About Michael

The short version: I’m a Jerusalemite, back in Israel after five years in Leipzig, Germany, where I studied and worked in theoretical linguistics. Now I work in an office and take part in Leftist political activities on my free time. I’m a founding member of the European Democratic Education Community (EUDEC) and before that I was a co-founder and alumnus of Sudbury Jerusalem, a Sudbury school in Israel.

The long version:

EDUCATION

In 2001-2, at the age of 14, I was involved in starting Sudbury Jerusalem, Jerusalem’s first (and so far only) Sudbury school, which I then attended for four years as a student. I was (and am) the school’s first graduate.  I have since continued to care about democratic education, and for years I have been speaking, sporadically, about democratic education, mainly giving talks for school startup groups. I’ve listed some of my talks below.

In 2007, I became involved in creating the European Democratic Education Community and organizing the EUDEC 2008 conference. In 2008, at EUDEC’s founding assembly, I decided to put my experience in democratic meetings to work and ran for Council, EUDEC’s managing board. I remained a highly active member of EUDEC Council until 2011, when I stepped down to focus on my degree studies, and was Chairman of Council from late 2009 until then.

LANGUAGE

Since I began my studies in 2008, linguistics has become an important part of my life. I am mainly interested in generativist theories of morphology and syntax (which I often think of as one thing called morphosyntax). A while back I wrote about why I like something as boring as grammar here: “Why Grammar?” For more about that stuff, see my Linguistics page.

PEACE

I’ve always been concerned with my homeland (Israel)’s prospects for peace. A feeling of hopelessness was part of the background for my leaving. For a while I tried to avoid this painful topic, but it caught up with me eventually, and for the past couple of years in Germany, I couldn’t help but follow the goings-on in Israel with sad horrified fascination and an intense need to do something to change things. So, after completing my degree, I moved back.

OTHER FINE THINGS

Other than democratic education and linguistics, I am very interested in civil rights and liberties, gender, privilege, and intersectionality, strategy and politics, and the Internet.

Below are some interviews I’ve given, and some of my talks and articles, mainly about democratic education. Linguistics stuff is on the Linguistics page.

Interviews

  • (January, 2009) Sandra Anusiewicz-Baer: “Powermentsch”, Familienmentsch [German]
  • (June 29, 2008) Simone Kosog: «Freiheit macht Kinder klug!»Tagesspiegel (also run in Potsdamer Neuste Nachrichten, see scan here: link) [German]
  • (August 3, 2005) Ole Schulz: «Industrielle Schulen ruinieren Schüler»taz [German]

Articles

Talks and appearances

2012

2010

2009

  • (September 17) Discussion about Sudbury schoolsDet frie Gymnasium, Copenhagen
  • (September 14) Open Q&A for parentsDen Demokratiske Skole, Roskilde, Denmark
  • (September 13,18) Workshops for staff, on Judicial Committee and staff selection and evaluationDen Demokratiske Skole, Roskilde, Denmark
  • (August 7) Discussion about democratic education, national summer camp of the German Green Youth (Grüne Jugend), Burg Lutter
  • (August 1) Discussion about Sudbury schools, open session, EUDEC Annual Assembly 2009, Cieszyn, Poland
  • (February 9) «Unsere Kinder – die kleinen Forscher von heute, die großen Wissenschaftler von übermorgen?», for Freie Demokratische Schule NordWest e.V., Oldenburg (Oldb.)
  • (January 20) Presentation and discussion about Sudbury schooling«Schule neu denken», Leipzig

2008

2005-7

  • (September, 2007) Tagung: Demokratische Grundschule, Univeristät Siegen, Siegen
  • (April 2006) “Self-Directed Education from the Perspective of a Student”, «Schule im Aufbruch», Universities of Freiburg and Leipzig (for Kapriole Freiburg and Freie Schule Leipzig)
  • (August 5, 2005) “Curiosity or Curriculum: a Provocation or a Contradiction?” (panel discussion), IDEC 2005, Berlin
  • (August 4, 2005) “Self-directed education: The perspectives of a Sudbury student”IDEC 2005, Berlin

Miscellaneous

  • (August, 2008) Games Convention coverage for Gamer.co.il: 1 2 3 4 5 [Hebrew]

An archived blog about education, language, peace, and other fine things

%d bloggers like this: