HOPEWORK LLC History and Partner bios
Hopework LLC was formed in April 2014 out of a partnership formed by four of the founders of the University of Minnesota residential off-campus course Lives Worth Living: Questions of Self, Vocation, and Community, affectionately named Philosophy Camp. The partners bring many years of experience in exploring, designing, and implementing democratic education in formal and non-formal educational settings.
John was a professor in the Philosophy Department at the University of Minnesota from 1972 to 2014. Beginning in 1988 he turned his teaching to service-learning courses and his research to learning how to teach in a way that helps students integrate their practical experiences in the community with study of philosophical material. This led him to the democratic education tradition -- the Danish folk high schools, Myles Horton and the Highlander Folk School, and Paulo Freire. Teaching became a commitment to support students in building communities of inquiry where they can learn with and from each other about issues that matter in their lives. This work has taken shape in University courses, including Philosophy Camp, and in community education projects, including the Jane Addams School for Democracy in St. Paul, the Building Alliances project in southwest Minnesota, and Hopework.
Peter teachs ethics primarily, in impersonal online courses and in residential high-intensity 24/7 contexts including Philosophy Camp. He is also engaged in long-term video production projects, having produced the regional cable show The Bat of Minerva for 18 years. He has long experience in the Philosophy for Children movement, an effort to build a 'self-correcting community of inquiry' in elementary and secondary classrooms and then carry the spirit of such community over into civic life. He has also engaged in various experiments in participatory, democratic learning and teaching in the spirit of Myles Horton, John Dewey, and the programs of Reggio Emilia. He reviews children's books from a philosophical perspective. In the past, he has been heavily engaged in public programs in the humanities and in efforts to enrich the public education environment. He preaches occasionally in the Roman Catholic tradition and finds that activity his purest creative outlet.
Nance Longley is a graphic designer and teacher at the University of Minnesota. She discovered Danish folk high schools years ago as an undergraduate while living and learning abroad for a year in Aalborg, Denmark. She chose to focus on the type of education found in folk high schools—nongraded, noncredit, student driven—for her master of liberal studies degree and weave it together with handcraft, specifically book arts. She teaches book making and design at Philosophy Camp and sees over and over again the connections that are made between head, hand, and heart, and between people learning, working, and living together. And she really enjoys seeing learners discover another form of language in the arts.
Lynn Englund received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, where she teaches as an adjunct instructor in the Department of Family Social Science. Her interests in family, youth, and community education include studying intentional communities as experimental social laboratories and microcosms of societies, and working with small groups to create physical, emotional, and psychological safe "spaces" for individuals to interact and get to know each other. She is especially interested in educational processes (story circles) that help individuals to create and maintain safe spaces so that mutual trust and respect is present, and participants experience learning with and from one another's similarities and differences. Since 2002, she has co-taught Philosophy Camp.