Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood

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Edited collection seeking essays about student experiences in “free” or alternative schools. Despite many current debates about education(Charter Schools, accountability, “No Child Left Behind,” national standards, etc.), there has been little attention paid to students who have experienced education without tests, grades, assigned curriculum, or other forms of external pressure to learn. What does self-directed learning look like? What kinds of environments are created in these “free schools”? What kinds of projects/work take place in alternative schools? How do alternative schools change the experience of learning?

We are looking for well-crafted personal reflections on alternative education. We’re not looking for arguments about the pros and cons, or scholarly research on alternative education. Just tell your story. Positive and negative experiences are welcome.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

Relationships with teachers
Descriptions of particular projects or learning experiences
Reasons why students opted out of traditional schools
Alternative schools as communities/within their larger communities
The transitioning from an alternative school to a traditional school, and vice versa
Reflections on how alternative education shaped your life after school
For those who have become teachers themselves: how has your alternative education has informed your own ways of teaching?

PHOTOS and artwork also considered.

Editors: Aeron Haynie is Associate Professor and former chair of the English department at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. She has published scholarly work on Victorian literature, college teaching, and has published creative nonfiction essays. She attended The Central Community School (CCS), an open-classroom “free school” in Buffalo, New York from 1970 to 1975.

Julian Fleron is Professor of Mathematics at Westfield State College, a college founded by Horace Mann as the nation’s first coeducation teachers college. His scholarly work and publications span a number of areas in mathematics and mathematics education, often focusing on the negative impact of public (mis)perceptions of mathematics. He too is a CCS alumni - 1970 to 1974.

Deadline: proposals or complete essays by February 1, 2009.

Length: 1,500 to 4,000 words (about 5 to 20 double-spaced pages).

Format: Essays must be typed, double-spaced, and paginated. Please include your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and a short bio.

Submitting: Send essays to hayniea AT uwgb DOT edu
Or mail to Aeron Haynie, Associate Professor of English and Humanities, TH 331, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, 2420 Nicolet Drive, Green Bay, WI 54311.

Amy Stockwell Mercer is a freelance writer living in Charleston, SC with her husband and three sons. An MFA graduate in Creative Writing from Queens University, she writes about art and artist profiles for Charleston Magazine, The City Paper, Charleston Art Mag, and Art Papers. Amy also writes about living with chronic illness, and is finishing a book about women with diabetes for Demos Health. When she needs to get out of her own head, she teaches college students how to write the 5 paragraph essay. You can read more of her writing at her website.

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