It All Started with a Piece of Gum…

Susan Jones Karen was a student from the alternative middle school who stood out to me. There was just something about her that indicated she was an adolescent in pain. She displayed a tough exterior as she walked, and sometimes ran, in the hallways. She often engaged in verbal and physical conflicts with others. I[…]

Driving Mom McMillan

Larry K. Brendtro & Mark FreadoEvery child needs at least one adult who is irrationally crazy about him or her. ~Urie BronfenbrennerShe was well past retirement age when she took a job as a house mother in a residential school for troubled boys. Mom McMillan, as she was called, had spent her first career in urban[…]

Schools that Matter

Schools that Matter™ Steve Van Bockern, EdD Let us put our minds together to see what kind of life we can build for our children. ~Lakota leader, Sitting Bull Many of us in the United States wonder what kind of life the new administration will build for our children. During the contentious 2016 Presidential campaign, education[…]

Chicken Alfredo and Other Ingredients for an Effective Service Plan

Thirteen-year-old Jimmy is a small, intelligent, and emotionally immature student in an alternative school program. He was the reason that I was asked to provide consultation to the staff and administrators in the school. With his constant verbal disruptions, threats to other students, and physical acting out, there were concerns that he may not be[…]

Living with Purpose

by Dr. Martin BrokenlegLifelong learning in our hearts occurs through positive and negative experiences. Experiential learning teaches our inner world while intellectual learning, which we call knowledge, teaches our mind. We do not have a good term in English for inner learning. Some societies call this kind of learning capacities, while other societies call it[…]

The Central Challenge

 Howard Bath, PhD Margot, age fourteen, stomps into her foster home yelling that she hates that school and will not be going back. “But you like it there,” her foster father replies, exasperated and a little worried. Margot screams and swears at him, “I hate them, and I hate you as well! You’re all f*****g stupid!”[…]

The Taboo on Touch

Research Jottings by Larry K. Brendtro, PhD We have become strangers to each other, not only avoiding but even warding off all forms of “unnecessary” physical contact, faceless figures in a crowded landscape, lonely and afraid of intimacy.[1] —Ashley Montagu As a teenager, Jabari risked his life, unaccompanied, to escape war-torn Africa to the United[…]