return to OpenSpaceinEducation

The class was called "The Pedagogy of Liberation," and the first eight or nine weeks were spent studying work by Paulo Freire and others emphasizing critical reflection on the goals of education and the practices that advance or hinder achieving those goals. Through all that time, I tried always to push studentsd to speak about their own education -- both the one they were receiving at Shimer and the one they came to Shimer with -- as the foremost example with which to illustrate points they wanted to make.

We then spent about five weeks meeting for two hours twice each week in OS. Those meetings were focused on preparing the students to create educational projects as their final assignment. Each project would identify an area of interest, explain a goal to be achieved in that area, and set out a plan for achieving the goal.

OST meant that the students had very extensive resources -- namely: one another -- for seeking advice and support as they prepared teir final piece.

Students and former students still talk about the course.

Currently two other mebers of the Shimer faculty are teaching a class using OST. Their names are Bill Paterson ( and Ann Dolinko (