If you’ve explored our site, you know that we are inspired by the model of North Star: Self-directed Learning for Teens in Hadley, MA.  Well, we are not the only ones.  Several alternatives to education have also been so inspired including Princeton Learning Cooperative in Princeton, NJ (in year 2) and Compass: Center for Self-directed Learning in Ottawa, ONT, scheduled to open in January 2013.  North Star is not in the business of franchising, but, rather is happy to help others who see how well this approach works for teens.

In my opinion Compass has done a remarkable job of capturing the essence of this approach in this video.  Would love to hear what you think!

Compass Teens

North Star

I feel very fortunate for having discovered and establishing a relationship with North Star: Self-directed Learning for TeensFor the last decade I have been exploring and visiting a wide variety of “alternative” learning venues.  When I first visited North Star in April of this year, I knew I had arrived at a Very amazing place.  It has become a model for my work here at Open Doors.

I’ve also written about my experience there during a month-long internship there in September.  I’d love to have you read and/or give me feedback on this: Why is Everyone Here so Happy?


At Open Doors we believe that learning is a natural human process; is fundamental to human development; and when allowed and supported, respecting the individual’s process, is one of the most joyful of human experiences.  From this belief comes our Mission:  To support the natural joy of learning of each person.

To this end, the adults serve as advisers and mentors rather than “teachers”.  It is our role to help remove any obstacles to this natural process that might arise.