may be an exciting path for you to take! This whole systems-thinking approach to designing our homes and communities integrates practices of organic gardening, resource conservation, social interactivity, and much more. There are many centers across the US and abroad that offer certification programs, including the School of Integrated Living (near Asheville, NC), Sonoran Permaculture Guild (Tucson, AZ), and Midwest Permaculture (Stelle, IL) [where Joanne earned her certification].
Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine -- online
This school offers online programs for those interested in learning more about the botany, harvesting, growing, and application of medicinal plants. They offer two shorter-term online courses in Foraging and Medicine-Making and a longer, more comprehensive (1000-hr) course called Herbal Immersion. Joanne has completed the latter course and has been impressed with the comprehensive coverage of material, the eye-catching photography and videos that supplement the texts, and the additional resources and support offered. The Chestnut School has started a Student Referral program, offering a discount to new enrollees and a commission to the student who refers them. To find out more, please contact Joanne.
Asheville, NC Area Resources
School of the Alternative - ON-SITE -- Black Mountain, NC
This is “an experiment in education and community. We aim to provide a passion-driven model of education that encourages greater possibilities for thought, creation and collective action.” Drawing inspiration from the dynamic learning experiments generated through the former Black Mountain College (1933-1957), the School of the Alternative offers week-long classes each May. Classes explore topics across the performing and visual arts, philosophy, cultural studies, activism, and more. On their website you’ll find descriptions of and materials from past classes.
The Cabbage School -On-Site -- Leicester, NC
The Cabbage School is a “rigorous skill based fool school.” It brings together artisans, craftspeople, bodyworkers, and multi-disciplinary artists to learn together while exploring the world around them. This is an in-progress growing-from-the-ground-up endeavor that offers workshops and community events that explore creative art-making, community, and individual self-reliant skill development.
OSHER Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UNCA - ON-SITE -- Asheville, NC
Begun in 1988, OLLI’s “mission is to promote thriving in life’s second half through programs in lifelong learning, leadership, community service, and research.” They offer a range of classes on topics including: yoga, crafts, art, nutrition, history, literature, business, and film. Additionally, they host a variety of events, such as: Forum for Businesses Owned by African American Entrepeneurs, STEM Series Lectures, WNC LGBTQ Oral History Project, and Death Cafe.