Join the Co-op

Cooperative Catalyst is built on an open collaborative model, where people who are passionate about education, the issues we face in schools and the world-at-large come together to have meaningful discussions. We are always open to new members joining in as contributing writers and we’d like everyone to participate in ways that are meaningful and enjoyable to each both as individuals and members of an educational system that desperately needs re-imagining and reworked. Right now there are 3 ways you can be involved.

1. Constant Catalyst: Weekly Blogger. We started with and maintain the idea that we should engage in regular discourse to re-envision education and our own practices. Thus, we choose weekly topics to each write about, posting our own blog post, followed by discussion in the comment section. If you would be interested in committing to weekly blogging, then this might be for you.

2. Change Contributor: Blogger, not weekly. Anyone’s voice at any time is valuable in these conversations. Even if you don’t have the time or interest in weekly blogging, please engage with us on the blog as you do have the time or interest.

3. Spark: Discussion Participant, Guest Blogger, Question Proposer. Add to the discussion at any time by using the comment feature on blog posts. Join in when the conversation or topic just really gets you revved up-while we do moderate comments, that’s only to keep the spam out. If you are not a spammer, your comment will be approved. Perhaps you would just like to contribute a guest post-we welcome those, too. Join in the discussions on our “Future Topics of Discussion” page and suggest ideas or questions you’d like to see us address or that you’d like to join in and address with us.

Contact anyone of us via our profile links if you want more information, have questions or know you want to get more involved , or contact the co-op on twitter @coopcatalyst or via e-mail

One way to join us is our  @coopcatalyst or our  Tumblr page or  our facebook page!



23 thoughts on “Join the Co-op

  1. Hello! I love the blog… and the entire concept behind it. I am music education student right now and I am looking forward to a summer of reading about education as I prepare for my senior year and student teaching.

    Posted by wordssosweet | June 13, 2010, 9:22 pm
  2. Ken,

    Go to and look for the “sign in” or “log in” option. Use your log-in information and you should be brought to you dashboard. You can click “new post” either in the top bar or by clicking “posts” on the left sidebar. As for your picture, you can upload that yourself in “my profile” under the “users” tab on the left sidebar of the dashboard.

    As for the coding, that’s outside of my comfort knowledge base, but “blockquote cite=” is not familiar to me from working on this cite, while “/blockquote” is. Perhaps I can learn from you about this.

    I look forward to your posts and participation in conversations. If you run into trouble getting set up, let me know.


    Posted by Adam Burk | June 19, 2010, 9:17 am
  3. Hey Catalysts,

    I’m enjoying catching up to all you’ve written and done here. Much thanks to Kirsten Olson and David Loitz for point the way.

    I’m five weeks into leading IDEA ( We’ve been working hard to make a strong public launch that: 1. frames a broader, deeper, and more nuanced concept of learning to the mainstream, 2. builds a network across areas of interest in place based education, youth power and organizing, social justice work, participatory and action-based research, etc, and 3. Catalyzes (we liked this word to) action on the ground offline in ways that are meaningful to youth, families, and communities.

    The points of connection between what is happening here and what IDEA is strategically making happen are many. I’d love to hear your ideas about the best ways we can support your work and any ideas about ways you all might like to engage.

    An ally and hopefully new friend,


    Posted by Scott Nine | August 6, 2010, 11:14 am
    • Hi Scott,

      I am very excited to have an open line of dialogue with you. You and all the folks at IDEA are doing great work and I know that we can support, motivate, and inform each other for the greater good.

      Off the top of my head perhaps a good way to engage with one another is that in addition to frequenting each other’s sites, we create a solid guest posting channel so that we are frequently cross-pollinating.

      We can also look at collaborating to co-host an on-line or live event/discussion.

      What do you think?

      With hope,

      Posted by Adam Burk | August 13, 2010, 6:01 pm
  4. Hi David,
    Forgive me, but I thought I had joined! Yes I would like officially to be part of this group of thinkers, having been enormously inspired by posts thus far.

    I believe the ‘Constant Catalyst’ category, described as involving regular discourse to re-envision education” most suits me, I would enjoy, however, remaining open to posting elsewhere ad hoc.

    My wordpress account ID is: Wonderbred

    Thank you,

    Posted by wonderbred | August 19, 2010, 1:36 pm
    • Hello, Jon – thank you for your continued interest and engagement with the Coöp.

      At present you are welcome and invited to comment at will. In terms of pursuing authorship, I’d encourage you to review our “Pledge to Students and Learning” and to compare it your own beliefs, which I’ve only been able to infer from your comments here and your organization’s materials online.

      I don’t know that you’d agree with us that it’s not right to replace intrinsic motivation with external gauges of control. Likewise, while I find you to be a caring adult dedicated to kids, I don’t know how your belief that kids are inherently broken reconciles with our belief that kids should not be made to feel powerless.

      The Coöp does share a common belief that our public educational system is broken and, to some extent, harms and/or limits all students. We do share a common belief that kids deserve more independence and can use that independence to learn and produce great things. I suspect you might agree with us that parts of the educational system are broken (correct me if I’m wrong), but it seems to me that you think a different system of external control could help fix broken kids.

      I do apologize if I have mischaracterized or misinterpreted your beliefs. If I’ve done so, I assure you that I have not done so intentionally. Please trust that I do value the energy you’ve given to conversations here and to helping kids.

      However, I don’t know that your beliefs are in accordance with the core values or mission of the Coöp, and so I would invite you to continue participating through comments, rather than as an author, with due consideration given to the norms mentioned in our past conversations.

      Continued best wishes,

      Posted by Chad Sansing | August 20, 2010, 10:19 am
  5. Music education demonstrating the cutting edge of what kids can do.

    Posted by Dr. Rasmussen | November 22, 2010, 1:11 pm
  6. You kids need to make these posts tweetable and “like”-able on Facebook. How else can we get the word on them out?

    I just posted an article I really liked, but can’t even attribute it! Ouch.

    Let’s get it out there! We must if we want it to spread. 🙂

    Posted by Paula Lee Bright | November 22, 2010, 10:38 pm
  7. Whoops! I just saw the stuff for sharing! My bad bad bad. 😦

    Hey—my heart was in the right place, huh?

    Posted by Paula Lee Bright | November 22, 2010, 10:41 pm
  8. Hi everyone,
    Just stumbled upon your blog searching for education intersections with Occupy Wall Street. I love the post on neoliberalism and how it is embedded in current education “reforms.” Nice work! I’d love to cross-post your work on my blog, and if you see anything interesting there repost as you like:

    Love this cooperative!

    stephanie jones

    Posted by stephanie jones | October 17, 2011, 9:45 am
  9. I am interested in participating in this conversation. I am a practicing therapist in Northern Virginia,seeing mostly children and families, and I am afraid for the coming generation for the following reasons: the inability of education to meet the needs of the students and the direction of education,which is completely in opposition to their mental and physical health….the drugging and dangerous misdiagnosing of students and human beings based on normal human emotions and the need for the educational system to numb them into compliance.

    Posted by Jan Falk, LCSW | January 22, 2012, 8:54 am
  10. Hi guys,

    I woud be interested in joining the conversation as an author if you are interested. I am a drama teacher. My blog is called Public School Rocks (mostly in reaction to the constant negative press we receive in New Jersey about how all education is bad and we, as teachers don’t care about the students at all). The website is I am a firm believer in empowering students and allowing their voices to be a part of solving the problems inherent in our systems. To continually apply tired old remedies and expect change is self-defeating. Also, as a teacher in a school that is “ghetto” (as others call it) – many people, including administration and teachers gear their efforts towards training students to be workers in a lower class rather than inspiring them and challenging them to be true 21st century global thinkers who can change the world. I feel frustrated by the rhetoric that the kids are the problem – if they were just the way they were 50 years ago. The students are bright, willing to takes leaps of faith, and want to engage. However, they deal with much bigger challenges than I did when I was 14. I have students who have been homeless, whose parents are in jail and who are basically acting as the adult in their home. And we need them to go to school and get an education, all while telling them that only the honors students will ever have a future anyway. Many of these young people fall through the cracks of our current system. And instead of looking for ways to fix the problems, we are mired in political grandstanding and arguments. (Sorry, getting on a soapbox here.)

    ANYWAY, if you are interested in looking at my blog and seeing if my values and work fit in with yours, I’m certainly interested in your membership. I find the blogs on this site empowering, inspiring and thought-provoking and often share them with others. I don’t write weekly (don’t have time) but I try to get something up once a month.


    Jen Little
    Drama Teacher and Applied Theatre/Anti-Bullying Facilitator

    Posted by Jennifer Little | April 7, 2012, 11:40 am
  11. I’m excited by the energy you share here, and grateful that the discourse has been brought further into the public sphere. As someone who is passionate about the Sudbury education model, I’ve been wishing there were more people were saying that the whole system should be trashed.

    I especially like that many posts are written by students. Their voices have been missing from the conversation for far too long. It’s time they stopped being treated like small children who cannot design their own futures, and who must be forced to spend their time doing meaningless exercises for their own good.

    Karen Hyams
    Woodinville, WA

    Posted by karendanzah | April 12, 2012, 2:46 pm
  12. Hi all,

    I love this site! I’m interested in getting involved in some way – either as an author or in other productive ways.

    I’m a former high-school English teacher and current teacher educator. My teaching career started in the Mississippi Delta as part of the Mississippi Teacher Corps; I’ve also taught in rural and urban schools in Illinois. Through my work as a teacher educator, I get to travel to a lot of different types of schools and meet students and teachers all the time.

    Right now, I’m doing research on how to best leverage the voices of teachers and students (and teacher educators) to impact public policy in a digital world. This led me to OccupyEducation, which led me to this site. (Love, love, love it!)

    So… a couple of questions:

    Would you be interested in being profiled in a piece that I’m working on to send out sometime in the next couple of months? Maybe we could Skype sometime and I could ask you a few questions about this project?

    As part of my research, I’m kickstarting a digital narratives project that would help teachers and students tell their own stories about what school is and could be. I think that I’ll be setting up a site next semester to start getting those stories out there, but I’d love to have those stories reach as many people as possible; if you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them.

    Let me know what you think!

    Carey Applegate, PhD
    University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire

    Posted by Carey Applegate | October 21, 2012, 12:05 pm
    • Carey, it’s great to have you here!

      David Loitz is like our “show-runner.” Feel free to reach out to him or any of the authors here – it’s very much a community. I think it’s cool that you got here through Occupy Education.

      Several “elders” are still active here from the early days of the Coöp, and all kinds of incredible, gifted, and generous people post here often, so I don’t think there’s a wrong way to begin exploring or making contacts. Depending on your questions and interests, I’m sure someone – if not several someones – would be happy to speak with you.

      Please let me know if I can be of any help. Email is here, and I’m @chadsansing on Twitter.

      Thanks for making contact!

      Posted by Chad Sansing | October 21, 2012, 5:48 pm
  13. Hi Everyone!

    If of course you feel I have anything to contribute, I’d love to get involved as a contributor here. My blog centered around a grassroots learning revolution is You’re doing brilliant work here, keep it up!

    Bernard Carbajo Moran.

    Posted by bernardtullassa | November 19, 2012, 2:55 pm

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