It’s no secret that The American Age traffics in hope, but hope without action is fragile and prone to crystalline ideations that collapse under the weight of lived experience. The Open Education Project is where our idealism meets activism. It provides insurance against too much navel gazing, and is where we hope to produce actual, quantifiable benefits for the people who we claim to champion.
We are currently developing programs and tools to help the people who don’t have the same resources to prepare for college and work that many of us benefitted from. It is very likely that if you’re engaging with The American Age you found your way here through a forest of obstacles. Material security, emotional support systems, bureaucratic acumen, all of these are necessary to engage in meaningful intellectual work, let alone secure economic stability in twenty-first century America. But many, many people are forced to navigate standardized tests, financial aid forms, course catalogs, English language classrooms, and basic tech tools without these resources.
We plan to lend a hand.
We are working to increase access to the resources necessary to succeed in the American educational system in two ways—digital mentorship and after school resources. For younger cohorts, test prep, writing, ESL, and STEM remediation, and for older students, we’re planning to leverage “help desk” technology to provide them with answers to educational questions and use the “flipped classroom” model to deploy curated online resources.
It is in ways large and small, institutional and interpersonal, that cultural inequities persist. No imagined community larger than a kibbutz has yet been constituted without hierarchical arrangements, but those that have persisted the longest have provided plausible pathways for the individuals who make up “the system” to thrive. Once it becomes clear that economic and cultural mobility is a confidence game, tyranny isn’t far behind.
Progress must not be a confidence game. It must be real or forced to be so through sacrifice. We believe that education is the alchemy of democracy. We intend to do our part to turn improbable transformations into concrete probabilities.
Please stay tuned in the coming months as we make key announcements. The Open Education Project is already underway, and we hope you’ll join us in creating new opportunities for those of us who wouldn’t care to read our musings, but deserve our help all the same.