THE MICHIGAN DAILY Thursday, September 7, 1972
at age five
By KAREN TINKLENBERG ganized so that children can because they "don't want their
What would makle a parent move from one station to an- children to be bullied into
spend wo a semester a send a other - singing around a piano, learning. They don't think
five year old child to nursery making collages and candles at young children should have to
school the art table or playing num- learn the same thing every day;
G 1 e n Rosenthal, whose bers games at the math table. in the same place, and by the
daughter attends C1 o n 1 a r a Children are never forced to same teaching method."
School, is pleased because "She learn anything which doesn't Ann Andrew, whose seven-
doesn't think of her teachers as interest them. Those who are,. year-old daughter attends Clon-
ogres." Other parents offer a not motivated to read or learn lara, says it's "worth it" to send
variety of reasons for sending numbers, for example, are al- a child to a school that costs
their children to what its teach- lowed to learn those basics more than many state colleges.
ers call "Ann Arbor's only open- when they are ready to. "It is at least as valuable to
education nursery and elemen- A free learning system 'not make an investment during the
tary school." only allows a slow child more formative years as when the
Children at Clonlara range in time to learn; it sets no limits child reaches college age," she
age from three to nine and are on how far a fast learner can says.
divided into three buildings ac- be taught, explains Wallace. An important reason to many
cording to age. "One second-grader, for exam- parents for sending their pre-
o is ple, can already work fractions school age children to Clonlara
The emphasis at Clonlarai and decimals that even I can't has to do with the social atti-
to teach schildren to think for understand.'' tudes they learn.
,themselves, to reach their own
conclusions and to accept the With access to film-strips and Rosenthal calls Clonlara "an
consequences of those conclu- movies, two second - graders . excellent way for a child to de-
sions, according to Office Man- learned how to run a projector velop the social ability to co-
ager Kitty Wallace. and rewind it - a task many operate with other children and
Children are allowed to pur- adults never learn to perform. the freedom to learn at the
sue whatever interests them at Wallace believes that parents same time."
a given time. The school is or- send their children to Clonlara Children from lower-income
families are often excluded from
........................... the Clonlara experience. Sever-
al children have attended the
I Zt A4school on scholarships provided
by private individuals but most
Fast free delivery NO 3-3379 of the scholarships ran out long
ago, and only three non-paying
n hot electric ovens NO 3-5902 children still attend the school.
ALSO SERVING Nine teachers "guide" the
LUNCHES, DINNERS, GREEK PASTRIES children in their learning ven-
tures, aided by volunteers from
the University and from East-
ern Michigan University's edu-
c2 E. WILLIAM -
10 a.m,-2 a.m. (Fri. & Sat. until 3) ymensy.
I Occasionally parents offer
a sisgilg#22miisisiim emgm gssssse 99 their services. One parent, for
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example, comes in twice a week
to teach math games to anyone
Initially the novelty attracted
only one or two children; but
according to Wallace, the game
problems were so "challenging"
that eventually a large group
had gathered to learn.
"Teachers have to be on their
toes more here than in a struc-
tured school," Wallace says, be-
cause they often have many dif-
ferent learning groups to super-
Children may take field trips
to rock quarries, University
sites or the botanical gardens.
There are no grades for chil-
dren at Clonlara, but Wallace
believes that not all children
thrive in a free atmosphere.
"Some children are better offj
where they are disciplined." she
says. Wallace explains that a
child's home environment must
be free if he or she is to be
comfortable in a free school
Children who must be told
what to do and what decisions
to make will feel lost at Clon-
lara, she says.
S oistis: a n
By KAREN TINKLENBERG
At Solstis School, students de-
cide what, when, where and how
they want to learn.
Presently unaccredited, t h i s
'impromptu high school gives 12-
18 year olds an opportunity to
teach themselves and to enjoy
learning - an opportunity not
often found in local accredited
schools where most Solstis stu-
dents also attend classes.
Within the brightly painted
frame house on 706 Oakland, one
can find classes on mysticism,
sexism, chamber music, and
Grades are nonexistent at Sol.
stis, where teachers neither
make assignments nor give tests.
In some cases, classes even meet
without a teacher and learn
through discussion or reading.
When students have an idea
for a new course, they post it
on the "information room" bul-
letin board. Anyone knowledge-
able in the requested subject
becomes the teacher, and a class
Since learning depends en-
tirely on student interest, Sol-
stis classessometimes become
less informative and more soc-
A University student explains
that his Chinese culture class
takes hiking trips and visits mo-
dern dance programs. W h i1 e
admiting that both activities are
unrelated to the subject, he ex-
plains that one of the main pur-
poses of his course is "to get to-
gether with people."
A junior high student describ-
ing one class said "last v--ek we
went on a picnic." Speaking up,
his friend replied, "the week be-
fore it was a birthday party.
You don't learn very much, do
But most Solstis members think
they do. In the Chinese c'ass,
students discuss anything relat-
ing to Chinese culture from con-
versational Chinese to chop-
sticks, according to a teacher.
'The only thing we haven't learn-
ed about is Chinese cooking."
Solstis School occupies a -arge
old house complete with shock-
ing-yellow porch. Decorated by
the students, bright patches of
color throughout the house make
an otherwise drab building ;nok
The Solstis house is rented
from the University for $100 per
month. Much of this rent comes
from a group called "Friends of
Solstis" - mostly parents of
Also, Solstis members are ask-
ed to contribute $5 a month to
help pay rent, electricity bills,
three salaries d4900 per year),
and purchase some supplies. And
in 1970, the Simmons Foundation
and the University's Project
Community provided grants to
get the program "on its feet."
With no such supoprt on an
ongoing basis, however, Solstis is
One solution to their problems
would be to obtain state accredi-
tation, which would require the
school to move to a one-story
building, hire at least one cer-
tified teacher, and raise "a solid
source of money." Solstis has
no certified teachers, b a r el y
eniough money to meet its pay-
ments, and a three-story building
with one floor condemned.
Solstis hopes to eventually re-
ceive acreditation as an "exper-
imental project" of the Ann Ar-
bor public school system, but so
far, the Board of Education has
refused to consider the matter.
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Pioneer II: an
MONDAY-SATURDAY, 8 A.M.-10 P.M., SUNDAY, 10 A.M.-7 P.M.
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AAIN AT WASHINGTON-DOWNTOWN ANN ARBOR
0Q M I;14. . .the jeweler you'll learn to trust,
welcomes you to Ann Arbor and invites you to browse and shop.
We're confident that when you think of jewelry, it'll be Daniel's.
The few extra blocks you'll walk are not only good for your health;
but easier on your pocketbook.
The finer brand names you've known and seen are found at Daniel's,
such as .
By KAREN TINKLENBERG
A sign at Pioneer II H i g h
"Observation is a rip-off! Our
policy is participate - contri-
bute - be part of the action. Fix
a lunch, join activities, lead a
discussion, clean the johns."
Unlike Solstis, Pioneer II is
an accredited alternative to tra-
ditional high school education. A
student need only be registered
at Ann Arbor's Pioneer H i g h
School to receive credit.
Opened last fall as an -ex-
perimental project" of Ann Ar-
bor schools, Pioneer II runs on
a full-time basis with two full-
time and two part-time certified
Classes at Pioneer II <ange
from such traditional subjects
as French, math, driver's edu-
cation and science to Chinese
cooking, human ecology, yoga.
the Bible, genetics and evolution,
Students learn from "resource
people"-teachers, parents, Uni-
versity students, even Board of
Education members - anyone,
who knows anything.
A student committee helps
choose their own teachers and
makes recommendations to the
Pioneer High School principal.
Each student has an advisor,
a teacher who determines whe-
ther or not a student should re-
ceive credit for his participation
in a particular course. All class-
es are run on a pass-fail basis,
and so far, only two students
Students must complete a cre-
dit application for each course
explaining what their course will
be about, whether they will need
a teacher or wish to study inde-
pendently, and_ where ,and when
the class will be held. The stu-
dent and advisor then decide how
the courses should be evaluated'
True to the "free" spirit of
the school, there is no set time
for the opening and closing of
Pioneer II. The teacher who ar-
rives first opens the doors in
the mornings and the one who
leaves last closes up. Usually the
students decided when and where
a class meets.
At noon, a student food coop
makes lunch. Students in t h e
co-op, who prepare, serve, and
clean up after lunch, pay less
than those not involved with the
No one knows whether colleges
wil accept students who receive
a . diploma from a "free" high
school. Pioneer II sends out a.
letter with students' transcripts
explaining how the school oper-
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Buy your used
texts at Follett's
and leave your
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UESDAY & THURSDAY