See Info on Next AERO Conference
Unique Democratic Education Research Article

Peter Gray and Yong Zhao at last year's AERO Conference in Portland, OR. See Free Yong Zhao and Gray's keynotes below!
  Super Earlybird AERO Conference Rate Ends Tomorrow!
Free Yong Zhao Keynote!
The Super Earlybird Hardcore AERO Supporter rate ends tomorrow at midnight. This will be the only time you can get the whole 5 day conference for just $200. Some people have asked whether the $50 deposit holds that rate. It does! 

The next AERO conference will be back in New York, at the Long Island University C.W. Post campus from August 2-6. We researched extensively and the cost of this to participants is half or less than any other options we found in the New York area. 
One thing different this time is that all families can stay on campus in the dorms. 
You can now apply to present a workshop here. We've already received several and will limit the number of workshops this year to about 40. This is because we plan to again have a day of TEDx type mini-talks that were so successful last year. We'll be announcing that soon. 
We still have super early hardcore AERO supporter registration just through tomorrow, Monday, the 16th. To reward your loyalty, registration is $200, for this week only. for the full five day conference! The student rate is $150,until Monday. This is also the presenter and volunteer rate. Some of you may remember that we also did this last year in Portland, and it was never repeated! We are also taking individual and group deposits for $50 and $100 respectively.

Also, dorm room rates are still unbelievably low. You can reserve a bed in a two person room for $59 a night, and a single for $75 a night. We have similarly good rates for couples and a new one, a suite for parents with up to two children
We'd like to ask you for suggestions for keynotes. In the past we've been very fortunate to have people like John Gatto, Alfie Kohn, Riane Eisler, Sir Ken Robinson, Debbie Meier, Sugata Mitra, peter Gray  and Yong Zhao. We could even invite some of these great presenters back.
To give you an idea what AERO conferences are like we will be reposting some of the information from last year on our conference site
Also, for the first time we are posting free links to last year's keynotes. Last we posted Peter Gray's presentation. Here is Peter Gray's fascinating and unique keynote. And here is Yong Zhao's insightful and hilarious keynote. Peter Gray is an evolutionary psychologist with expertise in the area of play and close connections to Sudbury Valley School. In this talk he traces education's roots further back that most people can imagine! Yong Zhao is a renowned expert on Chinese and American education. His talk was  uniquely created for AERO and featured his personal "alternative" education in China. 
To take advantage of the Super Earlybird Hardcore AERO Supporter registration rate, click here!

Ed: This is a special for the AERO e Newsletter. It is about a very unusual democratic university in Japan, written by a Chinese observer.

By Yan LI
From the oldest continuously running democratic school Summerhill founded in 1921, untill now, democratic education has developed into a global movement, from kindergarten to high school. There are a number of democratic schools at the pre-school, primary and intermediate levels but at the higher levels, there are fewer. I was curious to know how the principles of democratic education are implemented at the university level?

Shure University in Tokyo is a 27-year- old college where students have the freedom to choose what and how they learn and where they use a democratic decision-making process among students and staff. Mr. Kageki Asakura is one of the founders of Shure University. We met at the First Asia Pacific Democratic Education Conference (APDEC), which was held at the Holistic School, Miaoli County in Taiwan from July 18 - 24, 2016. During this conference, keynote speeches in the morning were given by appointed speakers and after that, most time segments were open space where anyone could sign up and share their own experiences in workshops, discussions, and other formats.

During the keynotes, Mr. Kageki interpreted the speeches to the students who gathered together and listened intently. On the 22nd, the Japan Democratic School network held an Open Space presentation about "Japanese School Refusal and the Democratic School Network Movement." Apparently, school refusal in Japan is a huge issue in the field of education. Many democratic school students go through the process of school refusal. In the beginning, the students who went through this process themselves, explained what school refusal is, why the students refuse to go to school and how the democratic schools meet the student's needs.  They don't really refuse school for economic or health reasons but for deeper reasons that question their sense of self, their values and identity.

Read the rest here.
Research on Democratic Education
The AERO School Starters Online Course is entering its final month. One of the discussions has been about ways to explain how democratic and learner-centered education works to parents of potential students. One important way is to present actual sociological and brain research. This is a link to one article that goes all the way back to the 1930's by famed sociologist Kurt Lewin. He did a series of experiments with groups that were democratic, authoritarian and "laissez-faire." We have many other articles that have been presented to the group. Although it is too late to get into this year's course, we now are offering the possibility to see the resources from this year's course. You can get information about it or sign up for it here

Read the Lewin article here.
SelfDesign Graduate Institute Winter/Spring 2017 Faculty Webinars
January 22 Anna Soter (4-5 PM, PST)
Manifesting Language as a Field of Energy in a Poetry-Reading/Writing-for Wellbeing Program  Register for this webinar at: 
January 29 Jonathan Taylor (4-5 PM, PST)
The Emerging Elder at SelfDesign Register for this webinar at: 
February 5
The SelfDesign Graduate Institute's MA Program (4-5 PM, PST) Register for this webinar at:

Links and Calendar
Please send us feedback on this issue. also, we would like to have more articles written by AERO members and about AERO school and organizations.  Thank you for your ongoing support. With  your help , we will make learner-centered alternatives available to everyone!

In Service,

Jerry Mintz
Executive Director
Alternative Education Resource Organization

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