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 independent meaningful 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 considering different pathways to 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 build community and support for independent learning. Mosaic, a separate 501c3, has established a premier ecosystem that caters to the specific needs of young learners and their families, fostering a unique environment for learning and personal development.

Mosaic is committed to amplifying the practice of independent meaningful learning to create enriching environments where young people can thrive, regardless of demographics and zip codes. Through its expansive network, Mosaic offers learners access to mentors, coaches, educational resources, and unique opportunities, enabling the development of valuable skills, exploration of new ideas, and establishment of meaningful relationships.

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.