On Sunday we went to Arthurdale in West Virginia. It was an experimental socialist community spurred on by Eleanor Roosevelt during the depression as part of the New Deal. Out of work coal miners and other workers were given the opportunity to buy some land, a house, their furnishings, some livestock, and were taught a trade. They had a forge, furniture making workshops, weaving workshops and other small scale production. Children were taught a trade in addition to the traditional curriculum, and the traditional subjects were approached on a project “learn by doing” basis. Each grade would pick a project for the year, and all their lessons would revolve around that project…such as, the fourth grade wanted to learn about the western pioneers, so they built a cabin, outfitted it, made a covered wagon, planned their foods to take west, learned about the history of the western frontier, and planned a campaign west. Talk about progressive!