Ken Danford started North Star Self-Directed Learning for Teens in 1996 in response to his disillusionment with work as a public school teacher.  Watch his TEDx Talk, School is Optional.

With the help of Ken Danford, Joel Hammon started the Princeton Learning Cooperative.  Together, they run Liberated Learners which helps communities set up their own North Star. Watch Joel’s TEDx Talk, Teacher Liberation.

Watch various videos about North Star:


In July 2018, Ken Danford visited Manila to help start up Abot Tala.  Read all about his first journey to Asia. Click here.

If you love reading, if you are a teacher (or student) searching for a better way, if you want to set up an alternative to school, read Joel Hammon’s Teacher Liberation Handbook.  It gives a clear picture of how Liberated Learner Centers operate. Check the book out in Amazon.

Check out the websites of the Liberated Learners and North Star:

Read about what happens to the alumni of North Star:  Click here.

Read about Abot Tala through the eyes of its founder, Joei Villarama:

Launching a Game-Changer

Who Wants to Flip It?

If You Build It Will They Come

So Extreme You Might Fall Off the Spectrum

The Non School

Read about the cross-country road trip Joei took with her family while researching alternative forms of education:

Our Road Trip

Read about Joei’s visit to North Star and Princeton Learning Cooperative:

Helping Teens Thrive Without School

Tigers, Humans and SDE

Read the blog of Abot Tala Executive Director, Owie Burns dela Cruz to get her side of the story:

Of Dreams Coming True and My 37th

Of Abot Tala, Trust and Taking Risks


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