References on Circle Pines History and Co-op Economic Philosophy

Beshears, Fred

Books on the Cooperative Movement
by Fred Beshears

Cooperatives, Folk Schools, and Quaker Work Camps
by Fred Beshears

Definitions of the Circle Pines Mission Statement Values

Discussion of Cooperation as Survival of the Nicest
by Fred Beshears

Is it time for Circle Pines to dream about an online folk school?
by Fred M Beshears

Key Questions addressed in the article:

  • What would it mean if Circle Pines Center decided to move into online education?
  • What would it mean if CPC started to develop online courses? And, if we did, what would those courses be about, who would create them, and who would take them?
  • What would it mean if CPC could finally have its own folk school where the students living at CPC would receive some of their education via online courses?
  • Should CPC try to go it alone, or would it make sense to form some kind of alliance with other folk schools such as the Highlander Folk School?

Coursera Courses for Circle Piners

Someday, Circle Pines may want to get into the business of creating online courses as part of our mission as an educational institution. Also, someday, people living at Circle Pines may want to take online courses, perhaps in some kind of group setting.

In the meantime, this blog post has the results of searching Coursera for online courses that may be of interest to Circle Piners.

List of Circle Pines Center Directors
by Fred Beshears

Notes on the Cooperative Workplace by Joyce Rothschild
by Fred Beshears

Burnett, Christyl

From the Ashland Folk School to Circle Pines Center: A Legacy of Progressive Education in Michigan
Author: Christyl Burnett
Editor: Dawn Murphy
June 4, 2017

Eighty Years Since Ashland: the Untold Story of the Transition from the Ashland Folk School to Circle Pines Center
by Christyl Burnett

CPC Donation Page (2020-05-24)

As of today (May 24, 2020), you can follow the link above to obtain this article. You will be asked to make a donation. Please do!

Glass, John

How We Came To Be: A Brief Look at the Beginnings of Circle Pines
by John F. Glass
July 1998

Gordon, Jerry

Early Memories of Circle Pines Center by Jerry Gordon
Article by Jerry Gordon in the Circle Pines Center 60th Anthology (1998)
pages 14 through 17

Gosho, Louise Strandness

This article is from the 1944 Circle Pines Center Anthology (see p. 40).
Here’s what that anthology had to say about Louise.

“Vitally interested in community and decentralization since meeting Ralph Borsodi in 1939, Louise Strandness began a first-hand study of these subjects at the School of Living in Suffern, New York, at Pendle Hill, and at Teaburyport. She made the first list and record of all such communities, and her correspondence began the Rural Cooperative Communities file. She and her husband, Lewis Gosho, met at Circle Pines, and with a group of members have purchased land and begun a homestead community adjacent to the Center. This article was written during the summer of 1944, when the homestead plan was under discussion.”

Why I want a Homestead in Circle Pines Center Cooperative Community
by Louise Strandness Gosho

Grundtvig, Nikolaj Frederik Severin

A brief history of the folk high school
22 May 2022

The idea of the folk high schools emerged in the 1830s. The founding father was N.F.S. Grundtvig – a Danish theologian, writer, philosopher, historian, educationist and politician.

In the early 1800’s, thoughts of enlightenment in Denmark were peaking and the tradition of national romanticism were developing. Nikolaj Frederik Severin Grundtvig (1783 -1872) was deeply inspired of these thoughts, and after personal experience from the Trinity College in England, he developed the concept of the folk high school.

Grundtvig identified a growing democratic need in society – a need of enlightening the often both uneducated and poor peasantry. This social group had neither the time nor the money to enroll at a university and needed an alternative. The aim of the folk high school was to help people qualify as active and engaged members of society, to give them a movement and the means to change the political situation from below and be a place to meet across social boarders.

Graves, Seth

Circle Pines Center celebrates 75 years as quiet Barry County gem
by Seth Graves
10 August 2013
(originally published in The Hastings Reminder)

Henderson, Harold

Camp Co-op
By Harold Henderson
27 July 1989
(originally published in the Chicago Reader)

Knox, Bill

Bill Knox on Hard Times and the Big Split at Circle Pines

  • This article is from the Circle Pines Center 35th Anniversary Anthology
  • The 35th Anthology was published in 1974.
  • This article appears on page 76 of the 35th Anthology.
  • The article itself is from Bill Knox’s draft history of CPC.

Hard Times: the Big Split by Bill Knox

Bill Knox on the Economic Philosophy of the CO-OP Movement

  • This article is from the Circle Pines Center 35th Anniversary Anthology.
  • The 35th Anthology was published in 1974.
  • This article appears on pages 136-137 of the 35th Anthology.
  • It originally appeared in Pine Needles in May 1972.
  • Pine Needles is a newsletter published by Circle Pines Center.

A Word From Our Philosopher by Bill Knox

Lauderdale, Ann

CPC History Talk at the 50th Reunion in 1988
Ann Lauderdale

Sonquist, David

Prospectus for a Cooperative Work School by Dave Sonquist

This article appears in the 60th Anthology of Circle Pines Center (1938-1998) as an addendum starting on page A-2. The article itself was written in 1948.

Co-op Folk College to Open this Fall by Dave Sonquist

This article appears in the 60th Anthology of Circle Pines Center (1938-1998) as an addendum on page A-5. It was written in 1945 and has been posted here for its historical significance. Attempts were made at the time to start the school, but they did not come to fruition.


Co-operative Economics

Co-operative economics is a field of economics that incorporates co-operative studies and political economy toward the study and management of co-operatives.

Cooperative Education

Cooperative education (or co-operative education) is a structured method of combining classroom-based education with practical work experience. A cooperative education experience, commonly known as a “co-op”, provides academic credit for structured job experience. Cooperative education is taking on new importance in helping young people to make the school-to-work transition. Cooperative learning falls under the umbrella of work-integrated learning (alongside internships, service learning and clinical placements) but is distinct as it alternates a school term with a work term in a structured manner, involves a partnership between the academic institution and the employer, and generally is both paid and intended to advance the education of the student.[1]

Cooperative Learning

Cooperative learning is an educational approach which aims to organize classroom activities into academic and social learning experiences.[1] There is much more to cooperative learning than merely arranging students into groups, and it has been described as “structuring positive interdependence.”[2][3] Students must work in groups to complete tasks collectively toward academic goals. Unlike individual learning, which can be competitive in nature, students learning cooperatively can capitalize on one another’s resources and skills (asking one another for information, evaluating one another’s ideas, monitoring one another’s work, etc.).[4][5] Furthermore, the teacher’s role changes from giving information to facilitating students’ learning.[6][7] Everyone succeeds when the group succeeds. Ross and Smyth (1995) describe successful cooperative learning tasks as intellectually demanding, creative, open-ended, and involve higher order thinking tasks.[8] Cooperative learning has also been linked to increased levels of student satisfaction.[9]

Co-operative Studies

The purpose of co-operative education and co-operative studies, according to the ICA’s Statement on the Co-operative Identity, is that Co-operative societies “provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operatives. They inform the general public – particularly young people and opinion leaders – about the nature and benefits of co-operation.”[1] As such, it forms the fifth Rochdale Principle. Subfields of this include Co-operative economics, and the History of the cooperative movement.

In December 2011 a special edition of the Journal of Co-operative Studies was given over to the subject of co-operative learning. Edited by Maureen Breeze, the edition contains 14 articles written by theorists and practitioners of co-operative learning. Contributors include Alan Wilkins (Co-operative Learning: a contextual framework), Nigel Rayment (Co-operative Learning: values into practice), Wendy Jolliffe (Co-operative learning: making it work in the classroom) and Nick Matthews (Teaching About Co-operatives in a UK University Business School).[2]

Cooperative federalism (economics)

“Cooperative federalism is the school of thought favoring consumers’ cooperative societies.”

Consumers’ Cooperative

“A consumers’ co-operative is an enterprise owned by consumers and managed democratically which aims at fulfilling the needs and aspirations of their members. They operate within the market system, independently of the state, as a form of mutual aid, oriented toward service rather than pecuniary profit.”

FMB Note: Fundamentally, Circle Pines is a consumers’ cooperative, not a worker’s cooperative (see below). Back in the 1980s, CPC also became a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization because of our educational mission. This is very nice since now those who contribute to CPC can claim it as a tax deduction. But, being both a consumer cooperative and a 501(c)3 nonprofit does add a layer of complexity to the organization.

Mondragon Corporation

The Mondragon Corporation is a corporation and federation of worker cooperatives based in the Basque region of Spain. It was founded in the town of Mondragon in 1956 by graduates of a local technical college. Its first product was paraffin heaters. It is the tenth-largest Spanish company in terms of asset turnover and the leading business group in the Basque Country. At the end of 2014, it employed 74,117 people in 257 companies and organizations in four areas of activity: finance, industry, retail and knowledge.[3] By 2015, 74,335 people were employed. Mondragon cooperatives operate in accordance with the Statement on the Co-operative Identity maintained by the International Co-operative Alliance.

The Rochdale Principles

The Rochdale Principles are a set of ideals for the operation of cooperatives. They were first set out in 1844 by the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers in Rochdale, England and have formed the basis for the principles on which co-operatives around the world continue to operate. The implications of the Rochdale Principles are a focus of study in co-operative economics. The original Rochdale Principles were officially adopted by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) in 1937 as the Rochdale Principles of Co-operation. Updated versions of the principles were adopted by the ICA in 1966 as the Co-operative Principles and in 1995 as part of the Statement on the Co-operative Identity.

Nonprofit organization

“A nonprofit organization (NPO) … is an organization traditionally dedicated to furthering a particular social cause or advocating for a shared point of view. In economic terms, it is an organization using its surplus of the revenues to further achieve its ultimate objective, rather than distributing its income to the organization’s shareholders, leaders, or members. Being public extensions of a nation’s revenue department, nonprofits are tax-exempt or charitable, meaning they do not pay income tax on the money that they receive for their organization. They can operate in religious, scientific, research, or educational settings.”

Worker cooperative

“A worker cooperative is a cooperative that is owned and self-managed by its workers. This control may mean a firm where every worker-owner participates in decision-making in a democratic fashion, or it may refer to one in which management is elected by every worker-owner who each have one vote.””

FMB Note: Circle Pines is not a worker cooperative, but those interested in the cooperative movement in general should know about worker co-ops.

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