Don Berg is an award winning author, education psychology researcher, alternative education practitioner, and leader.
Has over 20 years of experience leading children of all ages in mostly non-classroom settings. Earned a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Reed College in 2012.
Homeschooled many children in a consensus run small group for five years.
Don Berg is an author, education psychology researcher, alternative education practitioner, and leader. His latest book Schooling for Holistic Equity: How to Manage the Hidden Curriculum in K-12 is due to be released in December 2022.
He has been published in the peer-reviewed journals Other Education, The Journal Of The Experimental Analysis Of Behavior, and the Journal of East China Normal University (Educational Sciences). He has over 20 years of experience leading children in self-directed educational settings. He has taught psychology at The Village Free School in Portland, Oregon, USA.
As the Executive Director of Deeper Learning Advocates, he is on a mission to embed the psychology of learning in policy so that policy stops undermining learning. As an international presenter his work has been featured at conferences in the USA, Canada, the Netherlands, and in China.
As an entrepreneur, he runs Attitutor Media and currently lives at the Joyful Llama Ranch in West Linn, Oregon.
There is no question that the American education system is in crisis. There is a significant risk that the mainstream school system will cheat children out of some – if not all – of the education they deserve because a pervasive, hidden curriculum utterly fails to support the well-being of students and educators. Students are expected to act like data-processing machines, but real human beings do not act like machines. In his groundbreaking book Schooling for Holistic Equity, Don Berg explores the reasons for current high levels of student and teacher disengagement, the disconnect between educational goals and results, and the “fauxachievement” and shallow learning that prove woefully inadequate in preparing students for higher education or the workforce.
A researcher with more than twenty years of experience in education, Berg lays out the foundation for a scientific understanding of deeper learning grounded in Self-Determination Theory and the primary human needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. He shows how the central problem in our schools has less to do with academic instruction and more to do with the psychology of learning. His model for educational design, called Catalytic Pedagogy, is a comprehensive plan to bring about large-scale, systems-level change.
Psychological research shows us how to engage and motivate people, and recognizing human needs provides us with the exact guidance necessary to proceed as effective learners and teachers. Schools should be – and can be – joyful places where passionate teachers teach enthusiastic students. It’s time for a transformation in education, and Berg’s trailblazing model shows us the way.
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