Our Organizing Team

The organizing team for the Alliance, working behind the scenes to manage the website and help augment the voices and experiences of those in the Self-Directed Education movement everywhere, includes the following people:

(in alphabetical order)

[photo]Akilah S. Richards*

I’m a writer, mama, partner, digital nomad, and unschooling activist. I produce podcasts, books, classes, and articles on radical self-expression in practice and in study. Find my conversations and commentary at where I aim to support, connect, and highlight people of color designing their own liberation through Self-Directed Education and love-centered community building.

[photo] Alexander Khost

I established Voice of the Children, promoting and facilitating activities that advocate for young people’s civil rights. I serve on the Board of Trustees of Friends of the Modern School, am a facilitator at Brooklyn Apple Academy, and am father of three self-educated children. Previously I co-founded play:groundNYC, a junkyard playground for children in New York City and founded the Teddy McArdle Free School.

[photo]Bria Broom

I am a born and raised unschooler: my first school was college. My SDE experience has influenced me to become an advocate for SDE for all. I have been helping others learn in a variety of ways, including teaching Martial Arts since I was 14 years old. I currently work in a play-based early learning center in Seattle and I'm working on a graduate degree at Portland State University. I also write, present, and facilitate workshops on early education. You can see some of my work on my blog, Ars Vigeo.

[photo]Brooke Newman

I’m a Sudbury Valley School graduate. I went on to study political theory at Eugene Lang and received my MPA at the Baruch School of Public Affairs. My interests lie in developing SDE-based opportunities that would be accessible to all families and creating sustainable SDE organizations. I’m currently working as a nonprofit consultant and writer and living with my partner, another SVS graduate, in Santa Cruz, CA.

[photo]Cevin Soling*

I am a documentary filmmaker, writer, and academic lecturer. I directed The War on Kids, and authored The Student Resistance Handbook. As a graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, my focus is youth rights and enlightening people on the abusive practices that define compulsory schooling.

[photo]Danielle A. Levine*

I am a lawyer and children’s rights activist. My firsthand experience of the psychological and legal harms caused by mainstream schooling led me to join the unschooling movement. I run Dida Academy in Brooklyn, NY. I want to promote greater legal status for children, including the right to vote, exercise free speech, and make important personal decisions.

[photo]Jack Schott

I am a co-founder, with Laura Kriegel, of Stomping Ground, an overnight camp. Stomping Ground is dedicated to re-imaging what is possible when children and adults, from diverse communities, including diverse educational backgrounds, partner together to live in empathy and self-direction. I believe in finding new and creative ways to let families discover and experiment with Self-Directed Education.

[photo]Jens Peter de Pedro

I am a Creative Director and co-founder of Biff Niff, a small agency in New York specializing in children's interactive media. Through my work I have come to understand that true learning warrants play, choice and freedom. I also believe that it is a First Amendment right to decide what, when and with whom you learn new things. Children have this right too, because kids are people!

[photo]Kerry McDonald*

I first became interested in schooling alternatives while studying education policy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. That led me to discover the promise of Self-Directed Education for all children. I now spend my days as an unschooling mom to four never-been-schooled children in Cambridge, MA, and blog regularly at Whole Family Learning.

[photo]Laura Kriegel

As a visual artist, I am constantly testing different ways of expressing ideas, thoughts, and feelings through a variety of mediums. I co-founded Camp Stomping Ground, with Jack Schott, to provide a space for young people of different backgrounds to live in a self-determined, radically empathetic environment where we re-imagine a more perfect world.

[photo]Marie Goodwin

I'm a writer, activist, and recovering academic who is de-schooling myself while unschooling my two children in suburban Philadelphia. I wear many hats, but my day job is working with "new story" author and speaker Charles Eisenstein as his "Chief Plate-Spinner and External Hard-drive." I write about unschooling and other topics on my blog Personal Mycology and on

[photo]Pat Farenga*

I bring more than 35 years of fieldwork, advocacy, and personal experience in homeschooling and alternative education to help parents and children learn in their own ways. I continued to publish Growing Without Schooling magazine after the death of its founder in 1985, the author/teacher John Holt, until 2001. I publish and several books and articles about learning outside of school.

[photo]Peter Gray*

I’m a research professor of psychology at Boston College and author of a widely used college introductory psychology textbook (now in its 7th edition). Much of my research focuses on children’s natural ways of learning and the experiences of people who have taken a self-directed route to their education. I’m author of the book Free to Learn and a blogger for Psychology Today magazine.

[photo]Scott Noelle*

I’m a parenting coach, author, speaker, and father of two self-educated, young-adult children. I’m best known for my book and blog, The Daily Groove, through which I help parents cultivate a mindset of creative partnership — with children and in general. I’ve introduced many parents to SDE and witnessed the trans­formation of their families. It’s truly amazing!

[photo]Stephen Dill*

As a systems thinker, I came up with my own solution to individual learning at and began to find others who believed in Self-Directed Education as the future. Ultimately, I desire to reverse the negative consequences of denying individuals the environment each needs to develop as a well-rounded human: play, respect, freedom to learn as they wish, and opportunity to apply themselves to their calling.

[photo]Tomis Parker

I have been facilitating in Self-Directed Education environments since 2009. I helped birth the first Agile Learning Center in NYC and served as the Director for three years. I now live in Charlotte, NC where I work and play at ALC Mosaic. I want to help organize a coherent movement for Self-Directed Education, because I believe trusting children is the most powerful catalyst for social change.

* ASDE Board of Directors:
Akilah S. Richards
Cevin Soling
Danielle A. Levine (clerk)
Kerry McDonald (treasurer)
Pat Farenga
Peter Gray (president)
Scott Noelle
Stephen Dill (chair)