Jerry Mintz

Jerry Mintz – International Democratic Education

Jerry Mintz – International Democratic Education

Jerry Mintz is the Founder and Director of the Alternative Education Resource Organization. He was the first executive director of the National Coalition of Alternative Community Schools (NCACS), and was a founding member of the International Democratic Education Conference (IDEC).

In addition to several appearances on national radio and TV shows, Jerry’s essays, commentaries, and reviews have appeared in numerous newspapers, journals, and magazines including The New York Times, Newsday, Paths of Learning, Green Money Journal, Communities, Saturday Review, Holistic Education Review as well as the anthology Creating Learning Communities (Foundation for Educational Renewal, 2000).

Key Takeaways:

00:24 Jerry’s Favorite Thing about working with the Young Learners

01:15 Origin Story of Jerry’s Journey to Alternative Education

12:06 Options to Alternative Education

19:09 Demand for Alternative Education in this time of Pandemic

23:17 Democratic Process for Learners

33:12  International Democratic Education Conference (IDEC) and Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO) Conference

36:01 Frustrated Parents who wants to start something new

40:00 Metaphor comparing Conventional to Alternative Education

45:53 Requirements for a School to be in AERO


“So the whole idea is to make a learner centered approach available to students everywhere. And what I mean by learner-centered, is a program that listens to what the students are interested in and build on their interest rather than curriculum-driven, which is an old model, which is just very, very antiquated. It had its purpose at some point, maybe. But this will help you become a lifelong learner.”

“If kids are natural learners, forcing them to learn things they’re not interested in extinguishes their natural ability to learn.”

“Children are natural learners. If you know that they’re the ones who are bringing the curriculum to you, all you have to do is be a good listener.”

“When you have not stopped kids’ ability to learn, they learn at lightning speed. Unbelievable speed.”

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Jerry Mintz