The Schoolhouse Experiment: Reimagining School at Home and in the Classroom


In THE SCHOOLHOUSE EXPERIMENT, Two in the World explorers Pamela Beere Briggs and Natalie McDonald, together with husband/father UCLA professor William McDonald, share the story behind their decision to recover 12-year-old Natalie’s love of learning by relocating her middle school studies into their Los Angeles backyard. Woven throughout the story are moving letters from a creative and caring public school teacher and wise kernels of wisdom from recent research on K-12 education. We hope The Schoolhouse Experiment will help parents, teachers, activists, and lifelong learners approach education in a calmer and healthier way, right now and post-pandemic.

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During our two-year “schoolhouse experiment,” we acquired tools we are using to this day, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our intention is not to suggest that readers choose to do what we did. But so many people find themselves currently working and schooling from home. We hope that by telling our story, we can share with readers some of the things we learned from our schoolhouse experiment. We also hope our book will inspire new ideas for the traditional classroom setting post-pandemic. Elementary school teacher Judith Feuer-Walden offers insight on how lessons learned in Natalie’s backyard schoolhouse might be adapted to the traditional classroom. Included throughout the book are many brief summaries of wise research on K-12 education and life beyond the classroom.

The book is an engaging and user-friendly 140 pages in length. Each chapter ends with a few prompts to invite readers to jot down their own thoughts about healthier and happier approaches to learning—both at home and in the classroom.

Additional information


Two in the World (2021)


Paperback (132 pages), English