50 Rock Gypsies:
The Adventures of a
Girl Called "Fire Within"
My own personal story of my life,
written at the half-century --
a story-and-photo essay
... About the things that have intrigued me ever since I was very young: Fire
... Existence ... Consciousness ... Art ...
Freedom ... Learning ...
... About how my own passionately felt need for personal freedom has been with me ever since I can remember, never
diminishing and instead ever increasing ... and how I have applied this feeling to envisioning the future: in
social structures, and especially in transforming the physical and social architectures of learning.
People who have greatly influenced my life
-- either by personal acquaintance or through their lives and work.
It is quite striking for me to look back over the years I have been here and reflect on the people whose thoughts
and feelings about living -- how they tread this Earth -- have become part of the fabric of my own mind and heart,
my own life.
My Work with Children's Learning & Growing
Environments Project, UW-Milwaukee
Architecture School, 1978-1981: a multi-award- winning team of architects and social scientists
who developed design guides for children's'
indoor and outdoor settings.
Environmental education field trip
program - 1986-1988 150 field trips in 2 years. Maharishi School in Washington DC, where our son Matthew attended from
1984-1989, his ages 3-8.
6-yr-olds' field trip team, 1987
We take to the open road....
Matthew Lindberg-Work's Program of
Personalized Learning --
an alternative to institutionalizing young
- - 1989-1999, his ages 8-18
Duncan, Matthew, Lisa, 1999
after high school graduation. visiting
Matthew's college, Maharishi
of life are a particularly crucial time of exploration, a time for young people
to both widely investigate the outer world and also to learn about their own
inner selves. It is a time of life not well-served by being institutionalized.
This page is about how our family applied this spirit
of living to our son
Matthew's decade of personalized
learning -- his ages 8-19,
1989-1999. It was a full program
of arts and sciences, including attending the
Learning program, and doing extensive
work on his own freely-chosen ecological projects.
Monetary outlay for tuition for those 10 years was
$500 -- total -- an average of $50 per
year. In comparison, current tuition at American public and private schools
ranges from $10,000 - $20,000 per student per year -- which works out to be 200 to 400 times as much
as we spent.
Matthew graduated from Maharishi
University in June 2004 with a Bachelor's Degree in
Chemistry & Environmental Science, and
with renown as a world-class
whistler, performing in many concerts.
He is now passing on to high school kids his love of
chemistry, physics, math, and ecology -- and
Conceptual Foundation for My Approach to Learning and
Education Into an Abundant Smorgasbord of Personalized Learning Opportunities
Communities of Learning
A New Story of Education for a New Century
6-yr-olds' field trip team,
Maharishi School, Washington DC
High school environmental
education team, Log
educational choices of the future will be much
more varied, vital, and relevant in character,
selection, and location than what is currently
being offered. Most people -- even in their
wildest imaginations -- can hardly conceive of the
abundant smorgasbord of learning opportunities
looming just over the horizon. We need to
set people free to create it."
- Nobel Laureate in Economics Milton Friedman
The ideas I talk about for
of Learning do not follow along the usual lines of discourse on education. I neither discuss nor champion any particular
teaching method, style, or technique. Nor do I advocate for any specific educational component or program -- in
a well-meaning (but mis-guided) hope of its having a system-wide, transforming effect.
Rather, I talk about cultural
evolution and social thought --
about how people think and feel about being alive
here on Planet Earth :
The impressions people form
about how they think the world is put
How these images and stories
become perceived as "givens," and comprise a society's worldview
How a society
both consciously and unconsciously
embeds its worldview in its educational system,
thereby reinforcing and perpetuating it
Our current general systemic transformation in the broad structure of human society
requires a corresponding systemic change in conceptualizing
our approach to learning -- and then in formulating our
systems of education.
This systemic change moves away from massive, centrally administered institutions with their lack of acknowledgement
of and respect for individuality.
The new story of education applies complexity science's whole-systems approach to create Communities of Learning -- focused around place-based activity
hubs. These small, lean, dispersed, independent, self-organized Community
Learning Centers avoid
parochial or provincial by maintaining
continual, participatory connection with global
Finding Their Wings
Stories about Young People and Their
Freely-Chosen, Passionate Projects and Activities
The stories in this project acknowledge, honor, and affirm the inner experiences of young people
-- what they feel inside themselves as they passionately follow their hearts in their freely chosen projects and
activities, fully engaged, living life to the hilt.
It is from within the "slacker passions" of young people's "fire
within" that the future is forged. The nature and character of this future
the older generations
have only the slightest clue.
A Feeling For Place -- experiencing delight in the
How does the experience of delight in the physical world affect people's
souls ... their entire lives...thoughts... feelings...
- - in my own case, from having grown up at this beautiful farm in central Ohio - -
There was a child went
forth one day,
And the first object he look'd upon, that object he became,
And that object became part of him for the day
Or a certain part of the day,
Or for many years or stretching cycles of years . . .
- - Walt Whitman
Series being gathered by the Lindberg-Work Family. . . a gathering of ideas, projects, musings . . .
on how how people's decisions and actions in their outer lives can indeed reflect the deepest feelings from ones
inner spirit. . .
Each item is involved in the work to systemically change how we tell the human story : how we conceive of and act
out this mystery we call life. Each is an aspect of the re-weaving of our cultural fabric to support this change
so needed by our world at this crucial juncture in history.
Stories of Life
Our lives consist of stories -- of both every-day and unusual happenings. Our stories
reflect our souls' journeys. Our stories are worth telling, but can fade with time, like photographs. Telling our
stories can help us make sense of our lives -- and of Life -- and can help bind people together.
Capture them and give them as enduring gifts to yourself and others.
3 Generations of my grandmothers.
Strum, Wisconsin, 1900.
Celebrating seasonal changes is in my blood. From time immemorial, my
Nordic ancestors celebrated the Solstices -- both the Summer and Winter Solstice,
and the Spring
For me, the times of seasonal change are not
anthropomorphically religious in the way the pre-Christian
peoples held the sun to be a god.
Rather, I feel these times offer
us the opportunity to experience the essential
spirituality of the physical world.
Though the physical world is spiritual at
all times, the transitional times of Seasonal change are particularly
poignant remindings of this.
At these moments of change, it is as if the Natural
World takes a momentary pausing breath, and in that
gap of time invites us to feel the Spiritual
World clearly shining thru. At those
times on our living, breathing planetary matrix (matrix = womb)
-- we can attune the infinity of our individual consciousness with the
infinity of consciousness of the
cosmos. We can experience
how we and everything here are a part of the Great Mystery of Creation....
Community seasonal celebration pageants,
rural Washington DC
Assembling & decorating the Fall Equinox cake, 1993 -- specialty
one of my favorite parts of our seasonal