Personalised Education Now
The Centre for Personalised Education – Personalised Education Now – Personalising the Educational Landscape

Janette Mountford-Lees and Lynda O’Sullivan at ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL FUTURES CONFERENCE

April 28th, 2016 by Peter

Janette Mountford-Lees and Lynda O’Sullivan from Hollingsclough Primary School

Sharing experiences and answering questions regarding flexischooling at Hollingsclough.

will be at

ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL FUTURES CONFERENCE

Birmingham City University

June 17th

http://blog.personalisededucationnow.org.uk/2016/04/06/alternative-educational-futures-conference-17th-june-2016-birmingham/

Twitter: #AlternativeEducationalFutures

JANETTE MOUNTFORD-LEES

Jannette is the headteacher at Hollinsclough Primary Academy. Janette has been instrumental in developing flexischooling at the school taking it from the smallest school in England undersubscribed with 5 pupils to a thriving rural school and community with 55 pupils. Janette has written and spoken about flexischooling at Hollinsclough widely. In 2011 Janette jointly authored New Models for Organising Education: Flexi-schooling – how one school does it well’ sponsored by the  CfBT Education Trust and others, to research into the feasibility of integrating and supporting Home Education within mainstream state provision. In 2014 Janette received a Farmington Scholarship, from The Farmington Institute, Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford. She produced a report as to the experience and effectiveness of flexischooling at Hollinsclough and presented this to other Farmington fellows.

http://hollinsclough.staffs.sch.uk/staff.htm

http://hollinsclough.staffs.sch.uk/Flexi.htm

LYNDA O’SULLIVAN

Lynda is a passionate and gifted teacher. She works at Hollinsclough Primary Academy. Lynda is developing approaches working with flexischooling pupils and families. In the course of her gaining her teaching qualifications Lynda produced a report looking at the progress of flexischooling pupils at Hollinslough. She continues to work in ways which support flexischooling pupils and families and has recently introduced Friday Project Days in order to develop more independent, self directed research-based learning opportunities within the curriculum.

Lynda has recently taken on the hub leader role for the Global Learning Programme in her area https://globaldimension.org.uk/glp .

http://hollinsclough.staffs.sch.uk/staff.htm

http://hollinsclough.staffs.sch.uk/Flexi.htm

If you’re interested in flexischooling and open to alternative educational thinking this conference is for you!

http://blog.personalisededucationnow.org.uk/2016/04/06/alternative-educational-futures-conference-17th-june-2016-birmingham/

Twitter: #AlternativeEducationalFutures

 

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Cathryn Gathercole at ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL FUTURES CONFERENCE

April 25th, 2016 by Peter

Cathryn Gathercole

Sharing learning from ‘Young people on the global stage; their education and their influence’

will be at

ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL FUTURES CONFERENCE

Birmingham City University

June 17th

http://blog.personalisededucationnow.org.uk/2016/04/06/alternative-educational-futures-conference-17th-june-2016-birmingham/

Twitter: #AlternativeEducationalFutures

 

Following 10 years as a secondary maths teacher Cathryn was involved in development projects with the VSO, a Project Manager for the Forum for African Women in Education (Namibia) and then a Project Manager for East Midlands Network for Global Perspectives in Schools. She then went to be the Education Manager for Practical Action and a trustee for the DEA (Now Think Global). For the last seven years Cathryn has been the Director of Tide~global learning, a teachers’ network which believes young people have an entitlement to global learning, developing their own understanding through engagement with global issues. Cathryn is currently project managing an international curriculum development project with European and African partners, co-funded by the EU. www.tidegloballearning.net

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Prof Clive Harber at ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL FUTURES CONFERENCE

April 21st, 2016 by Peter

Prof Clive Harber

‘Can violent & authoritarian schools ed for peace and democracy?’

will be at

ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL FUTURES CONFERENCE

Birmingham City University

June 17th

http://blog.personalisededucationnow.org.uk/2016/04/06/alternative-educational-futures-conference-17th-june-2016-birmingham/

Twitter: #AlternativeEducationalFutures

 

PROF CLIVE HARBER

Clive Harber is Emeritus Professor of International Education at the University of Birmingham.  He was formerly a social science educator in secondary schools and an initial teacher educator. From 1995-9, he was head of the School of Education at the then University of Natal, South Africa. He was also head of the School of Education, University of Birmingham from 2003-2006. He has recently completed books on education, democracy and development; education in southern Africa; education and international development; and violence and schools in South Africa and internationally. He has interests in education and democracy and the role of schooling in reducing and perpetrating violence internationally. Clive is a member of the editorial board of Other Education http://www.othereducation.org/index.php/OE

http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/education/staff/profile.aspx?ReferenceId=5280

Clive is the author of ‘Toxic Schooling. How Schools Became Worse’ (2009, Educational Heretics Press) http://educationalhereticspress.com/titles-toxic-schooling.htm  (Also available as Kindle)

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Dr Bernard Trafford joins conference line up

April 12th, 2016 by Peter

In case you didn’t spot it. New addition to the Alternative Educational Futures conference line up!

We welcome our dear friend Dr Bernard Trafford who will be speaking – ‘Still rearranging the deckchairs?‘ Dr Bernard Trafford Bernard is head of the independent Newcastle upon Tyne Royal Grammar School. Bernard has a long assoication with the Centre for Personalised Education and its predecessor Education Now. Bernard followed Roland Meighan’s Alternative Educational Futures course while doing an MEd at Birmingham University, and went on to complete PhD research into school democracy and student voice in 1996.

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ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL FUTURES CONFERENCE.

JUNE 17th Birmingham City University.

 Twitter: #AlternativeEducationalFutures

Even more reason to book your tickets now beore it’s too late!

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Educational Heretics Press: “I Home Educate Because…”

April 12th, 2016 by Peter

Thanks to Mike Wood at Educational Heretics Press  for this post.

“I Home Educate Because…” Dispel the Myths!

Educational Heretics Press

I am collecting people’s stories about why they home educate to be published as a Kindle book later this year.

If successful, it will be the first of a series of similar titles intended to be inspirational, informative books of use to long term home educators as well as those new to home education and professionals trying to make sense of the phenomena.

They can be from the perspective of either adults or children who are or have been home educated. By preference they would be no longer than 1,000 words.

What I Need:

• An account of why you home educate
• Between 250 and 1,000 words
• written anonymously (you should change names or miss them out)
• The ages of the children being home educated
• The country where I home Educated
• How long you have home educated

The work will be published as an anthology of people’s stories in a Kindle
book. Editing will be minimal.

Your story should be sent to:  IHomeEducateBecause@educationalhereticspress.com

(It will be assumed that permission for publication is granted by those sending stories to this address.)

Please feel free to pass this on to other home education networks.

Thank you.

Mike Wood.

Educational Heretics Press

EHP Facebook Page

Mike and an educational Heretics Press bookstall will be at

ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL FUTURES CONFERENCE.

JUNE 17th Birmingham City University.

 Twitter: #AlternativeEducationalFutures

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Educating Students in Times of Terrorism (2016) Prof Edith W. King

April 9th, 2016 by Peter

Educating Students in Times of Terrorism (2016

Edith W. King,   Professor, Sociology of Education   Denver, Colorado, US

Available from KindleUK  £5 (incl. VAT)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=edith+w.+king

The media continues to bombard us with the horrors of terrorists’ atrocities. Conflicts and devastation destroying humanity are ongoing in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and countries throughout Northern Africa and Southeast Asia. These upheavals are bringing waves of migrants and asylum seekers to European nations. Now these events of violence and extremism are threatening Western Europe and the United States.  Young people in every corner of the planet are affected by terrorism and acts of extremism. And students in private education are no exception in exposure to this atmosphere of extreme violence.

 Terrorism Picture

Educating Students in Times of Terrorism, the latest e- book by educational sociologist  Edith W. King, promotes a worldview for those adults coping with the abrupt rise of bombings and terrorism. This text is aimed at helping parents, care-givers and teachers responsible for educating  children and adolescents today. The author applies sociological concepts and theories of education to look into the impact of terrorism brought on by humans, as well as by nature.  Personal accounts take up how extremism affects ethnicity, religious membership and self-identity.

The book discusses social class inequities that are increased due to violence and terrorism.  This includes children and young people in homeless conditions and among the vast numbers of migrants overwhelming European nations.   There is consideration of bullying and homophobia as forms of terrorism.  The final chapter proposes peace education and peace building as an antidote for terrorism and extremism.

Throughout the volume there are teaching examples, instructions and suggestions for those working with young people, especially home schoolers.  Included, for example, are the “Portfolio of Global Experience” and “Suggestions for the Worldminded Classroom.” Also important resources for teaching about terrorism are listed and annotated.

Comments from the US:

A mother and teacher:   

“I like how you present various strategies to teach peace as a powerful way to educate about and protect children from the spread of terrorism.” Sara Impatenco, Denver, Colorado

A school administrator: 

“Your book, Educating Students in Times of Terrorism, was written for such a time as the one we are experiencing today as a result of the terrorists acts in Europe….I really agree with your statement  ‘it is all the more essential that schools, teachers and parents put forward the lessons of tolerance, social justice conflict resolutions and peace education’.  Thank you so much for the gift of this new Kindle e-book on coping with terrorism.” Dr. Miriam Rosendo, Colorado, US

About the Author

Edith W. King is American Sociological Association emeritas professor. King has written extensively on diversity and gender education, international and cross-cultural education, and qualitative research in global perspectives.  Among her many books is the recent Encounters with Social Thought (Amazon: Kindle 2015) and Social Thought on Education (Amazon: Kindle 2014).  Edith King serves on the advisory board of numerous professional journals and educational publications and is the chairperson of the Worldmindedness Institutes.

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ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL FUTURES CONFERENCE 17th JUNE 2016, BIRMINGHAM

April 6th, 2016 by Peter

IMG_0472

The Centre for Personalised Education Presents

ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL FUTURES

A day conference in memory of two radical educators Prof Roland Meighan (1937-2014) and Philip Toogood (1935-2013)

Friday 17 June 2016 – 0900 to 1700

Birmingham City University, Baker Building, City North Campus, Perry Barr, Birmingham B42 2SU

http://www.bcu.ac.uk/about-us/maps-and-campuses/city-north-campus

The conference seeks to provide delegates with some inspirational appetisers into the world of alternative education, alternative thinking and educational futures. Positive, celebratory, drawing on the past and the current, but futures-orientated. An opportunity to suspend current narrow thinking and get a real educational ‘detox’. The conference will be fast moving – speed dating with alternative thinking leaving participants asking questions and wanting more!

Sally Alexander – The Kimichi School vision. Dr Leslie Barson – Forget learning and education, let’s dance! Dr Hilary CreminReclaiming peace education for the twenty-first century; towards global perspectives grounded in trans-rationality. Dr Ian CunninghamSelf-managed learning made difficult. Fred Garnett WikiQuals; Self-accredited learning and personalised learning environments. Cathryn Gathercole – Sharing learning from ‘Young people on the global stage; their education and their influence’. David Gribble – The importance of accepting variety. Professor Clive Harber – Can authoritarian and violent schools educate for peace and democracy? Derry Hannam – The growing network of Sudbury Model schools in Europe and their non-existence in England.  Dr Richard House and Josie Alwyn – Steiner education. Peter Humphreys – Professor Roland Meighan and Philip Toogood. Clare Lawrence – Flexischooling and the child with autism; why might it work?   Janette Mountford-Lees and Lynda O’Sullivan – Flexischooling at Hollinsclough Primary Academy and Q&A Panel. Dr Harriet Pattison – Home-based education and learning to read (title tbc). Anna Rogozinska – Community education, Caldmore Community Garden. Dr Tim Rudd – Negotiating neo-Liberalism; towards a concept of ‘Refraction’. Alison Sauer Home-based education and Q&A Panel.  StateofEducation – Reflections on experience of critical pedagogy in the classroom. Dr Bernard Trafford – ‘Still rearranging the deckchairs?’  Mark Webster – Finding Voices Making Choices; art and creativity as a means to promote positive social change. Mike Wood – Home Education; the importance of published research to those on the ground (title tbc)

Audience

  • 100, Inclusive of academics, teachers, other educators, students, parents and learners from the mainstream and alternatives.

Costs

  • Birmingham City University staff / student allocation – free (first come, first served) thereafter £30
  • Centre for Personalised Education  paid up members free (if interested ask for details when requesting booking information – £25 per year/£12 unwaged)
  • All other interested participants £30

We anticipate this will be a popular event so please book your place early. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

More Details:

 Booking / Conference Information – Please contact Peter Humphreys at

E: personalisededucationnow@blueyonder.co.uk  /  Peter.Humphreys@bcu.ac.uk 

or telephone: 01922 624097

 Conference Aims

  • Honour the work and memory of two great educators – Prof Roland Meighan and Philip Toogood.
  • To promote alternative educational narratives.
  • To explore educational alternatives and learning that promotes a critical pedagogy, personalisation and the development of democracy.
  • To celebrate and develop educational approaches built around the learner.
  • Develop effective strategies for resistance against the current neoliberal educational project.
  • To network the networks.
  • To offer a mixture of presentations / workshops / question and answer / discussion formats
  • To communicate inclusively with educators, academics, families, learners, and interested citizens.

Inputs

The conference draws upon a wide range of themes from alternative educational thinking. They are not exhaustive but illustrative of looking at things differently.

  • Alternative schools / philosophies
  • Democratic Education
  • Development Education
  • Digital Technologies and Educational futures
  • Educational Heretics Press
  • Flexischooling
  • Home-based Education
  • Informal / Community Education
  • Learner-managed learning
  • Peace Education / Conflict Resolution / Human Rights
  • Professor Roland Meighan / Philip Toogood
  • Resisting Neoliberal Education
  • Self-Managed Learning
  • Student Voice

Bookstalls

  • Educational Heretics Press
  • LibEd (Libertarian Education)

Contributors

Sally Alexander Sally is headteacher of Kimichi School a new independent school aiming to develop a music based centre of learning that uses the medium of music to inspire and educate our young people.

Josie Alwyn Josie has been teaching in Steiner Waldorf education since 1975 and has considerable experience in teacher training. Josie works for the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship, is co-director of the London Waldorf Teacher Training Seminar, and is also a trustee of the London Waldorf Trust.

Dr Leslie Barson Leslie is an experienced home educator and pioneer with home educating support groups.

Dr Hilary Cremin Dr Hilary Cremin is a Senior Lecturer at Cambridge University (Faculty of Education) who researches and teaches in the areas peace education and conflict resolution in schools and communities internationally.

Dr Ian Cunningham Ian is Chair of the Self Managed Learning College in Brighton. The SMLC is a unique educational organisation that supports young people (aged 7-16) in managing their own learning.

Fred Garnett Fred is currently Research Associate London Knowledge Lab, Institute of Education, University of London.’ In Russia Fred is known as the “scientist of self-education”.

Cathryn Gathercole For the last six years Cathryn has been the Director of Tide~global learning. This is a teachers’ network who believe young people have an entitlement to global learning, developing their own understanding through engagement with global issues.

David Gribble David is Co-ordinator of the International Democratic Education Network (IDEN), Editor for the Lib Ed collective and member of the Editorial board of Other Education.

Derry Hannam He has worked widely with many European school student organisations on the issue of school democracy.

Dr Richard House Richard House MA [Oxon], Ph.D., C.Psychol., AFBPsS, CertCouns [Cantab] is Senior Lecturer in Psychotherapy and Counselling, Department of Psychology (Research Centre for Therapeutic Education), University of Roehampton, London. Richard is a co-founder of the Save Childhood movement.

Peter Humphreys Peter is an experienced primary educator and headteacher. He is Chair, trustee and a director of the Centre for Personalised Education – Personalised Education Now. He currently works for Birmingham City University with teacher education.

Clare Lawrence Clare is researching autism and flexischooling approaches for her PhD and currently works as a senior lecturer in education at Sheffield Hallam University. She has two children, one of whom has autism, and works part-time for the National Autistic Society.

Prof Clive Harber Clive Harber is Emeritus Professor of International Education.. He has recently completed books on education, democracy and development; education in southern Africa; education and international development; and violence and schools in South Africa. He also has a key interest in the role of schooling in reducing and perpetrating violence internationally.

Janette Mountford-Lees Janette is the headteacher at Hollinsclough Primary Academy. Janette has been instrumental in developing flexischooling.

StateofEducation / LibED – 4 representatives The aims of libertarian education have much in common with other approaches to education in the liberal humanist tradition; to enable people to realise their innate potential to the full and to foster people’s self development across the full range of cultural intellectual, artistic, physical and emotional activities. Stateofeducation is a small collective of education practitioners, the result of collaboration between the London Radical Education Forum and Libertarian Education.

Lynda O’Sullivan Lynda is a passionate and gifted teacher. She works at Hollinsclough Primary Academy. Lynda is developing approaches working with flexischooling pupils and families.

Dr Harriet Pattison Harriet has recently been awarded her PhD researching home education and literacy and has written with Alan Thomas on the subject Rethinking Learning to Read (2016) Educational Heretics Press. Harriet is currently a lecturer in Early Childhood Studies at Liverpool Hope University.

Anna Rogozinska Anna has brought her community / informal education skills from Warsaw to Walsall. A passionate and committed educator always looking for little ways to bring positive change and a bit of optimism to everyday life.

Dr Tim Rudd Currently, Tim is Principal Lecturer at the Education Research Centre at the University of Brighton. Tim is currently working on research activities relating to: ‘critical perspectives on educational technology’, and ‘resisting neo liberal education and alternative educational discourse, systems and practice’.

Alison Sauer (F. Inst. Pa) Alison is an experienced autonomous home-based educator, paralegal, trainer and campaigner. On several occasions she has given witness evidence to the House of Commons Education Select Committee on the subject of home education. She is a trustee / director of the Centre for Personalised Education and advocate for flexischooling.

Dr Bernard Trafford Bernard is head of the independent Newcastle upon Tyne Royal Grammar School.  Bernard followed Roland Meighan’s Alternative Educational Futures course while doing an MEd at Birmingham University, and went on to complete PhD research into school democracy and student voice in 1996.

Mark Webster Mark has recently become freelance after working at Staffordshire University for 12 years where he founded the Creative Communities Unit and went on to become the head of School for Art and Design.

Mike Wood Mike is an experienced home educator, author, researcher, speaker and publisher. Mike runs HomeEd UK, the largest home education support site in the country. Mike has recently taken over Educational Heretics Press and is developing a broader web presence and is moving into e-books alongside hard copy contents.

Costs

  • Birmingham City University staff / student allocation – free (first come, first served) thereafter £30
  • Centre for Personalised Education  paid up members free (if interested ask for details when requesting booking information – £25 per year / £12 unwaged)
  • All other interested participants £30

More Details:

 Booking / Conference Information – Please contact Peter Humphreys at

E: personalisededucationnow@blueyonder.co.uk  /  Peter.Humphreys@bcu.ac.uk 

or telephone: 01922 624097

 

Twitter: #AlternativeEducationalFutures

 

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Flexi-schooling at Weston Lullingfields CE Primary School

February 29th, 2016 by Peter

Flexi-schooling at Weston Lullingfields CE Primary School

We are offering flexi-schooling at Weston Lullingfields. This is an opportunity for any family who would like to work in partnership with a school for the education of their children, but in a way that fits in with the needs and wants of the family themselves.

We wholeheartedly believe in respecting “parent’s freedom to educate their children according to their vision of what education should be has been part of international human rights standards since their very emergence.” (‘The Special Rapporteur to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights – 8th April 1999) and support the choice to Home Educate as a valid decision, albeit one taken with a great deal of thought and care.

We subscribe to the idea that every child is an individual and provide the family of children at our school with a personalised ‘bespoke’ education. Therefore, we feel that we are in a good position to offer ourselves as an option or solution for those parents who hold alternative ideas about how their child should be educated and who might have become frustrated at how learning is delivered in their local schools or local authority.

We are a Rights-Respecting School (Level 2) and we support the UNESCO ‘4 A’s’ rights-based approach to education. Therefore we want to ensure that a good, quality of education is available to everyone and that this education is accessible to everyone, making sure that there is no discrimination, through accepting and practising a flexible approach . We want to ensure that the education we provide is relevant and acceptable to learners, regardless of their circumstances or background, and that it is adaptable to their needs – this means that we are not set on any particular teaching approach nor on a fixed curriculum (although we do, as a state maintained school, have to follow the statutory requirements)

Why Weston Lullingfields?

Everyone is important and we care about each other. We create a tailor-made (bespoke) education for each child We build confidence & self esteem We have fun (lots of it!) We reinforce good learning habits and attitudes We develop responsibility We inspire creativity We encourage collaboration We secure basic skills in reading, writing and mathematics We inspire reflection and wonder at our wonderful world

Who are we?

We are a very small village primary school situated just three miles north of Baschurch set in a lovely quiet, rural location with views across to the Welsh hills. We have two small classes and a nursery called ‘Little Acorns’. Because we are so small, we can offer a family-like atmosphere with emphasis on providing the care each child needs to grow to their full potential.

We have a breakfast club which starts at 8am and the Weston Warriors, an after-school provision, which finishes at 5pm and offers a wide range of activities (recently we have been able to offer Karate, horse riding, tennis and drama).
Despite the size of our school, we are able to offer hot school dinners (which we purchase from a nearby school).

We are a church school with close links with our local parish. Our school ethos is underlined by our belief in the core Christian Values. However, we are not just a school for Christians, and we welcome families from any tradition and will discuss different levels of participation (including withdrawal) on an individual basis.

If you think that we could offer something for you and your family, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a chat or for a visit.
• Check out our website www.wlprimaryschool.org.uk
• Come to one of our open evenings arranged once a term (check website for the date for the next one) or attend one of our creative learning days
• Arrange a visit to the school by ringing 01939 260306 or emailing admin@westonlullingfields.shropshire.sch.uk

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Weston Lullingfield Primary School

February 11th, 2016 by Peter
Weston Lullingfield Primary School  ….head up on future postings. Judi Clarke (headteacher) reminds families they welcome flexischooling approaches and a new flyer will be in circulation shortly. Judi would also like to alert potential flexischoolers / current home educators to their next Creative Learning day. ‘This will be on Mar 24th (last day of term) – it’s a little different from the last one (mostly to allow for poor weather) but we think it’s going to be a good one. We are inviting a few people from the community who have lived in ‘extreme environments’ to come and give short talks to the children and to answer their questions and then they are going to build shelters outside in the afternoon’.
Sounds brilliant. We can vouch for the warm welcome you’ll get and the fun the kids have at Weston Lullingfield. Well worth a trip into this wonderful area of Shropshire. There will be more information shortly but if you can’t wait get in touch with Judi.

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Self-managed Learning College – News: Spring Term

February 7th, 2016 by Peter

Latest Spring term news from Ian Cunningham at the Self-managed Learning College

Self-managed Learning College News

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A dean from MIT is starting a radical new university with no majors, lectures, or classrooms

February 1st, 2016 by Peter

From QUARTZ  http://qz.com/605941

A new way of learning. (Reuters/Jason Reed)

January 29, 2016

A dean from MIT is starting a radical new university with no majors, lectures, or classrooms

Can you imagine a university with no majors, no lectures, and no classrooms? MIT’s dean for graduate education is leaving her post to make that dream a reality.

Prof. Christine Ortiz recently announced her plan to create a radical new research university. “I’m looking at a new model, where the whole sort of vocabulary is different,” she said. “I don’t see it having any face to face, on-the-ground lectures, actually.”

The material sciences professor will push for a new approach, which blurs the lines between undergraduates and graduates. The university, still unnamed, will still have physical infrastructure, but will prioritize on “project-based learning” where students learn by working together on a challenge for an extended period of time.

Ortiz is hoping to found the non-profit university in Massachusetts. She will take a year’s leave at the end of the current academic year to find a team of people to begin the project, though anticipates it might take longer than that.

Her new university is among a number of recent initiatives to change the way American students learn and the values they take away with them. Ivy League universities are now particularly keen to shake up their admission process and focus less on students with great grades and a set of extra-curricular activities, and prioritize meaningful experience instead.

Critics are growing increasingly frustrated with the US education model, which they say saps creativity and forces students to take and pay for classes they don’t need. Ortiz’s plan, though ambitious, may be the flexible learning students are looking for.

But it’s not going to be easy; even in non-traditional educational settings—like online learning—a large number of students still drop out from sheer boredom.

 

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Educational Heretics Press – Kindle Page.

January 26th, 2016 by Peter

With thanks to Mike Wood for this update.

Educational Heretics Press is continuously developing its offer and ebooks are coming online.

Visit the EHP Kindle Page http://educationalhereticspress.com/search-kindles.htm

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Toxic Schooling – Kindle Edition Offer|!

January 18th, 2016 by Peter

Thanks to Mike Wood for this…

Knowledge is power
Educational Heretics Press: announces a new KINDLE publication

“Toxic Schooling: How schools Became Worse”

by
Professor Clive Harber

Available until the end of January at the introductory price of only £2.99 from Amazon at:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01AQV07UA

For further details on this book, or to buy it as a paperback:

http://www.educationalhereticspress.com/titles-toxic-school

All our Kindles and many more titles are available as paperbacks.

********************
About Toxic Schooling
********************

Unease with schooling is not new: “We are faced by the paradoxical fact that education has become one of the chief obstacles to intelligence and freedom of thought” wrote Bertrand Russell in On Education 1926.

Later Einstein added:

“It is in fact nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom; without this it goes to wrack and ruin without fail”.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries a variety of those concerned with education – Edmond Holmes, A. S. Neill, Rudolf Steiner, Margaret McMillan, Charlotte Mason, Susan Isaacs and Bertrand Russell were critical of schooling and went on to suggest more personalised, democratic and humane forms of education as alternatives. However, in the 1960’s and 1970’s, a period of social and cultural upheaval in the West and political change caused by decolonisation in many developing countries, a number of writers again began to question and critique the relevance and benevolence of schooling.

This book examines the main ideas in a dozen or so key texts on schooling produced roughly during the period 1960 to 1980. For reasons of space, a selection had to be but there were other important books produced during the period that are not considered here. No doubt my own history and preferences have played a role in this selection as I was a pupil, student teacher, teacher and teacher educator during this period and read most of the texts at the time. The writers selected are Edward Blishen, Paulo Freire, Paul Goodman, James Hemming, John Holt, Ivan Illich, Philip Jackson, George Leonard, Soren Hansen and Jasper Jensen, Julius Nyerere, Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner, Everett Reimer, and Carl Rogers.

This book then examines the evidence of the extent, if any, these critiques had on changing and improving the nature of schooling provided today, or whether in many ways the situation is now actually worse.

Clive Harber is Professor of International Education at the University of Birmingham

Educational Heretics Press: founded by Professor Roland Meighan in 1984

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Flexi-friendly secondary school in Birmingham: Open Day 16th January 2016

January 8th, 2016 by Peter

Kimichi School

Flexi-friendly secondary school in Birmingham: Open Day 16th January

http://www.kimichischool.co.uk/

Kimichi School's photo.
Kimichi School's photo.
Kimichi School's photo.
Kimichi School's photo.
OPEN DAYS:

SATURDAY 16TH JANUARY 11AM-1PM

Our small, home-from-home, friendly school is enrolling now for a January/September 2016 start.

The only specialist Music school in Birmingham

Ofsted – Good in all categories (June 2015)
*Students are on target to attain high levels in almost all subjects.
*Achievement is outstanding in English, history and music because teachers have excellent ways of inspiring students to learn in these subjects.
*Behaviour is good because students and teachers have very high expectations of themselves and set the rules together.

Flexi-schooling appreciated and encouraged.

“Re-thinking education with Music at its heart”

 

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Educational Heretics Press…. Update and first E-Book

January 8th, 2016 by Peter

Not only busy with HE UK Mike Wood has taken on Educational Heretics Press. Here is his latest update … and news of the first EHP e-Book.

Following the death of Professor Roland Meighan in 2014 I took over the running of Educational Heretics Press. My first task was to rebuild EHP’swebsite. So as of August 2015 HE UK was joined by EHP:

http://www.educationalhereticspress.com

EHP has a back catalogue of around 85 titles, approximately 45 of which are currently in print. EHP’s catalogue of titles have been written by some ofthe biggest names in education, many of which are well known to the HE
community such as Roland and Janet Meighan, Alan Thomas Leslie Safran, Julie Webb and from across the pond John Holt. Other authors, less well known by home educators would include Clive Harber, Chris Shute and Phillip
Toogood all of who support democratic, child led learning.
Without Roland’s unstinting work setting up and running EHP for many years, few of these authors would have found anyone willing to publish their heretical ideas and home education would have found it far more difficult to find academic
support.

Today, I’m celebrating HE UK’s birthday by publishing the first EHP book to be made available as a Kindle eBook. I hope to follow this up with manyother EHP titles over the coming year.

In addition to this, 2016 will see further, completely new publications beginning with Alan Thomas and Harriet Pattison’s new book on home education and learning to read which is titled Rethinking Learning to Read.

For further details on this title see:

http://www.educationalhereticspress.com/titles-rethinking-learning-to-read.htm

Home education will continue to inform and support home educators into the future, and by linking EHP to HE UK that support is strengthened and enhanced. At a time when alternative educational approaches are coming under greater attack, academic support and affirmation of our efforts are even more important. The importance of the ability to publish unpopular research that explains the reality of educational alternatives cannot be overstated. EHP is therefore central to any defence of the right to home educate.

**Share in a little celebration**

I’m celebrating HE UK’s birthday by offering our first Kindle eBook“Comparing Learning Systems” by Roland Meighan at an introductory price of just £2.99. It will stay at this price for the rest of January.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01AB0JJW8?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

(the price has just been adjusted, so if you are looking on the 8th Jan, the price may be temporarily slightly higher while Amazon servers update, simply wait an hour or two and look again.)

“Comparing Learning Systems” is an analysis of many of the differing educational approaches and how they relate to each other and autonomous educations roll as ‘the next learning system’. Roland firmly believed that home educators, despite it being incidental to their intentions, were effectively field testing a new system of education.
Written by a Professor of Education this book can be useful to home educators in understanding better, how what they do, fits into the broader picture of educational methodology and assists them in understanding and critiquing the ‘standard model’ of education adopted by the state schoolsector around 200 years ago. You will find it an interesting and useful
read.

Please feel free to cross post to anywhere this will be of use.

Best Wishes

Mike Wood
Your man in a hammock

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Home Education UK … 16th Birthday!

January 8th, 2016 by Peter

Over the last 16 years Mike wood has done a brilliant job with the HE UK website / resource. Good to celebrate its birthday!

Home Education UK’s 16th Birthday

http://www.home-education.org.uk

The Home Education UK website first went live on the 8th of January 2000. It is the oldest website with a continuous presence supporting home education in the UK. In the past I’ve used this anniversary to make a short report on the website, so this is the HE UK report for 2016.

Statistics

HE UK now gets over 2.36 Million hits per annum, that’s an average of nearly 5 hits every minute of every day with a peak of 14,500 a day overthe last year. Two thirds of these hits are from the UK, while the remainder are from many parts of the world. The peak months are, unsurprisingly September and January, usually during the first weeks of the start of the school term. There are other peaks usually at times when home educators feel threatened by political policy changes or times of media interest.

Best Wishes

Mike Wood
Your man in a hammock

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LEARNING VERSUS SCHOOLING: A Comparison of Philosophies. Don Glines

January 8th, 2016 by Peter

Great to hear from Don in this New Year. His insight is as clear as ever and the context in the USA has so much resonance here in the UK.

LEARNING VERSUS SCHOOLING:
A Comparison of Philosophies
By: Don Glines, PhD

Focus

The focus of this treatise is to explain clearly the differences between a PERSONALIZED LEARNING ENVIRONMENT and a GROUP-SIZED SCHOOLING SYSTEM. It is also to clarify that the key component in implementing diverse philosophies is CHOICE. Some parents, students, school people may prefer to participate in a structured SCHOOLING system. However, such an environment cannot be mandated for all. Those learners and supporters who prefer personalized LEARNING must have that opportunity. Personalization is not alternative education for “at-risk” learners. Instead, personalization exemplifies the obvious need for EDUCATIONAL ALTERNATIVES FOR EVERYONE.

One can “learn to be good” through multiple religious choices in most communities. One can “learn to be knowledgeable” through a variety of personalized educational options, easily feasible on current budgets. Providing options is only a matter of re-allocating resources, organizations, and structures, often successfully accomplished, especially in the days when Congress supported education through ESEA Title III for “Innovation, Experimentation, Research, and Evaluation.” There is irrefutable proof that mandated traditional schooling is wrong for the majority of learners, as evidenced by national dropout rates and low achievement test scores.

The new Every Student Succeeds political compromise is negative. This legislation will not solve the frustrations facing LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS, cure the ills of SCHOOLING SYSTEMS, nor bridge the accomplishment gaps among low and high achievers. Emphasizing reading and math test scores and content, introduced at inappropriate individual growth and development stages for many, will not lead to improvement. The current “Common Core Curriculum” evaluations do not reflect talents in art, music, shops, and more importantly human relations.

It has long been recognized that the No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top national political mandates were wrong for most, as were the accompanying federal and state tests and penalties. The Every Student Succeeds legislation was reached by tradition-oriented lawyers, not by experts in multiple learning environments. Ignored were the facts that the Holocaust tragedies and the experiments performed by Doctors from Hell (book) were designed by people from (at that time) the acknowledged best SCHOOLING SYSTEM in the world, accompanied by the best in the Orient.

Overview

Ultra-traditionalists, public school people, and vote-seeking politicians mandate their one-sided view of reform of the system called education/school. They profess that specific, rigorous curriculum requirements, a focus on math and reading, more stringent tests, and rating students/schools/teachers by state/national comparison evaluations will solve the ills affecting the antiquated 150-year-old organization of schooling. This organization usually includes nine-month attendance, grade levels by chronological age, academic report cards, and required courses of segmented subjects. Such patterns can be acceptable for taxpayer support, if they are truly optional choices—agreed to by the involved parents, students, teachers, and administrators.

In contrast, educators and philosophers who know the difference between LEARNING and SCHOOLING have the research proving the success of implemented non-traditional programs. Optional learning environments produce better results for most who volunteer. As declared in the Focus section, one illustration of this fact is simple: education should follow the religion model of choice rather than insist on mandated one-size-fits-all models of confinement. Many youth often learn more, wherever feasible, outside the school building—in the community, and in natural environments—rather than being restricted the majority of time inside a brick and mortar structure.

Below, under Comparisons, described are only 12 of 69 major clarifications of differences between optional LEARNING environments and mandated SCHOOLING systems. More of the 69, and examples of no-cost options (one illustrating three schools-within-a-school) can be located in Glines, Declaring War Against Schooling: Personalizing Learning Now (Rowman and Littlefield), pages 116 to 119 and in the extensive bibliography on pages 185 to 188. The redundancies throughout these treatise paragraphs are only to reinforce very important distinctions. Improving education requires allowing choices for everyone: non-traditional LEARNING environments or traditional SCHOOLING systems.
Comparisons

1. In LEARNING, if 100 items are pursued on a test, the learner is encouraged by mentors indicating: “How wonderful that you know 69; of the 31 topics on which you are unclear, are there perhaps 10 you ideally should learn? If so, how can we best help you understand them?” If the other 21 were not that important, why were they asked?

In SCHOOLING, a common traditional evaluation system on a standard test of 100 questions says to the student that if the individual only knows 69 or less, that is an “F”, 70 – 78 is a D, 79 – 86 is a C, 87-94 is a B, and 95-100 is an A—a negative experience for low-achieving students, not a positive learning model. Wally Eagle, an actual Indian youth in Waubay SD, received a D-minus on his science report, returned full of red markings by the teacher. He discarded it in the hallway wastebasket.
2. In LEARNING, learners begin with their strengths and interests. The focus is on a confluence of the affective, psychomotor, and cognitive domains, with the priority on the affective domain and human potential. Person Centers can assist, if needed.

In SCHOOLING, the focus is on the weaknesses and failures of the student, with emphasis on cognitive outcomes, as evidenced by the intensity of test results, grade point averages, a push for college, and inappropriate math and reading programs that are required for ALL in K-1, obsolete courses in secondary schools, and suspensions.
3. In LEARNING, there are no required topics at a specific age level. Curriculum is personalized. Learners and their self-selected advisors and guides create programs for the individual best-suited at this moment in time; there is no research to support specific ages for topics or courses.

In SCHOOLING, students are assigned curriculum subjects such as algebra or reading for ALL, at a pre-determined age or period in their school years. One example: Hewlett Packard gave large sums of money to districts that would require Open Court reading and Saxon math for all students. Good teachers knew those programs were inappropriate for many at a specific grade level, yet coaches and monitors were hired to ensure that everyone was on the same page at the same time. The results: test scores were lower.
4. In LEARNING, learners progress at their own rate of development, and are provided with the appropriate materials and amount of time. All can learn with no failures or low achievement, realizing very few have strengths and interests in all the compartments of schooling and life. There are no remedial classes.

In SCHOOLING, students are given group assignments and are expected to achieve equal results in the same amount of time as others, and to excel on all required assignments. The Detroit Intelligence Tests, the Swedish and New Hampshire math studies, and the Winnetka Individualization Studies found that many students did better learning a topic by starting later or earlier than in the commonly prescribed traditional years.
5. In LEARNING, there are no report cards, tests, or homework. Learners progress as outlined by their own goal sheets (or other plans), which can be modified or changed as they progress toward their personal desired outcomes.

In SCHOOLING, there are comparative student report cards/evaluation systems, homework, subjects, and mandated tests. Students are compared to each other. Heavy doses of homework are now required in K-1—even algebra problems, which cause difficulty for many families.
6. In LEARNING, there are no traditional classes of 30 with one teacher in one room for a specified amount of time. Learners create their own daily non-schedules related to their individual or group plans for the day, with optional attendance made possible by year-round continuous learning programs. Learners have the freedom to change locations as desired, and where possible, avail themselves of longer school hours.

In SCHOOLING, elementary students are usually assigned to one teacher in one room all day; secondary students are usually assigned for 55 minute periods with one teacher in each class throughout a typical seven-period day. Important learning is often “extra-curricular.”
7. In LEARNING, learners select their own advisors and guides, usually choosing those who have “pied piper” personalities—adults who love learners and therefore learners love them. Learners help each other learn, individually or in small groups. Learning environments relate to the learner communities; the backgrounds of ethnicities, cultures, and levels of poverty and affluence are major considerations. Therefore, learning is personal for each individual.

In SCHOOLING, students are assigned to teachers, the former of whom usually cannot help each other during classroom time, or on tests. If students live in poverty, bi-lingual, minority or low achievement communities, they are expected to compete and excel over the same material at the same time and meet specific expectations without the benefits of those who live in high income, college-graduate communities. Example: Most Native American Indian learners on reservations do well K – 4, slow down in grades 5 – 8 as they learn perceived negative history, and drop out at 70 to 80% rates in high school, especially boys.

8. In LEARNING, there are no group schedules; individuals function in a non-scheduled environment in a year-round program. Learners help each other learn, as there are no tests on which to cheat. Learners work alone or in pairs on special projects. They may meet in self-designed groups of 8 – 10, or occasionally benefit from a meaningful large group experience. Learners may spend all day, all week, all month, as desired, on their own interests and projects. Learning environment philosophies believe in continuous activities available 24/7/365—LIKE HOSPITALS, NEVER CLOSED.

In SCHOOLING, students commonly meet in assigned locations and groups with the same teacher, as in a classroom of 30 in elementary schools. In secondary, often the following is reflected: period 1—math, period 2—English, period 3—science, period 4—language, Period 5—lunch, Period 6—Elective Choice, and period 7—gym. Universities are no better: lecture halls of 300 students for an hour, or MWF one-hour semester schedules, or Tuesday, 7 to 10 PM once-a-week class. Schooling systems, K-12, believe most students learn only 9:00 to 3:00, September to June. They close for three months, for traditionalists believe learning does not occur in the summer or that some families prefer vacations in January. Now there is the effect of technology.
9. In LEARNING, curriculum is interdependent; there are no traditional segmented course subjects (unless requested by an individual for a study of interest). Learners can take advantage of the tremendous advances in technology.

In SCHOOLING, including colleges, most common are traditional segmented classes and subjects, primarily taught in isolation from truly inter-related information. Technology is available, too, but online courses may be more one-sized than personalized. “Remedial Classes” are common, even in colleges.
10. In LEARNING, all programs are non-graded (no K-1-2-3, 7-12, junior designations). Learners of all ages are mixed together by choices, interests, projects, and goals. Older learners help younger, younger help older; strengths and interests are shared related to individual growth and desired outcomes.

In SCHOOLING, there still exists in most institutions, traditional K-12 and college years, taught separately to mostly the same age group. Little recognition is given to the six-year developmental span among chronological 12-year olds, or the minimum 24-month gap among K-1 students.
11. In LEARNING, there are no assigned class textbooks; instead there are varieties of resources available from the home, institution, community, and technology. Multiple views are sought regarding aspects of the learning goals. In learning to read, there are at least 23 different programs and approaches. Many learners benefit from starting a specific study later—or earlier—than the traditional schooling prescribed times. All former separated subjects are considered equal for learning: art is as important as math, and interrelated.

In SCHOOLING, there are usually standardized reading programs and U.S. History textbooks, common algebra materials, second-grade math, and remedial classes. Everyone takes the same test on Friday.
12. In LEARNING, all fields of study are determined by personalized plans. Traditionally speaking, K-12 Home Economics is academic and just as important as Geometry; K-12 shop programs are for the young, too, not just for older learners, and are available for everyone.

In SCHOOLING, art, music, shop, home economics, physical education, chorus, drama are usually relegated to “non-academic” status and often are not available to all students. In most college prep high schools, there is often one elective period; thus only one interest can be pursued, even if all fields of learning are available.
Supplements

A. Research Supporting LEARNING (a few examples)

–Goodlad, John, and Anderson, Robert, The Nongraded Elementary School, Harcourt, Brace, World, New York 1959.
–Aiken, Wilford, Story of the Eight-Year Study, (5 volumes) Harper and Brothers, New York, 1942.
–Washburne, Carlton Ed. “Adapting Schools for Individual Differences,” 24th Yearbook, NSSE (1924), School Publishing Company, Bloomington, Indiana, 1929.
–See previously cited, Glines, Don, Declaring War Against Schooling: Chapter 4 for multiple additional references.

B. Programs Supporting LEARNING (a few examples)

–Wilson Campus School, Minnesota State University, 1968-1978, Mankato MN.
–St. Paul Open School, St. Paul MN, 1970-1990.
–Walker Elementary School, Amphitheater District, Tucson AZ, 1963-1968.
–Programs under Congress authorization of ESEA Title III, Lyndon Johnson, President, for innovation, experimentation, research, evaluation, 1966-1980.
(example: Minneapolis Southeast Alternative Schools Project, focusing on the “cluster schools” options, 1968-1975)
–100 Learning Centers in Minnesota: members are part of the Minnesota Association for Alternatives (MAAP) 2016. Illustrations: The High School for Performing Arts; Jennings Charter School.

C. Books Supporting LEARNING (a few examples)

Willis, Margaret, Guinea Pigs Twenty Years Later, Ohio State U Press, Columbus, 1961.
Holt, John, How Children Fail, Pitman, New York, 1964.
Goodman, Paul, Compulsory Mis-education, Vintage Books, New York, 1970.
Holmes, Edmond, The Tragedy of Education, Constable Co., London, 1913.
Rogers, Carl, Freedom to Learn, Merrill, Columbus OH, 1983.
Jackson, Phillip, Life in Classrooms, Holt, Rinehart, New York, 1968.
Illich, Ivan, DeSchooling Society, Harper and Row, New York, 1971.
Harber, Clive, Toxic Schooling: How Schools Became Worse, Educational Heretics Press,
Nottingham England, 2009.

D. Statements Supporting LEARNING (a few examples)

The California Legislature and Congress are wrong requiring one-size-fits-all SCHOOLING. The right way is providing learning options for everyone. Common Core and state test mandates neither reflect the whole person, nor individual potential for societal contributions; these will not narrow the gaps between the “have and have-not communities,” or the graduation rates of 90.9% at UC Berkeley versus 28.5% at CSU Dominguez Hills.

Education codes are established by lawyer, business, career politicians who only know traditional SCHOOLING. They ignore the hundred years of LEARNING research. Education should reflect the religion model of choice rather than the incarceration model of confinement. School people accept political edicts in return for more money.

Nationally, 7,000 youth are pushed out of school each day. Of those who remain, 30% receive “D/F” evaluations; 40% rate “C.” Thus, 70% of learners are average or unsatisfactory. These figures do not reflect a LEARNING system. Of the 30% who receive “A/B” reports, many are bored.

There is undeniable proof that “7th graders” are spread six years in physical development and eight years in achievement. It is inhumane to continue grade levels based upon chronological ages. Teachers of the young are faced with a 24-month developmental gap. Mandated pre-kindergarten will not create equal achievement.

Most students reach reading and math success between ages 3-10, when individually paced. LEARNERS advance best by focusing on their strengths, not on perceived weaknesses. The famous Eight-Year-Study proved that the high school courses taken make no difference related to future success. The reductions of art, industrial, home, music, drama programs are huge mistakes. Changing the name from Junior High to the wrongly implemented Middle School design has done nothing to improve learning for these ages. There is still a “7th grade.”

Providing choice is easy at no extra expense. The schools-within-a-school model is but one example. Open enrollment options and charter schools have failed to meet their original intents. Though “Charter Schools” have mushroomed in many states, there are very few that are significantly different and better. Most are too small and lack facilities for involvement in all learning fields.

Year-round education can reduce the lockout of learners and the waste of expensive facilities primarily used only ¼ of the day, 180 days, nine months of the year. As visionaries continue to plead, LEARNING should follow the hospital model, always available 24/7/365, easily achieved by staggering staff and using modern technology. In 1976, California Governor Brown signed Education Codes 58500-58512 requiring districts to offer alternatives, but Common Core advocates ignore this legislation.

Improving education nationally and in California involves the elimination of one-size-fits-all schooling, replaced by a variety of voluntary parent-teacher-student choices.
E. Conclusions Supporting LEARNING (a few examples)

The author is a perfect example of the attributed Einstein comment involving the classroom of animals taking the same test, which included the fish trying to compete with the monkey to reach the top of the tree; failing, the fish lives his life believing he is stupid.

Though the author was an “honor student” who passed French and German, has published sixteen books/booklets and 136 articles, and has given circa 1200 conference addresses, he is a technological and mechanical idiot. He still writes like James Michener—with paper and pencil. He cannot use a computer or Twitter or pound a nail in the wall. He received D- grades in algebra, geometry, trig, and inorganic chemistry, but an A in nutritional chemistry. He also twice failed the Graduate Record Exam but has a PhD with six majors.

He is the perfect example of what is wrong with the “Common Core” curriculum and state and national tests. Not every learner can pass the exam when that fish must try to climb to the top of the tree, especially when competing with the monkey. There is nothing so unequal as to try to make equals out of unequals.

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Gov UK: Open consultation Out-of-school education settings: registration and inspection

December 22nd, 2015 by Peter

https://www.gov.uk/…/out-of-school-education-settings-regis….
Potentially serious consequences for a range of educational settings.

Fiona Nicholson rehearses some of the issues here https://edyourself.wordpress.com/…/crackdown-on-home-educa…/

The impact of this is already being felt by groups like Manara Education http://www.manara-education.co.uk/ . The Radicalisation and Prevent agendas should not be conflated and used to justify further regulation of bone fide educational settings whether formal / informal groups of elective home-based educators, flexischoolers or others.

THIS CONSULTATION IS OPEN UNTIL 11TH JANUARY 2016

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Purpose and quality of education in England inquiry

December 22nd, 2015 by Peter

Purpose and quality of education in England inquiry. Education Select committee.
http://www.parliament.uk/…/purpose-quality-education-engla…/
Next year is going to be a busy year! It’s kicking off from the start …. with this select committee inquiry …. Accepting written submissions: the deadline is midday, Monday 25 January 2016.
Scope of the inquiry
Written evidence is invited addressing the following points:
• What the purpose of education for children of all ages in England should be
• What measures should be used to evaluate the quality of education against this purpose
• How well the current education system performs against these measures

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Alternative Educational Futures Conference June 17th 2016

December 7th, 2015 by Peter

Put this date in your diary! Head up on a Centre for Personalised Education Conference Alternative Educational Futures June 17th 2016. In memory of the late Prof Roland Meighan and Philip Toogood. More details will follow in due course.

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Hollinsclough Primary Academy and Flexischool – Project Fridays

November 20th, 2015 by Peter

Hollinsclough CE Primary Academy has been flexing its curriculum again. Since September they’ve been developing Project Friday. Check out what they’ve been up to! http://hollinsclough.staffs.sch.uk/Friday.htm

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NSPCC: Withdraw your report “Children Not Educated In School: Learning from case reviews”.

November 20th, 2015 by Peter

From Home Ed UK http://www.home-education.org.uk/

This is a petition to get the NSPCC to remove their inaccurate and biased analysis of Serious Case Reviews (SCRs) which attempts to create a link between home education and child abuse and neglect. Put simply the NSPCC incorrectly concludes that home educating parents put their children at risk by maintaining that local authorities follow the law rather than what they SCR’s actually show which is that local authorities put children at risk by NOT following the law, something we as a community have long campaigned for. SCRs conclusions clearly identify that in all cases analysed local authorities and other agencies failed children by not following national guidelines. Please sign this petition to force the NSPCC to address the real problem, poor LA practice, and target services where they should be: children known to be at risk of abuse and neglect rather than target loving caring parents doing their best for their children.

The petition

The NSPCC report

NSPCC summary of NSPCC report

The myth of home education risks

A well argued repost against the NSPCC report that encapsulates the fears of home educators

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kimichi School: Flexi-schooling friendly secondary school in Birmingham

October 16th, 2015 by Peter

Flexi-schooling friendly secondary school in Birmingham…. http://www.kimichischool.co.uk/

Kimichi School's photo.
Kimichi School's photo.
Kimichi School's photo.
Kimichi School's photo.
Kimichi School

Our next Open Day: Saturday 7th November, 2015, 11am-1pm.
**SPECIAL DISCOUNTS ON FEES AVAILABLE THAT DAY ONLY**
**Flexi-schooling welcomed and encouraged**

Ofsted Good, June 2015.
“Students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is excellent. They demonstrate maturity, tolerance and mutual respect as they interact with each other and staff.”
“The proprietorial board (the trustees) and the headteacher are determined that the school should lead the way as to how music might be used to motivate students and support learning in other subjects. They have created an ethos of high expectations and very high aspirations for every student.”

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Learning About Social Class: A Global Issue Today

October 16th, 2015 by Peter

Learning About Social Class: A Global Issue Today
Edith W. King, Educational Sociologist

Sociologists recognize that inequalities spring from the social structures and social processes that create, maintain, or change the individual’s circumstances. Life chances that create inequalities are defined as the conditions of material existence. These conditions include food, clothing, and shelter. This also takes in the quality of life issues such as education, future employment and career opportunities. It includes lifestyle, access to health care, environmental issues, and social and civic participation. Meighan and Harber point out that social class has continued to be a highly ambiguous concept. They note that “the links between social class and education in the UK have been researched frequently and persistently.” (2007, p. 389)
Potent Forces of Social Class: When talking or writing about children and families Roland Meighan and I often discussed how this topic involved touching on the wider social class structure of a society or a nation. It is well known that the economic wherewithal of a group or a family is tied to accumulation of material goods. What is treasured and valued comes from the worth imbued to the material good, such as cash, precious metals and jewels, stocks, bonds, properties (real estate), through a cultural definition of what is valuable. Further, accumulation of wealth and status means power and superiority over others. Social and economic status tends to give one group power over another and leads to attitudes that one ethnic or racial group is inherently better than another because it is richer and holds a higher social status. Material wealth not only endows an individual or a group with greater social status; often it is accompanied by wider political power.
Socioeconomic status (SES) is characterized as a measure that combines a person’s education, occupation and income in order to derive that person’s ranking in the social structure. This definition brings us to another concept in sociological thought connected with social class and socioeconomic status or SES; it is the word “classism.” Classism is defined as discriminatory attitudes and actions towards individuals based upon their social class affiliation. Classism is considered a manifestation of discrimination and prejudice that arises from the wide inequities in the distribution of wealth in a society or nation-state. Sociologists depict most societies as consisting of the following major socio-economic classes: upper middle; lower middle; working class and a growing group labeled the underclass, those living in continual poverty over generations.
In recent years the inequities in the distribution of wealth have been so dramatic that the number of those considered to be middle class in more affluent nation-states have been shrinking. Those living on the edge of poverty, the lower working class and the underclass, have grown twice as rapidly as the people considered more affluent. This situation points to a widening gap between the rich and the poor. Social scientists, social workers, psychologists, medical practitioners, all, concur that the major cause of inequality in childhood is the condition of living in poverty. In other words, those children and families are living in lower class or underclass groups.
Children’s Literature and Classism: Through the books they read, through films and videos, children are introduced to the concept of social class, classism, and the inequalities created by social class affiliations. That vastly popular series, the Harry Potter books, as well as the films, exemplifies how children can learn about the impact of social class. The publishers of the Harry Potter books, Scholastic Publishers, estimate that 325 million copies of the first six books were sold by 2007 in the United States alone including,: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone; Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; The Prisoner of Azkaban; and The Goblet of Fire.
In the Harry Potter series, the Weasley family is continually described as a large family with limited financial resources. Particularly, Ron Weasley, Harry Potter’s comrade at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, is teased for his family’s inability to provide new robes, a fine wand, and a suitable owl for this fourth son to attend Hogwarts.
More evidence of the role of social class appears when we are introduced to Harry, in the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. He is pictured as a penniless orphan despised by the Dursleys, who are portrayed as the typical British middle class family, living on Privet Drive in their spotlessly clean home with manicured lawn. However, when Harry learns that his deceased parents have left him a small fortune and he can finance his schooling at Hogwarts, and not have to depend on others, his social status changes. Subsequently, Harry is treated with more respect by the Dursleys and allowed to have a bedroom to himself, rather than living in the closet below the stairs in the family house.
Another situation in the Harry Potter books that informs children about the power of influence and wealth on social class status is J. K. Rowling’s portrayal of the Malfoys, both Draco, the son, and Lucius, the father. As a longstanding and wealthy wizard family, the Malfoys can be supercilious in stating their views about the social standing and monetary holdings of other characters in the Harry Potter books. Draco Malfoy refers to various characters as servants, has little regard for some of the teachers, and continually points to the Weasley family as being poor, of low status, and having too many children. An underclass appears in the Harry Potter series as well, in the form of the house elves, who work unseen and unpaid, living in the lower levels of the Hogwarts School or in the homes of wealthy wizard families; in reality, an enslaved people. (Heilman and Gregory, 2003)
Awareness of social class and classism in children’s literature is an area of the language arts and literacy that parents and teachers can access. Once an educator is alerted to this subject matter, the presence and the ramifications of social class, social mobility, and social inequality become apparent, even in classical fairy tales such as Cinderella and Jack and the Beanstalk.

Children and Social Class Inequality in the UK: Britain is a nation that has been deeply class-based for centuries. Early on British-born children are aware of their family’s social class status, religious affiliation and relative degree of affluence. In the first decades of the 21st century it was reported that Britain’s population numbered around 60 million. Refugees and asylum-seekers have been arriving every month adding millions of new immigrants to the British population. Many of these new immigrants are leaving financial stress in Eastern Europe or escaping armed conflicts in Syria, Iraq and West Africa. Furthermore, Muslim communities in Britain are growing. These more recent immigrants continue to struggle for a place in British society, much as those do in the U.S. Some of these people are highly educated and bring specialized skills and experience to ease their socialization and enculturation into the UK. However, other refugee families, their children, and single young adults are poorly educated due to the continual trauma of fleeing persecution and violence. Lack of education directly affects social class status.
Educational sociologists have reiterated that many middle class, as well as working class, parents share anxieties about social and educational inequalities imposed on their children. (Apple, 2004; Meighan and Harber, 2007) For example, young U.K. children were questioned about their understandings of social class privilege and access to enhanced educational opportunities. Some children insisted their education was better than ‘poor’ children’s schooling because their families paid tuition to attend the school. It was better because it cost money. This is an example of how children are socialized into the notion of the superiority of tuition-based schooling. These attitudes may reproduce tendencies to reject the recent waves of refugee families and asylum seekers.
In the summer months of 2015 the media reported that over 100,000 refugees, the majority from Syria and Iraq, as well as other Middle Eastern countries, coming by flimsy boats across the Mediterranean Sea, landed in the islands off Greece. Numbers of these refugees told reporters they were escaping from the terror attacks of ISIS (the Islamic State). Among the refugees were over 4000 children, some of them unaccompanied. An assessment by Save the Children (savethechildren.org), a British non-governmental organization (NGO), warned that these young people were at risk of exposure to various sicknesses, to trafficking, sexual exploitation and physical abuse when sleeping alone or pressed into cramped detention quarters. Furthermore, international media described the desperate situation of the Syrian refugee families who fled to the cramped refugee camps in Jordan. Parents with young children emphasized that their little ones cannot remember life before violence and homelessness. The toddlers suffer from seizures, malnutrition, and diarrhea. Medical care is severely limited. It is evident that wars and governmental financial instability in countries such as Greece and Egypt, in Eastern European nations, and across Africa, are continuing to create devastating problems for humanity.

Learning and teaching about social class and the effects of classism are vital topics for our contemporary curriculum. In this article I endeavored to point out how global terrorism intensifies social inequality. With the knowledge of the power of social class status (SES) we can bend our efforts towards ameliorating the circumstances of inequality in the lives of children growing up in times of terrorism. Here follows some suggestions for thinking and learning about social class:
,,. How has social class affiliation affected your students and those that you know ?
…What stories, plays or films can you recall where social class was important in the plot?
… Discuss the impact of social class and social inequality with others. What responses and concerns can you list from these talks?
… Do you discuss topics about social class or socio-economic status (SES) with your children and students? Have you considered that stories such as the Harry Potter series and Cinderella, for example, have social class implications?

 

 Edith W. King is an educational sociologist and American Sociological Association emeritas professor. King has written extensively on diversity and gender education, international and cross-cultural education, and qualitative research in global perspectives.  Among her many books is the recent Encounters with Social Thought (Amazon:Kindle 2012) and Social Thought on Education (Amazon:Kindle 2011).  Edith King serves on the advisory board of numerous professional journals and educational publications and is the chairperson of the Worldmindedness Institute.

References
Apple, Michael W. (2004) Official Knowledge. N.Y. Routledge,
Heilman, Elizabeth E. & Anne E. Gregory. (2003) “Images of the Privileged Insider and Outcast Outsider.” In E. Heilman, (Ed.) Harry Potter’s World. New York: RoutlegeFalmer, pp. 241 – 260.
King, E. (2014) Teaching in an Era of Terrorism. 4th edition. Amazon: Kindle. .
Meighan, Roland and Clive Harber. (2007) A Sociology of Educating. London, UK: Continuum.
Save The Children. www.savethechildren.org.uk
Strimel, Courtney B.: “The Politics of Terror: Rereading Harry Potter.” Children’s Literature in Education, Vol. 35, No. 1, March 2004, pp. 35-52.

Van Arsdale, Peter. (2006) Forced to Flee: Human Rights and Human Wrongs in Refugee Homelands. Lanham MD: Lexington Books.

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Research into how EHE children learn to read – 2

October 12th, 2015 by Peter

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