- Algiers Point Art Adventures, Saturday September 16th, New Orleans, LA, USA
- Bowling with the Dripping Springs Friendship Club, Friday September 15th, Austin, TX, USA
We serve neurodivergent and disabled people local to us in Austin TX, Denver CO, New Orleans LA, and Ketchum ID with passion-driven programming driven by our learners. We do concerts, lunch & learns, field trips, art shows, marketplaces, and more.
Algiers Point Art Adventures
At Algiers Point Art Adventures in New Orleans, LA, Becky and Friends host a creative drawing and painting class for children ages around 6-7 in one class and around 8-10 in another. We explore ways to bring out children’s creativity as well as some drawing techniques. Classes are every Saturday at 10:30am starting June 3rd.
Metal Health Fest
We pursue passion-driven programming driven by our learners. A teenage Stimpunk helped us put on Metal Health Fest. He came up with the idea and collaborated with us and a live music event coordinator using our communication stack. He helped pick the lineup, design the posters, write the copy, deal with logistics and legalities, setup the speakers and soundboard, and keep people safe. He helped troubleshoot along the way, keeping the event on schedule and on budget. He learned collaboration while putting on a show that our community really enjoyed. To top it off, he earned service hours at school.
The photos turned out great.
We also do lunch & learns, field trips, art shows, marketplaces, and more. We take care of the expenses and business logistics, providing a platform of support for our community of neurodivergent and disabled people.
Our podcast is published bi-weekly on Tuesdays.
Stimpunks Podcast Episode 3: On Jordan Neely and Support Systems – Stimpunks Foundation
Stimpunks Guide to the NeurodiVerse
Our Guide to the NeurodiVerse publishes an accessible summary of neurodiversity and disability related research every other week.
Philosophy & Pedagogy
To learn about the philosophy and pedagogy behind our learning space, keep on scrolling.
- Upcoming Events
- Our Motivation
- Our Style
- Our Philosophy
- The Need Is Great: Sacred Learning Space Online & Offline
- ⏭ Continue with “🌎 Online: Bringing Safety to the Serendipity”
Stimpunks was forged in the quest for survival and educational inclusion. We had to roll our own education, because even the “all means all” of public education failed to include us. We’ve learned a lot along the way and present to you Stimpunks Space as the synthesis of our forced interdisciplinary learning. That learning connected us with neurodiversity communities, disability communities, educators, doctors, nurses, autism researchers, sociologists, tech workers, care workers, social workers, and a long list of others. We wove together the aspects of these disciplines that were compatible with our community of neurodivergent and disabled people into a human-centered pedagogy and philosophy. We left out the stuff incompatible with and harmful to us, such as all forms of behaviorism. We built a learning space that works for us using a zero-based design approach.
We run our organization using the same human-centered principles we use to educate ourselves and run our learning space. We eat our own dogfood. In fact, running the organization is part of the curriculum. Our multi-age learners join our Systems team, our Editorial team, our Events team, our Design team, our Art team, and so on to help us make the organization. We use the collaboration tools and techniques we helped develop at WordPress.org, WordPress.com, WordCamp.org, and Automattic.com, among the first fully-distributed communities and companies.
Our organization and our website are books being written in front of you by our learners. They are constantly updated artifacts of constructionism brought you to by:
- psychological safety
- neurological pluralism
- intrinsic motivation
- flow states
- intermittent collaboration
- multi-modal communication
- niche construction
- immediate contact with the outdoors
- connectivity to nature
- place-based education
- caves, campfires, and watering holes
- teams, technology, and help
- open technology and toolbelt theory
- liberatory design and universal design
- projects, passion, problems, and purpose
- fresh air, daylight, large muscle movement, and stimming
- love, care, community, and respect
Notice: Bolded links show inline definitions when you hover over them with a mouse or tap them on a touch screen. Try it out in the list above.
We provide inclusive community and space for neurodiverse, multi-age collaboration online and offline.
Online, we bring safety to the serendipity with our distributed community and communication stack. Chance favors the connected mind. Our learners connect using 1:1 laptops and indie ed-tech. We give our learners real laptops with real capabilities, and we fill those laptops with assistive tech and tools of the trades.
Offline, our learners enjoy fresh air, daylight, large muscle movement, and the freedom to stim and play. Ensure there is quiet space and outdoor space that people can access at any time.
We provide psychologically and sensory safe spaces suited to zone work, intermittent collaboration, and collaborative niche construction.
We Believe: Human-Centered, Trauma-Informed, Self-Determined, Equity Literate, Interdisciplinary, Open Technology
Learning is rooted in purpose finding and community relevance.
Social justice is the cornerstone to educational success.
Dehumanizing practices do not belong in schools.
Learners are respectful toward each other’s innate human worth.
Human-centered and Passion-driven
A humane education is one whose organizing principle is the innate capacity of students to be critical, empathetic agents in their communities and on the global stage.100 Seconds to Midnight: The Need for a Human-Centered Education
“Passion-Based” puts kids and their interests at the center and changes “teachers” into “educators” who are resourcers, advisors, and supporters.
When we reach Passion-Based Learning we are adding content to context, taking the natural curiosity and interests of kids and making education conform to those individual dreams.Real Maker
When learning is allowed to be project, problem, and passion driven, then children learn because of their terroir, not disengage in spite of it. When we recognize biodiversity in our schools as healthy, then we increase the likelihood that our ecosystems will thrive.
To be contributors to educating children to live in a world that is increasingly challenging to negotiate, schools must be conceptualized as ecological communities, spaces for learning with the potential to embody all of the concepts of the ecosystem – interactivity, biodiversity, connections, adaptability, succession, and balance.Timeless Learning: How Imagination, Observation, and Zero-Based Thinking Change Schools
Creating paths to equity and access for all children remains the grand challenge of public education in America.
Equity provides resources so that educators can see all our children’s strengths. Access provides our children with the chance to show us who they are and what they can do. Empathy allows us to see children as children, even teens who may face all the challenges that poverty and other risk factors create. Inclusivity creates a welcoming culture of care so that no one feels outside the community.Timeless Learning: How Imagination, Observation, and Zero-Based Thinking Change Schools
Three Sacred Learning Spaces
Both online and offline, we provide the three sacred learning spaces: caves, campfires, and watering holes. Dandelions, tulips, and orchids alike can find room and respite. We provide individual spaces as well as community spaces so that learners can progressively socialize according to their interaction capacity. Caves, campfires, and watering holes are necessary to designing for neurological pluralism and providing psychological safety. They’re necessary to positive niche construction, intermittent collaboration, and a good learning UX. They’re necessary to creating what we call “Cavendish Space“.
In creating such a system, today’s educators go back to the best of our roots in the earliest teachers who understood that learning occurs in many spaces, from caves to campfires to watering holes. The tools we use and the curriculum we learn shift across time.Timeless Learning – How Imagination, Observation, and Zero-Based Thinking Change Schools
First, and make no mistake here, all three sacred learning spaces will have analogs in cyberspace. If they don’t, then cyberspace will cease to exist as a domain of interaction among humans. Those using the new media will create their own analogs for these learning places, even if they are not designed into the system.Campfires in Cyberspace: Primordial Metaphors for Learning in the 21st Century
Cavendish Space and Classroom UX: Designing for Pluralism
Since reading NeuroTribes, we think of psychologically & sensory safe spaces suited to zone work as “Cavendish bubbles” and “Cavendish space”, after Henry Cavendish, the wizard of Clapham Common and discoverer of hydrogen. The privileges of nobility afforded room for his differences, allowing him the space and opportunity to become “one of the first true scientists in the modern sense.”
Let’s build psychologically safe homes of opportunity without the requirement of nobility or privilege. Replace the trappings of the compliance classroom with student-created context, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), and BYOC (Bring/Build Your Own Comfort). Let’s hit thrift stores, buy lumber, apply some hacker ethos, and turn the compliance classroom into something psychologically safe and comfortable to a team of young minds engaged in passion-based learning. Inform spaces with neurodiversity and the social model of disability so that they welcome and include all minds and bodies. Provide quiet spaces for high memory state zone work where students can escape sensory overwhelm, slip into flow states, and enjoy a maker’s schedule. Provide social spaces for collaboration and camaraderie. Create cave, campfire, and watering hole zones. Develop neurological curb cuts. Fill our classrooms with choice and comfort, instructional tolerance, continuous connectivity, and assistive technology. In other words, make space for Cavendish. Make spaces for both collaboration and deep work.
Quiet Space and Outdoor Space
We provide quiet space and outdoor space that our learners can access at any time.
It’s Not Rocket Science: Considering and meeting the sensory needs of autistic children and young people
Outside space. Many people find being outside and in natural very calming. Space to move away from other people, internal noises and distractions can be a good way to self-regulate.
“I think things that are useful for autistic people would be beneficial for everyone. It would have stopped a lot of distress for a lot of people if they can take themselves away and calm down.”
A sensory room or de-stress room. Easy access to a quiet space to de-stress can be an enormously helpful tool for people to be able to self-manage. Ideally, this room will be away from areas where there is heavy footfall or other outside noise. Many people find neutral spaces beneficial, with the option of lights and other sensory stimulus.
“I think you should just be able to walk into the sensory room instead of asking staff and waiting for them to unlock it.”It’s Not Rocket Science: Considering and meeting the sensory needs of autistic children and young people
Intrinsic Motivation and Flow
We pursue special interests and assist attention tunnels so that learners can slip into flow states.
Flow states are the pinnacle of intrinsic motivation, where somebody wants to do something for themselves, for the sake of doing it and doing it well.Craft, Flow and Cognitive Styles
When focused like this an Autistic person can enter a ‘flow state‘ which can bring great joy and satisfaction to the person experiencing it.Monotropism
Down the rabbit hole: If it exists, you can reasonably assume there will be an autistic person to whom that thing is the subject of intense obsession and time spent.
The reality is that if it exists, you can reasonably assume there will be an autistic person to whom that thing is the subject of intense obsession and time spent, from blankets to drain covers (both of these are special interests of people in my acquaintance) and pretty much anything in between. When engaging in a special interest, autistic people are typically calmer, more relaxed, happier and more focused than they would otherwise be – for many, it is a form of release or even self-medication: a well-timed foray into a special interest can stave off meltdown and be a generally extremely positive force in an autistic person’s life.Learning From Autistic Teachers (pp. 30-31)
Many people with autism are stressed individuals who find the world a confusing place (Vermeulen, 2013). So how does someone with autism achieve a sense of flow? McDonnell & Milton (2014) have argued that many repetitive activities may achieve a flow state. One obvious area where flow can be achieved is when engaging in special interests. Special interests allow people to become absorbed in an area that gives them specialist knowledge and a sense of achievement. In addition, certain repetitive tasks can help people achieve a flow like state of mind. These tasks can become absorbing and are an important part of people’s lives. The next time you see an individual with autism engaging in a repetitive task (like stacking Lego or playing a computer game), remember that these are not in themselves negative activities, they may well be reducing stress.
If you want to improve your supports to people with autism from a stress perspective, a useful tool is to identify flow states for that person and try to develop a flow plan. Remember, the next time you see a person repeating seemingly meaningless behaviours, do not assume that this is always unpleasant for them – it might be a flow state, and beneficial for reducing stress.What is ‘flow’?
“Down the rabbit hole” is an English-language idiom or trope which refers to getting deep into something, or ending up somewhere strange.Down the rabbit hole – Wikipedia
Learning how to learn on his own proved one of the most important lessons of his life.What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry
Self-Organized Learning Environments
Great things happen when you provide learners open technology and then set them loose to pursue intrinsic motivation. They self-organize, much like the self-organizing teams of companies and open source communities like Automattic and WordPress.
Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.Principles behind the Agile Manifesto
We need to look at learning as the product of educational self-organization.
If you allow the educational process to self-organize, then learning emerges.
It’s not about making learning happen. It’s about letting it happen.
The teacher only raises the question, and then stands back and admires the answer.
My wish is to help design a future of learning by supporting children all over the world to tap into their wonder and their ability to work together.
Help me build this school.
It will be called the School in the Cloud.
It will be a school where children go on these intellectual adventures driven by the big questions which their mediators put in.Sugata Mitra: Build a School in the Cloud – YouTube
Learning itself is actually an emergent phenomenon like a hive or a thunderstorm.What happened after TED Prize 2013 | Sugata Mitra | TEDxUFM – YouTube
“You go there, I will go with you”
“You go there, I will go with you”
A SOLE is a mildly chaotic environment of children, clustered around the Internet, in search of answers to Big Questions.
The teacher is a friend, on this journey….The Future of Learning | Sugata Mitra | TEDxNewcastle
What Safe Collaboration Can Do
Josephmooon is a neurodiverse, multi-age, distributed musical collaboration featuring the work of two teenagers and their mentors. The greater Stimpunks community helps the band with websites, lyrics transcription, art, marketing, e-commerce, fulfillment, tax collection, and everything else that goes into hanging your shingle, running a business, and releasing music on every platform. Stimpunks is rich with learning curves and constructionism.
Lately I've been feeling out of tune, out of tune I don't know why, but I would like to know why And I want to get back in tune Out of tune, that's what I am Being out of tune pains my head (can't get out of bed) Hurts from being out of tune and I just so want to get back in tune Out of tune, that's what I am, out of tune When I get back in tune My good days will come back, and I'll feel better If you're feeling out of tune like I am now Get back in tune, like I said I will get back in tune But I don't know when (hopefully soon) I know it could take time But let's make it happen I'm back in tune Back in tune, that's what I am Back in tune In tune, back in tune
@Josephmooon is what you get when you embrace the obsession and go where self-directed learning leads. #DIYEdge #StimpunksTweet
The Need Is Great: Sacred Learning Space Online & Offline
It began when some teachers and schools wanted to drug and kick Zach out of mainstream spaces for his difference, which is autism—despite the school system wanting to label his behavior as ADHD. Instead of complying, we sought out radical and alternative spaces, for both education and community, finding communities where folks were trying to think about how kids can be fully part of a community in liberated and autonomous ways. The key word here is radical because broadly speaking, in the youth liberation movement, there are many permutations of ways that adults work to create better spaces for (or with) youth to exercise their autonomy and power.“Magneto’s Dreams: A New Symbol for Youth Autonomy” by carla joy bergman and Zach Bergman in “Trust Kids! Stories on Youth Autonomy and Confronting Adult Supremacy”
Should it really be called a school if its drive is discipline and kills magic?
What’s being taught to stand in a silent line but a hierarchy pageant?
“Solidarities of Resistance” by Curiousism Cyphers in “Trust Kids! Stories on Youth Autonomy and Confronting Adult Supremacy“
Every day’s a school play where someone falls through the trap door tragic
The need is great. We create anti-ableist space that centers the neurodivergent and disabled people most ill-served by “empty pedagogy, behaviorism, and the rejection of equity“. By doing so, we serve all bodyminds.
Create more anti-ableist spaces.
Let’s act to hold ALL spaces accountable for providing care and access to disabled folks with all types of bodies and minds.JEN WHITE-JOHNSON
We can start building more accessible, care-centered communities now. We can combat ableism now. We can lay the groundwork for a world that works better for all of us.DR. SAMI SCHALK ON TWITTER
A better future is possible. Let’s start building it together today.
An overriding goal of education should be learning and developing humanistic values based on freedom, respect for others, and the ability to build good interpersonal relations and understand each other.
This is the foundation of our culture and civilisation.
A better future is possible.
Let’s start building it together today.Holistic Think Tank | Good Day – YouTube
Twenty Systems, Summarized Within 4 Values Statements, That Must Be Changed for a Human-Centric, Equitable System
Learning is rooted in purpose finding and community relevance.
- Map a Path to Purpose
- Learn Experientially
- Connect to the Community
- Promote Literacy
- Create Cross-Disciplinary, Multi-Age Classrooms
Social justice is the cornerstone to educational success.
- Support a Reflective Space
- Demand Inclusive Spaces
- Authenticate Student Voice
- Adopt Critical Pedagogy
- Utilize Restorative Justice
Dehumanizing practices do not belong in schools.
- Radically Reduce Homework
- Build Strong Relationships
- Eliminate Grading
- Redefine Assessment and End Testing
- Reform Food Systems
Learners are respectful toward each other’s innate human worth.
- Self-Direct Learning
- Support and Elevate Teachers
- Ensure a Thriving Public Education
- Cooperate, Don’t Force Competition
- Prioritize Mental Health & Social Emotional Learning
Interdisciplinary Subject (IDS)
An interdisciplinary curriculum equips students with a toolkit for thinking about the complex problems of the world and of themselves as learners. The interdisciplinary subject is a series of lessons, activities, and projects that aim to combine all typical school subjects into one holistic view of education. Our draft curriculum, in partnership with ongoing grant-funding from Holistic Think Tank, provides teachers with actionable steps toward making change. Further developments of the IDS will occur across 2023-2024.
At a Glance
Interdisciplinary education is crucial for fostering innovative thinking and solving complex problems across multiple fields. In other words, multi-subject learning is required to tackle the problems of today and work collaboratively toward change. Our phase 1 (of 3) contribution to the IDS includes:
629 pages of:
- 41 far-ranging, broad interdisciplinary lessons
- 246 extension activities to focus each of these lessons across the entire curriculum, as well as supplement media and extensive projects
- A pedagogical guide for teaching and using the IDS
- An impact guide for fostering experiential learning
- Alignment to community change & concepts of wonder, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Source: Interdisciplinary Subject
Learn About Neurodiversity at School (LEANS)
LEANS explains neurodiversity to pupils in the following way:
Neurodiversity means that we are all different in how we think, feel, and learn, because our brains process information differently. Your whole class is diverse, not just in the way you look or what you enjoy doing, but also in the way your brains work and how you think, feel, and learn.
LEANS stresses how many different things the brain does—and thus why information-processing differences can have such profound effects across different domains. As one story character reflects, this is how her dyspraxia (DCD) diagnosis can affect her memory and her feet at the same time!
To help explain neurodiversity and neurodivergence in the classroom, LEANS uses the metaphor of trees growing in a woodland. One group of trees is in the majority—this woodland is an environment that perfectly meets their needs for water, shade, etc. Other types of trees are growing there, but they are minorities, and this environment is less ideal for their needs. The metaphor makes clear that the less-common trees are having a hard time growing in the woodland. A willow tree is not inherently “better” or “worse” than a beech tree—they are only different, with different needs. It is important that when talking about neurodiversity and differences between people, that we don’t end up minimising the impact of those differences. We want to recognise the struggles some children face in school and so that’s reflected in the woodland metaphor too.
Three big things to know about neurodiversity content in LEANS
- LEANS is a neurodiversity introduction. We hope it will be only the start of your class exploring this topic. It’s also not possible for one resource to cover every possible situation, or experience!
- It is about neurodiversity within primary schools, rather than all of society. Starting close to home helps keep this topic accessible and relevant for everyone.
- The materials focus on lived experiences over diagnostic labels. It doesn’t give facts about a list of diagnoses. It stresses that neurodiversity includes everyone in the classroom, and that neurodivergent people may not have diagnoses.
Read more about what LEANS is—and isn’t—on our resource overview page, and our FAQs page.
Solarpunk gives us the permission to imagine differently.
Solarpunk gives us the permission to imagine differently; to resist Giroux’s “dead zone of imagination.”
Imagining a better future isn’t naivety, it’s essential for a thriving world
We must preserve in the face of everything a positive outlook toward organizing surviving, and building anew or risk becoming stagnant.
Individual actions snowball and propagate through systems, and each act of service, each pushback, each classroom decision can fundamentally build a better future.
It’s up to us to make that tomorrow a reality.
I would call our work to change the world “science fictional behavior”—being concerned with the way our actions and beliefs now, today, will shape the future, tomorrow, the next generations.
We are excited by what we can create, we believe it is possible to create the next world.
We believe.Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds
A Practical Guide to Systemic Change
A Practical Guide to Systemic Change – YouTube
- Update your understanding of how change happens.
- Know you’re complicit, but that means you have power.
- Learn enough to get involved, but don’t get stuck.
- Imagine the world you actually want to bring about.
- Start by dismantling the system within.
- Identify your role in a system so you can subvert it.
- Tap into communities, preferably in the real world.
- Don’t let the bigness of it all burn you out.
- Grieve what you can’t change, which will be a lot.
- Go out and DO THE DAMN THING.
…control over children is the narrative that society has internalized, and it has become so entrenched that opting out seems radical.
Other than those who are incarcerated, no group of people are more routinely denied autonomy over their bodies and minds than young people. Autonomy is a basic human need, and distress in response to violations of that autonomy is not a defect of the child. We can change the context for these young people by removing the oppressive practices and structures that are placed upon and inhibit the autonomy of children.
As a result of Stephanie’s decision to move Zachary from an environment that disregarded his personal autonomy to one that openly acknowledged it, many of Zachary’s struggles quickly disappeared, and the quality of his life and that of his family improved substantially. For example, the tussling each morning at the door disappeared, and Zachary and his family avoided a stressful event at the beginning of the day, which helped head off a cascade of follow-on crises.“Changing the Context” by Antonio Buehler in “Trust Kids! Stories on Youth Autonomy and Confronting Adult Supremacy”
trust kids to be kids in a world that does not want them to be kids.“youth ellipsis: an ode to echolalia” by kitty sipple in “Trust Kids! Stories on Youth Autonomy and Confronting Adult Supremacy“
trust kids to be kids.
to be neurodivergent.
trust kids to be.
trust (these) kids.
trust (those) kids too.
trust kids / all kids / sad kids / mad kids / happy kids / Black kids / Indigenous kids / magical kids / anxious kids / quiet kids / outspoken kids / undocumented kids / adopted kids / thoughtful kids / tree-climbing kids / naming-all-the-frogs-George kids / otherworld otherworld-daydreaming kids / mutain’eering kids / screaming kids / joyful kids / disabled kids / grieving kids / autistic kids / sick kids / scared kids / hurt kids / traumatized kids /
non-verbal kids / compassionate kids / empathetic kids / system kids / hypervigilant kids / voice-hearing kids / stimming kids / hungry kids / tired kids / ticcing kids / hopeful kids / trans kids / queer kids / intersex kids / 2SLGBTQIAA+ kids / all (and we mean all) kids. because this list is not exhaustive of kids to trust
trust (all) kids.
Restoring Humanity to Education
There is a point to taking these individualistic actions towards systemic change, because kids notice this stuff.Restoring Humanity to Education w/ Nick & Chris of HRP | CTRH2023 – YouTube
Progressive education is research-based education. We have the research on our side. The traditional practices do not.Restoring Humanity to Education w/ Nick & Chris of HRP | CTRH2023 – YouTube
Human Restoration with Timeless Learning
“Timeless Learning” is a fundamental text of progressive pedagogy and an important part of our journey at Stimpunks. It helped us develop our notions of classroom UX, toolbelt theory, caves, campfires, and watering holes, and more.
More About Timeless Learning
Neurodiversity is one of the most powerful ideas of our generation. Human Restoration Project understands the importance of neurodiversity and disability in an era of mass behaviorism and unvarnished eugenics. They are true allies in the fight for the right to live and learn differently.
HRP’s vision for human-centered education is compatible with neurodiversity, the social model of disability, and human dignity. They understand that sharing power fosters self-determination, something dearly important to our community of neurodivergent and disabled people.
More About Human Restoration Project
Let’s Take Up Space
Do you ever feel unsafe? Do you wanna take up space? Do you (Take up space) Wanna? (Take up space) Do you Oh, do you wanna? Ooh, ooh Ooh, ooh Sha-la-la-la-la "Take Up Space" by Dream Nails