Meaningful Learning

We are all born with a desire to learn.

My philanthropic investment in education is focused on empowering families and communities to take control of their learning environment by building awareness of and support for those who are interested in embracing experiential learning that matters to the learner.

I believe deeply in the transformation of our learning institutions toward respect for the intrinsic meaning and desire to learn that burns within each person, from childhood onward. Providing support, community, resources and pathways for young people to live a life of agency in their learning is the key.

Mosaic undertook a national survey to better understand what parents and young people want in their learning experiences and whether they would be interested in independent meaningful learning. Self-Directed Education: Landmark Research on Family and Student Interests and Needs, the first national study of its kind, provides key insight into what parents want, suggesting that millions of us are receptive to expanding ways of learning.

Our three children (now adults) were raised outside of compulsory schooling. We saw how respect for the intrinsic motivation of each person was transformational for our children on their unique learning journeys. Over thirty years, we’ve helped the founders of Open Connections, Natural Creativity and Cupola Academy to build experiential learning communities designed around the interests of the learners and natural learning patterns that are more holistic, meaningful and collaborative.

In July 2021, we launched a new digital platform to support independent learning through the power of story with an equity lens. Mosaic, a separate 501c3, seeks to energize a movement toward self-determination in human and community development, based in foundational human equity.

Our goal is to provide the essential infrastructure to empower individuals, families and communities to form, grow and evolve beyond the limits of compulsory education, particularly for those who have been historically marginalized.

Natural Creativity is a Self-Directed Education Resource Center located in Philadelphia’s Germantown neighborhood. At Natural Creativity, families who choose an alternative to conventional schooling receive support through our partnership model.

The model is centered around exploration of a wide range of materials and opportunities for collaboration with staff and other young people. Natural Creativity isn’t an alternative school, it’s an alternative to schooling.

Cupola Academy is a secular nonprofit educational organization that provides a supportive community base for families who choose learning without schooling. Cupola nurtures the innate intellectual curiosity of young people in a pro-social atmosphere.

It embraces the responsibility of making the world a better place by providing a nourishing environment for changemakers. At the heart of all Cupola programs is a belief in natural curiosity, the value of collaboration, the importance of engaging in Real Work (vs. make work) and an emphasis on Process Consciousness.