Listening Session Paintings

Saturday, March 31, 2012

We Celebrate the Arrival of David Loitz

I am absolutely delighted to celebrate the arrival of David Loitz as Seed Steward for Imagining Learning. I met David last summer on Orcas Island (WA). Filled with passion, a deep love of young people and an undying commitment to changing the education system, we hit it off immediately.

A filmmaker, getting his Master’s degree in holistic childhood education at Goddard College with the intent to found his own radical new notion of education, David was passionate about our work and wanted to help us bring it more fully into fruition.  We began a series of talks, once a week for a while and every time, a deep synergy existed between us.  He has such a knowledge of education; many connections to those creating change; and is really connected in with young people who are taking up the call for a true revolution. He is a passionate blogger about education and involved in more education movement organizations than I count.

One day out of the blue an email came from him asking if he could serve as a steward for Imagining Learning.  I rejoiced on the spot. Kind of like when you get a letter informing you the IRS made an million dollar error on your taxes in your favor.  It is wonderful when you see someone bring a chair with them into your circle and declare their intent to sit and make a contribution. Co-creation is where it’s at.

We talked a long time about the future possibilities for Imagining Learning’s work, particularly the Listening Sessions.  He is keen to learn about them and to lead them himself. He took over the Facebook page, which had languished in the move this past year and its participation is up like 700%. He has been helping me with the publication of articles, too.

So we decided on a title: Seed Steward.  He is a connector, a nourisher of this seed called Imagining Learning. He will feed it with ideas, energy, people, especially young people and provide new power into the DNA of Imagining Learning. This week we are meeting in Portland to discuss the many possibilities for Imagining Learning’s future. We are also going to introduce him to two Listening Sessions, which it will be wonderful to receive his feedback and for him to meet the young people who are coming. He is going to introduce me to some of his friends here in Portland. I should have mentioned he lives in Eugene with his beautiful partner Marta who is an architecture student committed to creating innovative new learning environments for children.

So I celebrate his arrival and really look forward to all that he is going to do to bring the voices of young people into a collective that cannot be ignored or denied any longer. Please join me in welcoming him!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Imagining Learning Lands In Portland

In front of the Mark Spencer Hotel

I just arrived in Portland for a week where we have a busy schedule, including 2 Listening Sessions.  Aside from the Listening Sessions, I will be spending time with our newest member, David Loitz, Seed Steward of Imagining Learning. I will introduce David in the next post where I can do him the justice he deserves.

David and I will be planning a year of activities and new ideas for Imagining Learning. In addition, we will be meeting many people who are helping to pioneer the new frontier of education.  On Thursday and Friday, we will be leading Listening Sessions.  The first session will be comprised mainly from Cleveland High School ( and the Leadership and Entrepreneurship High School (LEP) ( We want to thank Violet Trachtenberg, a student at Cleveland who has been recruiting other students and also Lorna Fast Buffalo Horse, the Principle of LEP for working so hard to get us a wonderful group of students.

The second group of students will be coming from the Village Home Education Resource Center (, a learning community for families who home school in the Portland area.  Special thanks goes out to Lori Walker, the Founder and Executive Director, who found out we were coming to Portland two days before Spring Break and still has managed to find the students to participate.  She called me and had heard about our efforts through the grapevine of people who were recruiting students. Thank you Lori.

We will also be meeting with Ba Livmour, a beautiful soul who, along with his wife Josette and their daughter Kara, offer Portland the Summa Institute, the "first educational institute supporting children, families and professionals. We are grounded in the Natural Learning Relationships approach to human development (which they have pioneered). You can read all about their amazing efforts at www. I met Josette and Ba on Orcas Island last year at the Pacific Northwest Alternative Education Conference. Ba has offered to share some ideas on ways to make Listening Session's more universally appealing. We look forward to sharing and learning more about the institute as well.

We will also be meeting with Jaime Woods, the founder of Dream School Commons, ( Jaime's purpose in founding the Dream School Commons on the web is "to collect in one place the most innovative ideas related to education, to design new schools that embody these philosophies, and to find sponsorship in order to provide low cost or no cost dream schools for populations in need." Beautiful.  We look forward to meeting her.  She is coming to the Listening Session on Thursday.

We look forward to sharing all that transpires in this wonderful week ahead.