How can we use learning as an opportunity to practice freedom together? Join Spring Up Collective and the over 3,000 teachers and facilitators we have trained for this fully virtual 6 month course, with content access for one year.

Deadline to Register: September 18th

The course begins on September 29th with the first half completing by mid-November. The second half of the course takes place in February and March of 2024. You will continue to have access to the content through September of 2024 .

This course is for you if: 

  • You believe that education can be a catalyst for more options and success in life, but you can tell that education isn’t working for everyone.
  • You want to experience freedom as a learner in order to create that experience in the spaces you hold and facilitate.
  • You want to facilitate spaces with diverse learners where people can be themselves, ask questions, and take risks without fear. You want to make learning spaces that are accessible to different learning styles including neurodiverse and disabled learners; inclusive of queer, trans, and nonbinary learners and LGBTQIA+ families; and welcoming to Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, and immigrant people and communities. 
  • You don’t feel like teaching for the test or focusing on memorization truly helps everyone learn new information, but you are not sure how else to structure learning that will be more inclusive and effective. You want to hold engaging spaces that people remember and draw on for the rest of their lives. 
  • You feel good about the content you teach, you are just unsure if how you are teaching it aligns with your core values. 
  • You panic when something goes wrong in your learning space and are unsure of your role in intervening or correcting the behaviors. You want to have a respectful and grounded learning environment without depending on control, coercion, and punishment.
  • You want to move away from white supremacy culture and learn how to decolonize your thinking and your lesson plans. 
  • You want to practice power with participants, rather than power over learners. You want to practice consent with young people and people with more or less power than you.
  • You want to be able to effectively navigate conflict with co-teachers / other facilitators, administrators, parents, community members, and learners.
  • You want to be sustainable as an educator and not feel constantly overworked or burnt out. You want to have better boundaries with your work, colleagues, and learners. You want to have a plan for how to care for yourself and create a nurturing environment for learners and community members. 

bluelight academy's Liberatory Education Class is an opportunity for teachers, facilitators, and leaders to learn more liberatory pedagogy and hold more engaging, dynamic, inclusive, and equitable learning spaces. This multimedia course provides videos, readings with audio recordings, coaching, and grounding practices to support you in integrating everyday liberatory education into your practice.

This six-month course has been designed and developed in community and collaboration with teachers, educators, students, facilitators, and teacher trainers to answer the question, how do you design spaces that are conducive to participatory education? Facilitating learning spaces that balance freedom, self determination, access, and harm response can be a challenge, but educational environments can and should be pivotal in practicing liberation together.

Our curriculum is rooted in the real world experiences of educators and community facilitators, and models how we hold space, and how we take care of ourselves while teaching. Through scenario analysis, peer sharing, practicing tools, and historical analysis of education and care fields, together we will explore how to equitably use our power, practice consent, and sustain ourselves in what can be both nourishing and draining work.

This course is taught by Spring Up

Spring Up is a collective of 11 liberatory educators, care coaches, and Transformative Justice practitioners; after over a decade of facilitating learning spaces and training teachers, we wanted to synthesize our approach and core learnings into something that other educators could incorporate into their practice. We have held learning spaces with thousands of adults and young people including in universities, work places, community learning and leadership programs, K-12 schools, youth diversion programs, and conferences. This content is rooted in our formal and informal study and lived experience of pedagogy, identity, and structural/ historical systems of oppression as well as liberatory practices. As organizers, educators, and consultants the group of us have worked with(in) dozens of organizations and communities around the country and in Europe.

Hear what course alumni, Aisha had to say about the experience!

This course is meant to meet you where you are, whether you are a classroom teacher, a professor, a community facilitator, a curriculum designer, or are a lifelong learner. 

  • If you love to learn and people around you tend to see you as a source of wisdom and knowledge, even if you do not identify as a “teacher” this course can support you in thinking through how to share what you learn with others intentionally 
  • If you are new to teaching, either as a classroom teacher, community facilitator, teaching assistant, or paraprofessional, this course can introduce you to core approaches to education that can guide your process of entering the teaching profession. 
  • If you are a community educator, consultant, or youth leader who is holding space for peers to learn about everyday skills, this course can help you be thoughtful about how you set up your spaces to meet community members where they are. 
  • If you are a classroom teacher, professor, or curriculum designer this course can help you to plan how you will set up your spaces, how you will address harm in your classroom, and how to design assignments and discussion spaces to be inclusive of different types of learners. 
  • If you are a school administrator, or manager, this course can help you think through how to set up team meetings, feedback processes, and organizational / institutional systems to align with liberatory education practices. 
  • If you are a parent, mentor, caregiver, or mental health provider, this course can help you work through the power dynamics at play in order to center consent, collaboration, feedback, and emergence.

This course is designed as a space to practice choice and freedom.

This means that each week's content includes a variety of modes of engagement, and enough content to return to for the entire year you have access. We encourage you to commit to checking out one resource each week during October and November, then again in March and April.

We provide a variety of supports for folks with different learning styles to engage in the content the way that aligns with their needs and interests, this includes providing 1:1 coaching, reflection and discussion questions to bring to your community, alongside the weekly platform multi-media content and the option to add a print workbook to bring the digital content into your physical space.

Once you sign up for the course, you will get access to the course platform - this will be your hub for information and dialogue. As soon as you log in, you will see an orientation module that includes: 

  • a detailed overview of what to expect from the whole course
  • space to introduce yourself to the rest of the cohort in the written comments (you can even post a photo if you'd like!)
  • a survey to let us know about your access needs, goals for the course, and if you need to be paired with a buddy
  • a worksheet to plan out your term with guidance on how to coordinate with your buddy and block out time to go through the content during the 6 weeks of the course

Beginning on September 29th, the week before the course officially begins, you will receive a weekly email every Friday that informs you that two new modules of content have been posted alongside the link to access them and some guidance on what we recommend you review that week based on what you are most interested in learning about and your time availability that week (30 min, 1 hour, 90 min, or 2+ hours).

During Welcome Week (the week before the course begins), you will also receive a safety and care plan that we encourage you to fill out in order to identify your support system and plan for how to care for yourself throughout the course.

Each week one module of content will be posted. Each module includes: 

  • a core quote that introduces the topic of the week
  • an overview detailing the core components that week and any content warnings to keep in mind
  • a ~5 minute optional grounding or somatic practice (like a meditation, visualization, or song and journaling prompt)
  • 1-2 core resources: this can be a video or two, or a video and an original essay, or an essay and a scenario / case study for analysis
  • a set of reflection or discussion questions 
  • a variety of optional resources to choose from to dig deeper into the content, including essays (with accompanying audio recordings of our team reading them aloud), podcasts, webinars, even comic strips

The course begins by grounding us in the works of Paolo Freire and bell hooks, detailing how education has come to be a space that can reinforce oppression and violence. Over the next few weeks we explore the core skills necessary to implement this philosophy of practice into your life: values driven harm response, consent, equitable strategies to navigate power, nonbinary thinking, and generative conflict. In the spring we dig into contributing factors for burnout and strategies for sustainability in this work, culminating in a collective vision for what liberatory education can look like and a plan of action for how to implement what you have learned into your work moving forward. 

Registration for this course includes two 1:1 coaching sessions with one of our coaches. Spring Up coaching is a peer-based, flexible, non-therapy offering to help you clarify your goals and build your self-care and communication skills.

Our collaborative approach to  coaching is based in a non-hierarchical relationship that is solution focused — coaches recognize that clients are experts in their own lived experience. Coaching is strengths-based and culturally specific in that coaches help the client enhance their inherent strengths, skills, and resources accessible to them. Spring Up coaching has an expectation that the client is ready to engage in further learning and implementation of that learning outside of the session. 

During Welcome Week, you will be introduced to the coaches for this term as well as receive their calendars to sign up.


Because we believe in dialogue based learning, self reflection, peer support, and integrating what you are learning into your life, we ask that everyone who participate do so with a buddy or group. Each individual within your group will register individually, however we will ask you to share who your buddy or group is with us during orientation before the course kicks off.

If you do not have a buddy or group to sign up with, there will be space in an intake survey to indicate that you would like to be paired with 2-3 other solo learners to support one another. 

Groups of 6+

Groups of six (6) or more signing up together get a facilitated opening and closing live session with Spring Up facilitators; if your group has 6 or more participants please email [email protected] letting us know your group size and which course you want to sign up for so we can coordinate. You can also request an invoice if your organization is paying for you as a group.


In addition to the asynchronous discussion space under the content on the platform, we also offer live facilitated spaces throughout the term. Mixers are spaces to connect with other participants and alumni, play games, and discuss your intentions and takeaways. There is no required prework for mixers since they include participants from all bluelight academy courses, and the final mixer of the term includes alumni from previous years and terms at bluelight academy. You can join us for a mixer during welcome week (the week before the course begins), as well as halfway through the course. Specific times and dates will be shared in May. 

You can also join us for an
end of term Q+A with the course designers where you will have the chance to have any open questions you have about the course or topics covered throughout the course answered before the term closes. 

This course is offered at a sliding scale between $400 and $600 per person. The actual cost is $500, and payment plans are available. We are not a nonprofit, we are a network of practitioners who do this work balanced with other commitments and grassroots support makes this work sustainable for us.

If you would need a scholarship to be able to participate please email [email protected] with the subject "scholarship" - scholarships are available upon request. Please propose what you would comfortably be able to pay in your scholarship request - no need to explain your circumstances. The minimum payment is $75 to cover access to content, the team’s labor, and a coaching session.

Choose a Pricing Option

Can my organization or workplace pay for me to register for the course?

  • Yes, email us if you need an invoice for your group
  • You can also register yourself and you will receive a receipt for reimbursement
  • Email [email protected] with any other questions 

Am I able to access the content off of the platform or offline?

  • You can order a print copy of the workbook from our website or receive it as a patron (all content is included in PDF on the platform)
  • PDF Readings can be downloaded to be printed or annotated
  • Audio recordings can also be downloaded to listen on the go
  • You can access the content on the teachable app, and download to watch even with no wifi

What if I don’t end up having as much time as I thought during these 6 weeks?

  • You can continue going through the content for the rest of the year you have access
  • You will get monthly reminders to go through content as access gets close to expiring
  • You can let us know you’d like to be moved to a future cohort 

What if I want more live time or hands on support?

  • You can sign up for a bundle with a daylong facilitated retreat
  • You can book more coaching on our website or through patreon
  • You can bring us to your community to offer a webinar or retreat

What accessibility strategies do you take to make this course work for folks with disabilities and different learning styles?

Our virtual learning experience is designed to align with a diversity of learning styles. We offer readings as well as videos, somatic exercises, podcasts and journal prompts. There are spaces for reflection, for discussion and for connecting, be it through our buddy system, our virtual discussion board, or coaching. A worksheet to support in executive functioning and planning is shared during welcome week that details all of the options for engagement with spaces to map out your plan for what to do and on what timeframe, this worksheet can also be done in partnership with a Spring Up coach to get additional support in executive functioning.

In terms of platform content, videos are all captioned and can be listened to. For videos that we make, we read off any text that shows up in that video. All of the readings and articles on our platform have audio recordings of the text. Most of them are accessible to screen readers but some of them, like embedded pdf workbooks, might be less accessible. If you need a different version of a reading, email [email protected] or leave a comment requesting the information you need and we will do our best to meet that need.

All live spaces are on zoom and include closed captioning. Live spaces tend to be scheduled in US timezone evenings during the week. 1:1 Coaching is more flexible with times available on coaches calendars at various times and days of the week for you to select from

Does this course work for folks outside of the US?

Yes, since each participant chooses what time of day to explore the content, this course is very flexible for people in different time zones. International students may be less able to attend the live mixers, but can still take advantage of 1:1 coaching and set up time to chat with course buddies closer to their time zone. 

Is this course only in English? 

At this time our content and resources are all in English - we are working on a translation of our workbooks to Spanish this year. You can request translation to other languages by emailing [email protected], with the subject "translation."

If you would prefer to receive coaching in Spanish, email [email protected] requesting coaching for the LE course in Spanish. 

Can you tell me more about the folks who made this course? 

Spring Up is a collective of care workers, transformative justice practitioners, liberatory educators, and coaches practicing and teaching the liberatory arts here at bluelight academy. We cultivate a culture of consent and liberty for all through storytelling and popular education.

Curriculum Designers: The lead designers for this course are Spring Up co-founders and co-directors Stas (they/them) aka the imaginatrix, and Leander "Lea" (they/he) aka the mythematician. Stas is a nonbinary BlaQ Italian storyteller, and Leander is a transmasculine European American facilitator and lifelong learner.

We are a couple that has been in relationship, collaborating and healing together for the past 10 years. You will see us in videos, get to read essays we wrote on this topic, and get access to worksheets and tools that we developed in community over the past 10 years. The wisdom and tools we share throughout this course came out of long conversations filled with laughter, tears, and anger, long nights reflecting on hard truths, mistakes and harm we have faced in ourselves and our loved ones, and spaces to imagine, create, and play with abolitionist and anti-violence comrades. These are practices that have worked for us and the people we have trained and coached, and we are so excited to hear about practices that have surfaced in your life.

We are a couple that has been in relationship, collaborating and healing together for the past 10 years. You will see us in videos, get to read essays we wrote on this topic, and get access to worksheets and tools that we developed in community over the past 10 years. The wisdom and tools we share throughout this course came out of long conversations filled with laughter, tears, and anger, long nights reflecting on hard truths, mistakes and harm we have faced in ourselves and our loved ones, and spaces to imagine, create, and play with abolitionist and anti-violence comrades. These are practices that have worked for us and the people we have trained and coached, and we are so excited to hear about practices that have surfaced in your life.