TDP News: Grrrls Support School of Doodle

f7a0684dd25ee0a37526e605cf58e359_largeVirtual education is nothing new, but the idea of a free on-line high school designed to inspire the creative thinking of girls through lessons taught by the likes of Kim Gordon, bassist and vocalist for Sonic Youth; Leslie Arfin, staff writer for HBO’s Girls and MTV’s Awkward; and Alice Waters, farm-to-table pioneer chef, is pretty revolutionary. That’s just what School of Doodle is trying to accomplish, some constructive rebellion in the minds of young women. In fact, in outlining their vision and defining what they call a “Doodle girl,” School of Doodle creators quote the zine of 90’s punk/grrl rock band Bikini Kill when saying that such a person would “share a belief that girls constitute a revolutionary soul force that can, and will change the world for real.”  Creating world-shaking girls via virtual lessons from a variety of talented, cool, inspiring artists might just be the  next big thing in education.

What School of Doodle founders are calling a “peer-to-peer, self-directed learning lab dedicated to activating girls’ imagination through entertainment, education, and community” will get its start through crowd-sourced funding. Supporters who want to help School of Doodle reach their goal of $75,000 can do so by pledging to their Kickstarter campaign, which launched three days ago. With incentives like receiving doodles from Courtney Love, Yoko Ono, or Pussy Riot, the project is already almost half-way to that goal. A mere $1.00 donation turns contributors into Be Loud Club members, which helps reinforce the school’s ideology. A driving piece of School of Doodle’s mission is to teach girls to be loud; by “demanding to be seen and heard”; by “embracing every part of [the self] – the messy and the neat”; by “being colorful, curious, compassionate, creative, courageous and confident.” As long as you are a girl born after 1996, that $1.00 gets you access to the school’s test phase. The school’s creators hope that this type of incentive will help create a Doodle community, which is a necessity in keeping the project centered on those who will be using it. 

According to Molly Logan, the school’s co-founder who was inspired by her work on Station to Station to launch this project, School of Doodle’s curriculum will be varied and imaginative, covering a wide range of topics. Although arts-focused, those topics are by no means limited to art. The development of their curriculum will be “driven by the Doodle community and a teen board of directors” (MTV.com). Yes, the school was designed with teen girls in mind and the “participatory component of girls teaching lessons will be for teens only,” but everyone will be able to access the lessons, and to be inspired – for free. Men will teach and mentor, share and learn, and be part of the Doodle community. Teens and adults alike will find imaginative motivation in the lessons. This variety and equality is one of the forces that makes the project, and its curriculum such an innovative digital learning experience.

School of Doodle strives to teach girls to “value themselves” and to help create a world “where girls don’t ask for permission.” The collaboration of visual artists, musicians, designers, imaginative business professionals, writers, chefs, etc., – ranging from Salman Rushdie to Cat power – is evidence of the energy and excitement surrounding the project and the investment in the school’s mission. Encouraging girls to dare to believe in themselves is a timely idea. The sample lesson included on the School of Doodle campaign page opens with lines from Bikini Kill’s song “Double Dare Ya” – lines that serve as a call to action to the girls School of Doodle is trying to reach. “Dare you to do what you want. Dare you to be who you will. Dare you to cry, cry out loud….Double dare ya!”

For more information, or to contribute to School of Doodle, visit their campaign page here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/schoolofdoodle/school-of-doodle

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