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"Unschooled"


Beset by drugs, violence and apathy the Philadelphia public school system is failing. Desperate for a solution, some inner-city parents turn their hopes to an unlikely place; a newly opened educational resource center in the north Philadelphia neighborhood of Germantown called the Natural Creativity Center (NCC). Founded by veteran educator Peter Bergson, NCC (as it is known) is built on the belief that formalized education is just part of a larger systemic problem—the dehumanization of our children’s education. Bergson has set out to prove once and for all that the power and efficacy of self-motivation isn’t limited by race or economic background and that there is a more humane way to educate our children—one that taps into every child’s innate desire to learn. Undeterred in his belief, Bergson practices “unschooling” – a program developed over several decades at a center he and his wife Susan started 30 years ago in the suburbs — called Open Connections — empowering students to direct their own education, favoring dialogue, discovery and self-discipline over tests, teachers and timelines. When three young Philadelphia teens; Amani, Miles and Jaya enroll at NCC, all of Peter’s radical ideas are put to the test.


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