be book {foreward}

This book is a catalyst for mutative change in our educational system.  To this end, be you is a living artifact of sorts that represents the oral histories, deep narratives, research and ongoing movement of real humans; their hopes, dreams, disruptions and unshackled praxis. Be you dares to look critically at modern education in form and function while also offering resilient working examples of resilient learning ecologies.

– Thomas Steele-Maley

A common complaint about schools, one that is reflected for example, in the recent report of the Carnegie Commission: In school, registered students submit to certified teachers in order to obtain certificates of their own; both are frustrated and both blame insufficient resources – money, time, or building – for their mutual frustration.

I believe that the contemporary crisis of education demands that we review the very idea of publicly prescribed learning rather than the methods used in its enforcement.                      – Ivan Illich – Deschooling Society, 1972

p o s s i b l e   t r a n s l a t i o n :

Rather than trying to motivate youth to learn our common core curriculum through shiny things, like gaming, or fancy technology, or the latest tools, or project based learning, etc, let’s call into question our presumption that we must teach certain things. Let’s allow for just in time learning. Rather than scale innovation to learning, let’s scale the individual.


We are seeking the brilliance of the human mind through freedom of the human spirit. We’re respectfully calling into question our current (seemingly blind, deaf, and mute) allegiance to our system of education based on publicly prescribed learning.

This prescribed learning was not crafted with ill intent, but has undoubtedly sustained a crippling dependency, an addiction, at a global level.

Social change can and will happen if we but question the existence of the prescription itself rather than continue our efforts to improve its deliverance.

It is impossible to impose anything.

The freedom to self-determine is intrinsic to all life.   – Meg Wheatley