Lefty Parent


Circle of equals

The distribution of my Work

Coop Headshot 1Here are other folks who have commented on, cited or reposted my work on the Internet…

1. PassportParents.comBack to UnSchool: Our 10 Favorite Alternative Education Posts from Traveling Parents

“Unschooling in the Art of Travel” from Cooper of Lefty Parent… An epic post by Cooper Zale, this article discusses at length the unschooling travel experiences of his youth and how they’ve shaped his view of the world and his sense of self. The chronology takes us from his own youth traveling with his parents all the way through adulthood and how a recurring itch to dislodge himself from comfortable environments and set out into the unknown has driven his life journey all the way to where he is now and how he makes his own choices about how to live. While it’s more a reflection of experiences than a walkthrough on how to educate kids while traveling, it’s a living testimony to just how important travel can be in shaping the way that kids will grow up.

2. Three Rivers Village Democratic Free School – Suggested Reading List

“What is a Democratic-Free School?”. This article gives a history of democratic-free schools going back to the Escuela Moderna, founded in 1901 in Barcelona, Spain. It talks about the main features of democratic schools and some pros and cons.

3. EducationEvolving.org – Pieces on Teacher-Run schools

“Teachers Take Control of a Detroit School” | Lefty Parent

4. KirkHughes.com – College writing course reading assignment

Cooper Zale’s brief essay “Coming of Age in the Laundromat” is one example of a writer using a “family story” to make a point.

It’s a fun read. It’s brief, and I think we’ll all find it a refreshing change from the challenging pedagogical philosophy of Paolo Freire’s “Banking Concept…”. One question to ask yourself as you read might be what genre—what classification of writing—would you place Zale’s essay in? What makes it easier to read?

The essay was originally published in his Blog: “Leftyparent.” (which you’re free to check out if you want to learn more about the author). When I asked the author for permission to use his essay in class, he e-mailed me back and invited any writers in our workshop to e-mail him directly with comments/questions for him (cooperzale@gmail.com). How cool is that?

5. BuildingThePinkTower.org – Montessori education site “Blog” page “History Lessons” heading…

I just read a piece by blogger Cooper Zale (aka “Lefty Parent”) placing Maria Montessori’s work in the context of education reform over the last century plus.


…I agree with what Miller and Zale suggest: education, fully realized in children who are self-motivated, creative, and problem-solving individuals, is so much more than outcomes. While they are in school, that is their lives – shouldn’t it be as rich and fulfilling as the work we hope they will someday do? And although Zale begins and ends by stating that Montessori has had little impact on public schools that educate most students in the U.S., I bet he would be willing to join the movement to prove that presumption wrong.

–Vina Kay

6. Education Week blogger and NY elementary school principal Peter DeWitt commenting on my piece “Governance in the School Trenches”

Thanks for the thoughtful piece..although I hate that picture! I often feel a struggle in the public school system. I try to encourage risk-taking on the part of staff and students, and I always encourage my students to talk with me when they have a problem with a rule in school. I feel that students need to be heard, even if they are saying things we don’t want to hear.

That being said, I also feel a great deal of frustration as a principal. There is way too much accountability and mandates and it is killing creativity. However, I still have the hope that we can find creativity in those constraints and can’t give up. Too many kids are counting on us.

Thanks for always stretching my thinking Coop. I’m trying my best, and it’s because of guys like you that I want to continue.

7. Daily KOS progressive politics blog site lists me as a “Trusted User” and has given 18 of my pieces a “Community Spotlight”

* Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives… and Dancing
* Destruction of Wealth? Better Google Google!
* Mud Wrestling with McLuhan Part 3 – Youth and Education
* My Experience with an Alternative Charter School
* Defining, Perpetuating & Challenging Patriarchy
* Fixing Schools? Fix the Governance!
* A Fledgling Teacher-Led School Trend
* Let’s ask schools to fix society’s problems
* Retribalized by My Life’s Soundtrack: “Downtown”
* My Real Issue is Human Development
* Looking at the Concept of Adultism
* Trying to Keep My Feet Under Me and Stay Off My Ass
* Constructive Generational Conflict Between Boomers & Millennials
* Happy Birthday John Holt – “Patron Saint” of Unschooling
* Unschooled by my Electronic Greek Chorus
* Synergizing Entrepreneurship and a Strong Commons
* Living a Self-Directed Life One Week at a Time
* Abandoning Mars for Venus and Beyond

8. On the “McLuhan Galaxy” website “Thoughts on Marshall McLuhan” page

A series of blogposts on Marshall McLuhan by McLuhan enthusiast Cooper Zale, who blogs as “Lefty Parent” at http://www.leftyparent.com/blog/ . Click on the links to access individual blog postings…..AlexK

Mud Wrestling with Marshall McLuhan – Part 1 of a 3 part series giving an overview of McLuhan’s ideas based on his 1969 Playboy magazine interview.

Mud Wrestling with McLuhan Part 2 – Retribalization – Focusing in on McLuhan’s ideas about electronic media initiating a “retribalization” of human society.

Mud Wrestling with McLuhan Part 3 – Youth & Education – McLuhan’s critique of our education system, still stuck in a paradigm of industrialism and print media.

The Mechanical Bride – McLuhan’s analysis of U.S. culture in the 1950s based on looking thru the lens of its popular media, particularly advertisements and comics.

Retribalized by my Life’s Soundtrack: “Downtown” – Based on McLuhan’s ideas, looking at how electronic media, particularly popular music on the radio has impacted my life.

Tales of a Retribalized Knowledge Work in the Egalitarian Information Age – How my work environment has been totally transformed by electronic media from my parents’ generation. http://tinyurl.com/82oee8x

9. Long-time educator Lynn Stoddard’s site page for his book “Educating for Human Greatness” featuring my review

10. Featured blogger on “DiscoverUU” Unitarian-Universalist blog site

11. Pinterest.com – Pins of my pieces

12, Open.Salon.com – Received “Editor’s Pick” for my piece “Thoughts on Keillor’s Christmas Rant”

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2 Responses to “The distribution of my Work”

  1. Bruce Says:

    Dear Lefty P — just ran into your “Civilization and Circle of Equals” article — which is fascinating, since I am writing something on the same subject. It might be very creative to explore a few ideas with you. I’m going to read that entire piece and those 66 comments — and see how it influences or re-shapes me. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/2/8/1185652/-From-Civilization-to-a-Circle-of-Equals

    I left a link to http://networknation.net/intersector.cfm which starts to be a sketch — and there’s this — which is more intuitive and in some wayys more techie http://origin.org/ Pleasse say hi if you get a chance. Thanks for an interesting vision — and an interesting commitment

    - Bruce

  2. Cooper Zale Says:

    I’m glad the article resonates with you. I think it is at the heart of my activism, my “ministry” as it were. I will check out your stuff and try to connect with you to talk more about our shared vision!

    Cooper Zale (Lefty Parent)

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