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Schools without schooliness

When I was a kid in school, I loved learning but schooliness always got in the way. Eliminating the schooliness from schools will ensure that children can more reliably experience the unadulterated joy of deep learning. Managing classroom and school climate is the key to eliminating schooliness. 
For more about the term 'schooliness,' click here.

I'm Don Berg, the founder of Attitutor. 

My mission is to integrate deeper learning into all K-12 schools.
My lens for that task is education psychology, specifically motivation and engagement.

I've discovered that the secret is creating more joy in order to reveal more genius in teachers and students.
As a leader I have studied what it takes for organizations to help generate that joy through effective leadership that drives the organization away from bureaucracy and towards self management.
If you’d like to learn more about my work, I invite you to get in touch.

To see my videos and get in-depth insights visit

"Groundbreaking" - Dr. Houbin Fang, PhD.

In the multi-award winning book, Schooling for Holistic Equity: How to Manage the Hidden Curriculum in K-12, Don Berg combines the most thoroughly supported scientific model of motivation and engagement, Self-Determination Theory (SDT), with his analysis of successful holistic education to completely reimagine education for K-12.

Advanced Praise

Through the lens of psychology Don Berg’s book, Schooling for Holistic Equity, looks at the present day education system and simplifies what seems like an insurmountable problem. How do we problem-solve rampant disengagement amongst not only the students but the staff as well? His resolution to include psychological expertise at all levels, from policymakers to teachers is a simple, yet effective answer. Afterall, if our goal is to make all things equitable in the classroom, should not mental health be included? His research builds upon others to show that excitement around learning leads to a deeper understanding of topics, and this is only achieved if all involved feel the type of connection he describes. —Scott Frauenheim, CEO, Distinctive Schools Don Berg’s book Schooling for Holistic Equity speaks to the need for every child to engage in learning that matters to them, find belonging, and know they can make a contribution. To have this kind of education be available for every child will be no easy feat. And, Don offers an important message we need to hear over and over again—education transformation is possible. —Kelly Young, President, Education Reimagined As a deep learning advocate and a parent of a homeschool family, Don Berg’s new book, Schooling for Holistic Equity, resonates with me powerfully. In this book, Don diagnosed the disengagement problem widely experienced by students and teachers alike in the US schools from the perspective of psychology and human primary needs, and maintained that deeper learning only comes when students’ primary needs are nurtured and met. His point was richly and convincingly illustrated using examples from multiple areas of disciplines such as Psychology, Medicine, and Physics. Grounded in profound knowledge in psychology and education, and supported by practical evidence and suggestions, this groundbreaking book is a must read for all educators, policy makers, college education majors and parents with school aged children. —Dr. Houbin Fang, PhD., Associate Professor of Mathematics Education, Columbus State University

Powell's Books: Paperback or  Hardcover

Amazon: Paperback - Hardback - Ebook 


Attitutor Services

Thank you for your interest in my work. I bring a distinctly psychological perspective to the challenges of leadership and education. In particular I focus on deeper learning and the psychological foundations upon which it must be built. I'd be glad to share my enthusiasm for these crucial issues with you and your organization.

Attitutor Services

Public Speaking & Professional Development

Whether it's a keynote speech, an interactive workshop, or facilitating professional development I love to engage with audiences about the psychology of deeper learning and how organizations can best facilitate it.

I will customize my presentation to suit your organization and prefer to include interactive elements, as well.

I have presented at a variety of international conferences and schools: Deeper Learning China, Portland State University, AERO, Reed College, International Self-Determination Theory Conference, Clark College, Oregon Substitute Teachers Association Annual Conference, EdCampPDX, Concordia University Portland, and more.

Keynote Speaker Sheet: Achieving the Impossible

Keynote Speaker Sheet: Anti-Bias is Not Enough


Achieving the Impossible @ IDEC 2022

Hidden Curriculum @ Reed Alumni College 2016

Hidden Curriculum Panel @ Portland State University

K-12 Diagnosed @ Portland State Univ. 2015

K-12 Diagnosed @ Research Club Guest Speaker 2014

Meetup Event


Classroom and school climate are crucial to your success.

A math or English teacher that relied exclusively on summative assessments, or failed to assess altogether, would have their competence questioned. 

Are you using formative climate assessments? If not, I can help you with that.

I created a prototype formative climate assessment tool.

It is a low cost DIY tool for teachers or principals to find out how well they are providing support, how well needs are being satisfied by the supports provided, the patterns of motivation, and the depth of engagement for their students or teachers

Data on a Touch Pad
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