Corvid College

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Corvid College was co-founded in Boston in October 2009 by Dr. Eric Buck, Christian Greer, and Pasqualino Colombaro as an anarchic experiment in education. It has since established a second branch in San Francisco. It is non-hierarchically organized and decentralized as there are no offices, administrators, or preset course meeting spaces, and does not confer official credentials to its students.[1] Teachers and students at Corvid are joined in voluntary association to explore and share in nontraditional ways of learning and subject material.[2]

Name[edit]

Corvus corax, the Raven, is the type species of the Corvidae.

The word corvid is a name applied to the Corvidae, the family of birds that includes crows, ravens, jays, magpies and jackdaws. The name symbolizes the non-hierarchical and diversely social nature of Corvid College.[3]

History[edit]

Corvid College was founded in Boston in the fall of 2009 in Boston. A new branch sprouted in San Francisco in the winter of 2011.

Philosophy[edit]

Corvid is a ‘self-managed in spirit, horizontal in structure,’[4] ongoing experiment in educational pedagogy, content, and structure.[5] Corvid uses the college model as well as monetary exchange (as opposed to other educational processes like the freeskool or the skillshare group) to encourage sustained student commitment in a model of education as self-cultivation.[6]

Economic Distinctives[edit]

Unlike free schools, Corvid courses are not usually offered gratis. Prices are determined by the instructors and students on a flexible, sliding scale with the possibility for barters instead of money exchange and no potential student is turned away from participating in a course for lack of funds. One instructor has utilized a “reverse bribery” system in which “he charges $200 up front and refunds $20 every time a student attends class” as an attendance incentive. “If a student doesn’t attend, he spends the $20 on wine and snacks for the rest.”[7]

Course Offerings[edit]

What is taught, how, and where is determined by teacher expertise and student demand. In theory, any topic may be taught for any price so long as a teacher and their students agree to it. “Hoedowns” in which students and teachers congregate, socialize, and discuss potential course offerings inaugurate each upcoming term.[8] Previous course offerings have included: Street Art, Philosophy as a Way of Life, Magic: the Gathering, Cover Fire: A Survey of Blackouts, The Wild Within Us, and Unexpected Flesh: Experimenting with Strange Embodiment in Life, Art, and Speculative Fiction, amongst others.[9]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://thephoenix.com/Boston/life/124474-study-in-anarchy/
  2. ^ http://www.baycitizen.org/blogs/culturefeed/corvid-college-sf-alternative-education/
  3. ^ On the structure and dynamics of Corvid societies, see Bernd Heinrich's Mind of the Raven (New York: Harper Collins, 1999) and Marzluff and Angell's In the Company of Crows and Ravens (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2005)
  4. ^ *http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=2010boston-freeschool
  5. ^ What's Left. MIT Campus Radio. WMBR 88.1FM, Boston, Massachusetts, 30 Dec. 2011. WMBR 88.1FM / MIT Campus Radio. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 30 Dec. 2011. Web. 3 Mar. 2012. <http://wmbr.org/m3u/What%27s_Left_20111230_1800.m3u>.
  6. ^ http://wmbr.org/m3u/What%27s_Left_20111230_1800.m3u
  7. ^ http://www.baycitizen.org/blogs/culturefeed/corvid-college-sf-alternative-education/
  8. ^ http://wmbr.org/m3u/What%27s_Left_20111230_1800.m3u
  9. ^ http://www.corvidcollegesf.com/?page_id=40