Contact List

Kara Arviko

Kara Arviko is a wife, mother, grandmother, Master of Ed student, and teacher of Academic English to second language students at Seneca College. Prior to her current work with second language students, she shared six wonderful, discovery-filled years of home-schooling with two of her four grown children. A recent grandmother, she looks forward to making many new discoveries with the newest member of her family: her grandson. Kara’s “other” favorite moments are spent reading, journaling, gardening, or sharing star-lit nights with her husband at their lake-side cottage.

Riccardo Baldissone

Riccardo Baldissone was born in Rome , Italy , in 1959. His education covers Classical Studies, Science, Philosophy and Pedagogy. He is currently researching and lecturing within the Centre for Human Rights Education at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia.

Leslie Barson

Leslie Safran Barson is a mother of two young adults who have never been to school. She received her PhD thesis in June 2008 which centres on how the experience of home education can affect the parents. She founded in 1993 and continues to run The Otherwise Club, a community centre for families choosing to educate their children out of school, in NW London. She organises an annual home education conference at Hes Fes (see ), oversees a small independent home education magazine, Choice in Education and runs an annual Home Education Fair in central London in September. She also speaks widely about home education and The Otherwise Club.

Rebecca Codack

Rebecca Codack is a freelance visual artist, children’s author and art teacher from Oakville, Ontario. She is currently pursuing her PhD, with interests in arts-based research (a/r/tography and video-ethnography), Youtube video as an ethnographic teaching device, media and social justice, the observer effect through video, the artist’s lens, and curriculum as teacher/student collaboration. Rebecca has recently authored and illustrated her first picture book, titled The Cutest Face: Celebrating Diversity and Equity in the Classroom (2010). For more information, please see:;;, or email

Blane Després

Blane Després has a background in teaching French as a second language, gifted and experiential learning (the da Vinci Program) at the secondary level, and has taught many subjects in elementary and middle schools. He also dabbles in poetry writing, and house design and construction. He is currently assistant professor, Faculty of Education, Trades Technology Education at the University of British Columbia in Kelowna , British Columbia . He is actively pursuing research in the following areas: systemic thinking applications (business-education partnerships, education, leadership), education versus schooling, homeschooling, experiential and alternative learning approaches, architecture, and learning. His book, Systems Thinkers in Action: A Field Guide for Effective Change Leadership in Education , was recently published by Rowman & Littlefield.

Beatrice Ekwa Ekoko and family

Beatrice Ekwa Ekoko lives in Dundas , Ontario with her husband Randy and their three lively daughters. Together they produce a weekly radio program called Radio Free School which covers topics that interest them as learners, from ancient poo to zine making, with a special focus on alternatives to school and interviews from local residents to well known advocates such as John Taylor Gatto and Wendy Priesnitz. The family’s work is included in a dossier on Unschooling for the National Film Board Citizenshift program: Beatrice writes for many publications and has a series on homeschooling featured at viewpoint analysis: Check out their blog at and listen to past shows at Every Wednesday at 12 noon to 12:30 pm (EST) on CFMU 93.3 FM – Listen live on the web at;

Leo Fahey

Leo Fahey, democratic education activist and democratic school organizer began as a communication arts university instructor in 1980, changed in 1991 to teaching high school social studies and moved in 1999 to democratic education school development. He advised alternatives in Texas and Massachusetts before joining a school start-up group in New York City in 2003 which developed The Brooklyn Free School. Today, he continues promoting democratic education principles and counseling alternative start-ups in New York City as director of the Rockaway College Project. Currently he has accepted a part-time teaching position at the Kew-Forest School in the New York City borough of Queens.

Pam Laricchia

Pam Laricchia and her husband have been unschooling with their three children since 2002. A nuclear engineer in her “previous life”, she has embraced this wonderful journey initially inspired by her eldest and is learning as much today as she ever did. Living in Erin , Ontario on five beautiful acres dubbed “Alternate Universe” courtesy of her daughter, she enjoys reading, writing, hiking, gaming, and exploring life with her family. She also loves bringing unschoolers together through the annual Toronto Unschooling Conference which she has hosted since its inception in 2006.

Kristan Morrison

Kristan A. Morrison is Assistant Professor in Foundations of Education at Radford University . Her research interests include democratic and freedom-based education, student-centered pedagogy, and how alternative schools can provide insights for public education and public policy. She is the author of the recently published book (2007) about her experiences at the Albany Free School , Free School Teaching: A Journey into Radical Progressive Education .

Jonathan Pitt

Jonathan Pitt is Assistant Professor of Education at Nipissing University. His research interests include aboriginal issues in education, the role of the staffroom in mainstream schools, and teacher development.

Conrad P. Pritscher

His article, “Paying Attention” was recommended by the Pennsylvania State University Faculty Development Center as one of the ten best articles on learning. He taught graduate Philosophy of Education at Bowling Green State University and is now Emeritus faculty. He also taught Multicultural Education, Educational Psychology, Explorations in Human Potential, Environmental Studies, and several other courses from 1971 to 2002. He is a graduate of the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland, Postgraduate Intensive Training Program. He is the author of numerous articles and author of Quantum Learning: Beyond Duality, Rodopi, 2001 (Value Inquiry Book Series) and Co-author with George David Miller, On Education and Values, Rodopi, 1995. He writes a monthly column for the Bowling Green State University-BGSU News. He is a former President of the Ohio Valley Philosophy of Education Society, former Chair of the Bowling Green State University Human Relations Commission, Founder and former Chairman of The People for Racial Justice Committee. He has appeared on five local television programs and three radio programs. He is the former Vice President of the Northwest Ohio Fair Housing Center. Look for Dr. Pritscher’s new book, Reopening Einstein’s Thought: About What Can’t Be Learned From Textbooks , which will soon be published by Sense publishers.

Jennifer Reddy

I have recently completed my MSc in Social Policy and Development at the London School of Economics where I had the opportunity to complete this research on non formal education in Mongolia. Currently I am working to help settle and integrate newcomer youth to Canada using non formal and popular education methods to encourage community engagement and leadership. In addition, I am running as a federal election candidate in Surrey North, British Columbia. I look forward to conducting further work, namely action research in the area of non formal education internationally.

Carlo Ricci

I currently teach in the faculty of education’s graduate program at Nipissing University and I founded and edit the online Journal of Unschooling and Alternative Learning (JUAL). I try to incorporate the spirit of unschooling, democratic and learner centered principles in all of my classes. Everything of value that I have learned, I have learned outside of formal schooling. I have never taken a course in school connected to what I now teach and write about. I have taught in elementary and high school. I have also taught in undergraduate, teacher education programs and graduate programs. My personal schooling experience as a student and later as a teacher has inspired me to revolt against institutional schooling. I continue to heal from the wounds inflicted on me by formal schooling. I have two daughters ages 2 and 4 that I hope will decide to be unschooled.

Matthew Rich

Matthew Rich is erstwhile director of the world renowned Nahoon Montessori School , a decade long experiment in democratic Montessori education and has diverse experience facilitating learning from early childhood to university level. He is now a founding partner in Beyond-the-Box Consultants in East London, South Africa, with whom he does work for-among others-the International Montessori Foundation and the Global Ecovillage Network (specifically NextGEN). Much of Matthew’s work involves work with Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and a governance modality known as sociocracy. Matthew has many hours of NVC training including training with Marshall Rosenberg and others at the Orchidea Lodge in Switzerland and he also participated in BayNVC’s Parent Leadership Program (9 month) and North American Leadership Program (year long). He is a leader of the movement. Matthew is mentored in sociocracy facilitation by John Buck (USA) through the international Sociocracy Facilitation Practice Circle and in consultation by Dr. Annewiek Reijmer (the Netherlands ). He has also studied under Ron Miller (AERO) and Tim Seldin (Montessori Leadership Institute). Matthew is passionate about developing life-serving systems in a range of discourses and is especially passionate about parenting and learning environments which he considers to be “scary hidden sites of violence”. He enjoys reading (loves the work of Ken Wilber, Joanna Macy, Soren Kierkegaard, as well as poetry and fiction), music (especially jazz, folk, and modern/late romantic), good food and wine, travel, and engaged conversation (especially with children). His writing on sundry topics appears in numerous publications including The Journal of Unschooling and Alternative Learning , and The Directory of Democratic Education (2nd Edition).

Jen Schwartz

Jen Schwartz is a founder of Sego Lily School, a Sudbury model school in Salt Lake City , Utah . She received a degree in Education from the University of Texas at Austin in 1993, and a Master’s Degree in Leadership of Educational Organizations from American Intercontinental University in 2007. A mother of four boys, Jen divides her days between service to her family and Sego Lily School, as well as working with several non-profit organizations committed to ending world hunger and creating sustainable communities. She is also a life coach, and teaches parenting workshops at Sego Lily School. Her other interests include Tae Kwon Do, music, scrap-booking, puzzles of any kind, and climbing, camping, or hiking with her husband.

Steven Taylor

I have been teaching Senior English at The Humberview School in Bolton , Ontario for 9 years. Currently in the Master of Education (MEd) program at Nipissing University , I am particularly interested in the work of Paulo Freire, John Holt and John Taylor Gatto.

Dr. John L. Vitale

Dr. John L. Vitale has been teaching music in Ontario schools since 1993, including two years at the elementary level and 12 years at the high school level. At the high school level, Dr. Vitale has taught choir, strings, band, guitar, and music technology with the Toronto District School Board where he served as Department Head of the Arts at Victoria Park Secondary School . Currently, Dr. Vitale teaches high school band with the York Catholic School Board and is also a faculty member with Lakehead University (Orillia Campus), where he instructs pre-service teachers in music education. Some of his current research interests include unschooling techniques in the high school classroom, the effect of music on the meanings students gain from film, the benefits of music education for at-risk students, and the politicization of music education. As a bass player, Dr. Vitale has recorded and toured internationally with Warner recording artist and Juno Award winner Robert Michaels. Other performance credits include playing bass for Order of Canada Recipient Guido Basso, comedian Joan Rivers, and most recently on a regular basis, two-time Juno Award winner Liberty Silver. Dr. Vitale also has numerous compositional credits, including the score to children’s animated film Attic-in-the-Blue (first place winner at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival).