College by Kids: Where Kids are the Teachers is the most professional website I have come across where all of the content is created by kids. The philosophy that underpins the site was developed by Trudy Graham and Chris Bigum and coined “Knowledge Producing Schools.” The gist: students should be doing meaningful work that has real world implications. That’s an oversimplification, but if you’d like to learn more watch Trudy Graham’s TEDx Talk or visit Knowledge Producing Schools.

Their philosophy reminded me of Deborah Meier and her meditations on learning. I am thinking specifically of her book, The Power of Their Ideas and the class I took with her at Wesleyan University. In her book and talks, she emphasized the importance of student ownership of work and advocated for a model centered on student ideas and interests. Her approach at Central Park East required students to present and defend their portfolios orally. Meier details an immersive education experience that in my mind aligns with Graham and Bigum’s conception of Knowledge Producing Schools.

I remember when I first visited the College by Kids site, my reaction was one of wonder and disbelief. I hadn’t seen anything like it before. The TED talks for kids series is especially powerful. The young learners who deliver the talks are inspirational. I challenge you: try to watch one of the videos and remain unimpressed. I don’t think it’s possible.

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