We are front-line teachers ..... Our mission is to re-engage disconnected youth who have dropped out or are near dropping out ….. These kids have what it takes to turn things around IF they are given opportunity and support they believe in ….. We have a radical, new intervention to do that ..... It's full of real-world challenges that build self-determination and trust ….. It changes how youth view themselves and their world ..... It gets them working as teams to support each other and to take charge of academics, enterprise and citizenship ….. The process is called "transformative organizing” ….. The intervention is called Closing the Circle™.
More About Our Company
WHAT IS THIS SITE ABOUT? We are a team of front-line teachers who have worked with marginalized students for more than 50 years.
Between us, we have:
- Founded a successful charter school;
- Written a ground-breaking book on re-engaging disconnected youth; and
- Guided hundreds of young men and women whose lives had become marginalized and disconnected to a happier and more successful future.
We are dismayed that America’s social institutions, particularly schools, are failing to stem the tide of more than a million teenagers each year choosing life paths that lead to near-certain failure.
We created the Center for Transformational Education to invest our experience in the development of better ways to re-engage disconnected youth and confront the crisis of teen-age dropouts in America.
We call the program we are developing Closing the Circle™ (i.e., CTC), which is built on a process called “transformative organizing.” This website offers a detailed look at the intervention we are proposing. At this point, we want to emphasize what it is not:
- It isn’t service or advocacy for the disadvantaged – CTC mobilizes youth to act in their own interest.
- It isn’t “behavior modification for wayward teens” – CTC changes lives by providing for participants’ psychoemotional needs and bringing them together to improve their lives by their own choices.
- It isn’t simply alternative education – CTC teaches youth to be effective advocates for teaching that works for them in whatever school they attend.
- It doesn’t try to mobilize large numbers of adults to build caring, one-to-one relationships with youth – CTC employs a small number of committed adults to lead young men and women to build strong relationships with their own peers who, together, provide caring support and foster transformation.
This website is a current archive of our thoughts and plans. You will find that it isn’t slick but it is comprehensive. We are trying to offer readers a transparent, up-to-date record of our ideas, our work and our progress.
If you want to “skim” quickly through the site, we suggest that you “just follow the yellow brick road” of links we have laid out for you from one topic summary to the next. You can stop and read a complete topic, if you wish, or just jump from one summary to the next.
A final note — We have references to the work of many experts throughout this website. The complete citations for these references are collected into a “Literature Cited” section under the Resources tab.
Here is where to start:
Recent Blog Posts
October 25, 2012 |
I retired at the end of June as Executive Director of Augsburg Fairivew Academy (AFA), the innovative, urban...
October 25, 2012 |
CTE White Paper #1 is a 4-year research plan to develop transformative organizing into an operational system...
June 20, 2012 |
The current edition of the CTE Newsletter is available as a pdf file (left click to read; right click to save):...
March 13, 2012 |
After training a group of educators on using Restorative Justice Talking Circles to establish connections with...
February 26, 2012 |
One of the keystones of transformative organizing is healing the hurt that causes young people to disengage. The...