"When students have the opportunity to learn by their brain's natural learning process, they become the motivated, eager, successful learners they are born to be. When we know how the brain naturally learns, we can teach according to this natural learning process. Thus, the essential, critical question is how to do that--how to translate what we know about the brain's natural, physiological learning process into curriculum and pedagogy."
From Brain Based Learning

Here in The Evergreen State College, specially in the Native American Studies Program, Mary Hillaire, David Whitener, Rainer Hasenstab started, many years ago, a Twenty Year Vision plan to offer programs using a Native American approach to education which used natural learning processes. In recent years, starting in 1996, Yvonne Peterson, David Rutledge, Gary Peterson, Phil Smith and Raul Nakasone inherited this vision and applied sound educational theories to continue offering these programs. The CEREMONY program is part of the vision. The CEREMONY program is entirely based in Freire's Pedagogy of  the Oppressed. We practice Freire's pedagogy and read his works and works of authors like Howard Gardner and Howard Zinn and theories like brain-based learning to have a deeper understanding of what we are trying to accomplish. Our programs practice William Glasser's Choice Theory.  As educators, our major efforts are directed to respond to Peter Elbow's summary.

                           Peter Elbow, in his book "Embracing Contraries" gives a summary of Paulo Freire's liberatory education.  Elbow makes the point well that while it is  relatively easy to claim a Freireian approach to teaching, it is much harder to actually do it. He summarizes the main points as:

"I taught for many years before I realized that unless we do the things listed above, all our education, all our experience, all our
ability, is of little value.  While Mr. Tell has not, to my recollection, mentioned the work of Paulo Freire, it seems to me that Mr. Tell's insistence that we as educators must work to change society resonates with the teachings of  Freire.  I guess, at my age, however, I plan to leave it to the young Turks like Mr. Tell to change society, if they can.  I can only throw one starfish at a time."

Elliot Richmond
PhD candidate in science education

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."      -Gandhi