The Guelph Free School: Fall 2007

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Written by www.thecannon.ca

Do you have time to learn a new skill or to take part in discussion groups? If so, the Guelph Free School is offering a new semester consisting of 9 classes staring October first.

Collective member, Matthew Lowell-Pellettier describes the free school as; ìgrass roots popular education that directly challenges the notion that learning and education must be bought.î He is part of the decentralized collective that reviews class proposals to make sure they meet an anti-oppressive mandate. In essence, he says; ìThe Free School changes each semester to better serve the classes that are underway.î

The title of ëfreeí refers to more than just a lack of enrolment fees: both the format and context are free as well. There is no physical school and classes are held in public locations. Some courses are designed as a particular skill share, like Internal Martial Arts. Others are discussion or production based, like Home Brewing or Writing & Publishing, which encourage learning through action.

The initiators of classes do not require teaching credentials as the Free School runs on the principle that any person(s) can facilitate if they have a clear plan. Brendan Arnott, a third year English major, is co-facilitating Feminism is for Everyone, a class that seeks to create a safer space for participants (of any gender) to discuss and organize around feminism. He clarifies the difference between instruction techniques this way; ìA teacher is a single source of knowledge while a facilitator guides lessons to allow everyone to bring their own wisdom to the table, it is a more passive role.î

Garrett Gauthier is planning on attending Inner Martial Arts and Construction during his first Free School semester; ìFree education is a positive thing because it is available to all people equally.î Although already a University student Garrett thinks; ìItís important not to specialize entirely in one discipline, there is just so much to explore. The varied Free School curriculum enables people to follow all their diverse interests.î

Fully detailed class descriptions are available online. If you missed the proposal submission deadline of September 27th there is a new semester beginning in the winter. Class proposals can be submitted at any point up to January 18th, 2008. No pre-registration is required. For clarification, questions, or class proposals you can email .

Fall 2007:

The One-Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming

The Movement Class: Decolonizing our Bodies, Embodying our Powers
Feminism is for Everybody

Writing and Publishing

Skill Building for Community Journalism
Poster and Graphic Design

The Carpentry Class

Internal Martial Arts Class

First and Last Saturday of Each Month

| More


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  1. Posted by: Hélène M on Oct 2, 2007 @ 12:07pm

    a more detailed schedule with the times and locations of these classes can be found here"


  2. Posted by: Shamus Mc-I-hate-hippies on Oct 4, 2007 @ 4:17pm

    I tried to be a negative jerk about the free school, but pretty soon it became overwhelmingly obvious that this is just too amazing of an opportunity for me to spout my conservative hatred about.

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