Share the Wealth

As organizers of the P.A.L. Workshops, we’re firm believers in sharing the wealth of information that can benefit parents and thus their kids. Transformative Culture beat us to the punch on this workshop that explores several approaches to education, with philosophies represented that include Reggio, Montessori, Waldorf and even homeschooling.

We’ll have a Q&A on this topic soon, but if you can’t wait until the Spring P.A.L. ($10 version) of this workshop, and you have the funds to attend, check out EduEvolution: A Workshop Exploring Four Methods of Alternative Education.

You may recognize our former P.A.L. speaker Kristen Pallonetti from Tribeca Community School who will be speaking at the event. And if you are considering homeschooling, Laurie Block Spigel, whom I heard speak last night at a NYC homeschool event, has a good website to get your started:


EduEvolution: A Workshop Exploring Four Methods of Alternative Education.

What alternative methods of education are available for our children?

In what ways are they different?

How can we decide whether or not they would benefit our child?

Alternative approaches to education are not new.  Some have been established about 100 years ago, such as the Montessori and Waldorf philosophies.  In New York City we can find schools that practice both these pedagogical methods.  There is also a rise in schools that are incorporating the Reggio Emilia approach as well as parents that have decide to Homeschool their children.

EduEvolution is a workshop being offered that introduces the participants to the benefits of each of these systems: Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio Emilia and Homeschooling. Four alternative educators will share their knowledge and experience of their representative field.

Each educator will spend an hour giving a brief overview of the philosophy and approach of their method, and doing a hands-on activity.  Time will also be left for answering questions and recommending resources.


Kristen Pallonetti is the Program Director at TriBeCa Community School, a constructivist, Reggio Emilia inspired preschool in downtown Manhattan. Beginning as a Pre-K teacher, she became the school’s director in 2010. Kristen attended Cornell University where she earned a B.S. degree in Human Development with concentrations in Developmental Psychology and Early Childhood Education. At Cornell, Kristen was involved in early childhood research with infants and young children studying language development and spatial awareness. She then completed the Harris Fellowship in Child Development and Early Childhood Education at Yale University where she was a preschool teacher at Calvin Hill Day Care Center, a model progressive early childhood center, and was also part of a clinical child psychiatry team at the Yale Child Study Center. Kristen then went on to the Harvard Graduate School of Education, earning a Master of Education degree in Human Development and Psychology. Her background in child development, developmental psychology, and early childhood education guides her work at TriBeCa Community School, implementing constructivism and Reggio Emilia inspired work with children, teachers, and parents.

Orlando Colon has been studying Waldorf education since 1998 and completed his Waldorf Teacher Training at Antioch University in New Hampshire in 2004. He has worked at the Garden City Waldorf School in New York and at Colegio Rudolf Steiner in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. He recently completed a five year training in Spacial Dynamics in Mechanicville, NY and is at present the Movement and Games and Spanish teacher at the Brooklyn Waldorf School. His daughter is presently a student at the Brooklyn Waldorf School.

Laurie Block Spigel is a leading educator in the New York City homeschooling community, teaching popular group classes, and serving as a guide and mentor for homeschooling families. Her approach is informal, creative, and child-led. In her book, Education Uncensored, Laurie shares her innovative ideas and original techniques for every subject. She explains why our current educational system has it all backwards and shows how exciting learning can truly be. Laurie’s website, HomeschoolNYC, contains everything a parent needs to know about homeschooling in NYC, and offers an amazing list of valuable resources. Learn more about Laurie, and read some excerpts from her book, at

Reidden Sewell, a native of North Carolina, is a second generation Montessori teacher; not only did he attend a Montessori school as a child, but his mother also taught there. Reid has been a teacher for seven years and is currently at Montessori Day School of Brooklyn. Of the Montessori philosophy, he says, “I appreciate the deep respect for children and the education process, as well as the elements of social justice woven in throughout the process.” He holds a B.A. in outdoor leadership from Warren Wilson College, an M.Ed. in Montessori education from Loyola College of Maryland and Association Montessori Internationale primary ages certification. Reid is an avid camper, chef, bicyclist and UNC basketball fan.

When: April 21, 2012

Time:  1:00pm – 5:30pm

Where:  Living Room Soho, 552 Broadway, Suite #4, 3rd Floor, Manhattan, NY

Registration and info:

Price: $ 110

Participation is limited to 20 people.

(Note: the workshop will take place only if a minimum of 9 people sign-up)

Organized by the Center for a Transformative Culture and Dreamriver Press


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