Rumblings | December 24, 2009
Putting the ‘Liberal’ in liberal education

local student starts new school

Heather Brunner |

Though it’s in its infantile stages, Eau Claire may see yet another new education opportunity sprouting in the coming months. Eau Claire native Katie Hahn has taken the challenge of starting up a free school, in which volunteers teach a variety of classes to anyone interested in learning in a more liberal, free-speech-based manner. A former UWEC student, Hahn became frustrated with the school system and wanted to offer others an alternative option. “It doesn’t prepare you for a career and it doesn’t give you a truly liberal education,” Hahn said. “They just teach you how memorize facts rather than to think and analyze, and that is not the purpose of an education. I wanted to do something that would be free and would give you the experience you need to succeed.” Some have already expressed interest in teaching these classes, she said, citing literature, chemistry, and philosophy as possible subjects. “I’ve been working through word-of-mouth and people I know getting in touch with their friends. Hopefully, we’ll get the word to spread further.” While Hahn foresees most classes being taught to an adult-based audience, she welcomes the idea of volunteers teaching classes for kids as well. Hahn hopes to get things started in public places or homes in early 2010.

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