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HE UK 17th Birthday.

January 11th, 2017 by Peter

News from Mike Wood

Hi It’s the 17th Birthday of www.home-education.org.uk which went live on the 8th January 2000

This time each year I report on its progress.

HE UK now has over 3.3Million hits, (340K pages) per year from over 220K visits representing 25 visits every hour. So still growing.

Educational Heretics Press website is now up and running carrying information on the 60+ books in our backlist as well as new publications and Kindles. www.educationalhereticspress.com

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Book Review: Peter Van Arsdale Global Human Rights: People, Processes, and Principles

January 3rd, 2017 by Peter

Book Review

Peter Van Arsdale  Global Human Rights: People, Processes, and Principles,

Waveland Press (2017) 117pp. ISBN 13:978-1-4786-3294-8; paper.

(Kindle e-book), ISBN 10:1-4786-3294-1 $U.S.14.20.

By  Edith W. King 

Conflicts across the world, devastating wars, human and environmental tragedies are destroying planet earth.  Today young people everywhere are directly affected by this terrorism and violence or the threat of it.  Children are constantly exposed to the acts of extremism  indirectly through the media or possibly when using social media.  This book, Global Human Rights: People, Processes and Principles addresses today’s urgent need to know more about universal human rights.  Peter Van Arsdale informs and extends a reader’s knowledge of the essential human rights — access to clean water and sanitary conditions, food security, freedom from violence and a life with dignity.

The lively, personalized written style of Global Human Rights provides a concise and focused coverage.  Rather than emphasizing protocols and covenants this book is filled with accounts of the history of human rights, the dedicated efforts and successful practices in the field.   A unique and important feature in this book is the metaphor and original illustration of the “Tree of Rights”, a universal conception.  When depicting global human rights the analogy of the tree is eminently appropriate. This diagram, (p.8) shows how human rights grow and change over time, focusing on the provision of water, sanitation, food and shelter as basic rights.  The analogy of the tree then builds on rights that are labeled “freedom of” and “freedom from.”   (See Chapter One, pages 7 – 10).  For example in Chapter 2 a reference to the Tree of Rights is employed to emphasize how essential basic needs are to the human condition. This chapter begins with a touching illustration of how access to potable water is vital and should be recognized as a human right.  The Tree of Rights is again noted by the author (p.55) referring to creative discourse and debate as crucial for human rights.  This Tree metaphor can be found throughout the chapters of the book and gives readers deeper insights into the critical significance of human rights.

The sub-title of the book, People, Processes and Principles is carried through in the creative use of “side bars” placed in strategic locations in Chapters Two through Six.  Van Arsdale points out:  “The consideration of human rights goes far beyond the explication of documents, covenants, and protocols. ….. Human rights are about people’s struggles and achievements, about their companions and their persecutors.”   The “side bars” are variously labeled CASE (a case study), Agency Action, or Champion (individual).  Van Arsdale, brings out the dedication of groups and individuals to the causes of human rights by using this unique format.  Through focusing  on the sacrifices and the contributions to human rights actions, learners can build on this information for further study and investigations.

Useful, as well, is another feature of this carefully focused  volume. Note the specific lists in the beginning and at the end of the book.  On the first pages titled “ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS” is a listing described as “an important acknowledgement of the many nations and international organizations that have dedicated a day each year to a human rights, peace, remembrance, independence, or related human welfare issues.” (p. xv- xvi)  Month by month from January to December this feature gives the names of the special day and the country where it is held — examples: January — Women’s Day (Greece);  February — Tortures Abolition Day (United Nations);  March — Liberation Day (Bulgaria).  Information, such as presented here, provides the home educator with valuable materials for year round activities and projects with international human rights content.  At the end of the book, the Glossary of Acronyms  (pp. 109 – 110) is especially helpful, not only for this book, but for use with other material such as newspapers, books, magazines, the Internet where acronyms, especially global references, frequently appear.   Additionally, Global Human Rights is reader friendly with references found at the end of each chapter, rather than listed all together at the end of the volume.

In Chapters 2 -5 Van Arsdale provides the reader with case studies from many places in the world.  He begins with a horrifying example of water and sanitary deprivation on the African continent – Kiberia, then on to hunger in Somalia, violence in Ethiopia, Sudan, and Nigeria.  Chapters contain case studies that describe genocides in Sudan, Cambodia, and New Guinea.  Further are the human rights violations in Europe and in the United States.   The author notes: “….the complex array of ethnic relations must be understood, but ethnicity does not cause genocide.  Resource exploitation, in concert with ethnic discrimination and corrupt government practices….does.” (p.69)  Key terms used throughout the book such as “victim”, “survivor”, “perpetrator”, “bystander” “witness”  are clearly defined.  The concluding chapter, “Obligated Actions; Moral and Material Possibilities” emphasizes that now “violence is the worldwide situation” (p.96). And this structural violence informs obligation for total action with  urgency as stated by the author:

When our skills are sufficient, when our resources are available, and when we are confronted with assisting those under duress, whose rights have been abused, we must act. We have an obligation.  Obligation does not mean “optional”; it means “duty” that leads to tackling the opportunity…. Human Rights and humanitarianism are linked.  Humanitarianism is defined as “crossing a boundary” to assist; risk usually is encountered by the service provider or advocate as scarce resources are used to help the vulnerable, to help those whose rights have been abused.  (p. 95)

 This theory of obligation to act on behalf of those whose rights are abused will resonate with home educators and their learners calling for compassion and risk taking as described in Van Arsdale’s narratives and anecdotes.  For example, to  highlight children’s plight, the author has emphasized that refugee children are especially vulnerable as fronts have shifted village-to village, camp-to camp. These young people are exposed to being recruited as child soldiers, and over half are unaccompanied minors often having escaped from drowning in flimsy boats as they fled war-torn places like Syria or Iraq.  The world is finally acknowledging that global migrations of desperate refugees show no signs of easing in the 21st century. (Van Arsdale, 2006; E. W. King, 2016).   Global Human Rights gives the reader specifics about what is being accomplished through models of human rights actions that succeed.  I highly recommend this book for those who know, instruct and interact with young people everywhere.

References:  King, Edith W. (2016)  Educating Students in Times of Terrorism.  Kindle.

Van Arsdale, Peter. (2006).  Forced To Flee. Lanham, MD Lexington Books.

Edith W. King, (ekingwm@hotmail.com) is Professor of Educational Sociology emerita and Chair of the Worldmindedness Institute of Colorado.

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Encounters With Sociology by Edith W. King

January 3rd, 2017 by Peter

Encounters With Sociology by Edith W. King Amazon: Kindle $5.95 2017

Do you wonder how to make sense of what goes on around you? Do you realize that we live in an invisible social world – a world of common occurrences along with international calamities, terrorism, and natural disasters? People often seek explanations for these events and happenings for many reasons, among them to deal with a crisis or to plan for the future. Any inquisitive person using social theory can gain insights into the world we inhabit. You can apply major theories of sociology to experience and events happening every day. That’s what Encounters with Sociology is all about

THIS BOOK IS FOR anyone who is seeking explanations for experiences of daily life, the “small things” like eating at a restaurant or going to a football game. More importantly, it’s a way of coming to understand national and global happenings such as terrorism, earthquakes and tsunamis. This new version including new encounters, is useful for professionals and students from high school through higher education. It is for anyone looking for meaning and consequences of social occurrences.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Edith W. King, Educational Sociologist, taught at the university level for over fortyfive years. She is the author of more than eighteen texts, numerous articles, monographs, and multimedia materials on diversity, multi-ethnicity, gender issues, world awareness, global perspectives and peace building. Also by Edith King and available on Amazon: Kindle: Educating Students in Times of Terrorism (2016) and Social Thought on Education (2014).

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Global Learning Programme – Opportunities at Hollinsclough Primary for Home and flexi- educating families

January 3rd, 2017 by Peter

Attention all Home/Flexi educating parents!

Hollinsclough Academy (just south of Buxton Derbyshire), as a hub for the Global Learning Programme, would LOVE your input.

We will be planning a series of free sessions during 2017 to develop ideas on how we can equip our children with the necessary skills and attitudes that will
help them to make a positive contribution to a globalised world.

If you are interested in being part of this exciting group or would like further information, please contact Lynda O’Sullivan by email – losullivan@hollinsclough.staffs.sch.uk

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Alternative Educational Futures Conference 2016

November 7th, 2016 by Peter

Mike Wood has alerted us to the fact that a collection of articles arising from the Alternative Educational Futures Conference 2016 is now available on Kindle. Held at Birmingham City University the conference, organised by the Centre for Personalised Education brought together some 25 speakers and large audience to share alternative educational futures.

Mike hasn’t yet put the e-book up on the Educational Heretics Press site  (but it will follow shortly). In the meantime you can find it on Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01M65PKPR  . #AlternativeEducationalFutures

 

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Potential New Secondary Flexischool Setting – North Staffordshire, East Cheshire and North Derbyshire.

November 7th, 2016 by Peter

Hollinsclough Academy is an established flexi-school for primary age pupils.  It now wants to extend its offer to the secondary phase at another location.  This would be an alternative provision for 30 to 50 students, and personalised to meet the aspirations of the students.  Most of the learning would be self-managed with specialist support as necessary.  The school/college would be open for five days a week, 10am till 4pm, with students expected to attend for at least 3 days. At present this offer would be for students in the North Staffordshire, East Cheshire and North Derbyshire.

Hollinsclough would like to know how much interest there would be from home education, flexischooling, mainstream and alternative educational families and communities in such a development. We’d also be keen to hear from alternative or mainstream educators  who would be interested in helping to explore the detail of the offer before a free school application is made to the DfE and, if any educators would like to become involved with the project.

Please get in touch in confidence if you might be interested in places at this kind of secondary flexischool or if you’d like to be involved in the development and delivery of the project.

Janette Mountford-Lees MA B Ed  NPQH, Principal.

headteacher@hollinsclough.staffs.sch.uk

Hollinsclough CE Academy

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

Tel:  01298 83303

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Conflict Transformation workshops at Cambridge Faculty of Education

November 4th, 2016 by Peter

Dear colleagues,

We are extremely lucky here at the Faculty to host visitors next week (7-12 Nov) from the University of Innsbruck Peace Studies department, whose work is supported by UNESCO.  They will be sharing their Elicitive Conflict Transformation methodology, which has been receiving a good deal of international attention recently as a genuinely innovative and transformative way of responding to both inner and outer conflict.  It integrates research and teachings about peace from the global East, West, North and South, and as such, provides an intriguing possibility of working towards world peace through unity in diversity.

As part of this visit, we are also hosting a workshop delivered by Gill Chumbley, who uses similar techniques as a body psychotherapist at Addenbrookes University Hospital in Cambridge.

These events are supported by the EED research group and CPERG (Cambridge Peace Education Research Group).  There is no cost for the first two, and a small cost for the third, but please let us know if you are hoping to attend.

On 10th November:

Elicitive Conflict Transformation Experiential Workshop (10.00 – 13.30 GS5)
with Dr. Nobert Koppensteiner and Dr. Josefina Echavarría Alvarez from the UNESCO supported Program for Peace Studies, at the University of Innsbruck/Austria.

Body Psychotherapy Workshop: Boundaries……and the spaces inbetween (15.00 – 17.00 Homerton Dance Studio)

With Gill Chumbley. Body Psychotherapist, UKCP & Renal Counsellor, Renal Services, Cambridge University Hospital, Addenbrookes, Cambridge

And on Saturday 12th November 2016, Mary Allen Building Auditorium, an event run through the Cambridge Forum for Children’s Wellbeing, entitled: Conflict Transformation Workshop: An exploration of dance, drama and movement.

All welcome.  Please email Hilary Cremin hc331@cam.ac.uk for information.

Best wishes

Hilary

-- 
Dr Hilary Cremin

Faculty of Education
University of Cambridge
184 Hills Rd
Cambridge 
CB2 8PQ

01223 767555

http://www.educ.cam.ac.uk/people/staff/cremin/


 

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Rethinking Learning To Read – Harriet Pattison

November 2nd, 2016 by Peter

Out in hard copy and launched at our June 2016 Alternative Educational Futures conference is Harriet Pattison Rethinking Learning to Read, Educational Heretics Press (2016), 212 pp., £11.99

Learning to read is considered to be a crucial step in any child’s education, and literacy is a central concern, not just for educators and parents but for politicians and wider society as well. Rethinking Learning to Read offers a unique contribution to the subject by investigating in depth, for the first time, how home educated children learn to read.

Based on an international sample of 311 families with a total of 400 children this book explores, the experiences of those who learn to read away from the mainstream school agenda. The results constitute a unique resource and insight into how children learn to read when not constrained by school methods.

A wide range of views and pedagogical attitudes are presented and considered from philosophical, psychological and practical points of view. The result is a provocative discussion of literacy built around the words of home educating parents as they describe their children’s experiences and deliberate themselves on how we understand learning to read. 

In so doing many normative assumptions are challenged including the necessity for age related achievement targets, the pursuit of a universal “best method” approach to reading instruction, a “building block” progressive approach, and the contention that children need to be professionally and actively taught to read.

Through the analysis of parents’ experiences and reflections the authors begin work on the construction of alternative representations of what happens when a child learns to read.

This book also has wider implications in understanding how learning takes place in the home, the relationship between teaching and learning and gives real insight to the phenomena that is home education.

Reviews

Rethinking Learning to Read opens up new conversations about learning to read, inviting us to think about reading in different ways and challenging some of the normative assumptions we may have come to hold about reading and learning more generally. It has been fascinating to read the rich and diverse range of accounts of home educating children learning to read presented in the book along with the author’s philosophical reflections on the implications of these experiences.’

Emma Marie Forde, Rethinking Parenting Blogg Full review (PDF)

‘The overriding impression left by this book is of how many ways there are to learn to read, how quickly it can happen once a child needs and wants to learn and how the age at which a child learns is of little or no consequence.’

by Hazel Clawley, CPE trustee, home educator and Adult Education Tutor  (full review pdf).

“Pattison questions the fundamental nature of ‘teaching’ reading, providing a clear and accessible overview of the concept, acquisition and participation in learning. It is noted that within the system the acquisition of reading has become a ‘method’, a formulaic approach ‘one size fits all approach’ that sees a child failure to read as: the failure being with the child and not the method.”

By Fé Mukwamba-Sendall, EO trustee, home educator and lecturer in Social work. (Full review PDF).

Educational Heretics Press Website http://www.educationalhereticspress.com/index.htm

Educational Heretics Press Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/educationalhereticspress 

#AlternativeEducationalFutures

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Educational Heretics Press

November 2nd, 2016 by Peter

EHP goes from strength to strength under Mike Wood’s stewardship.

Many of the titles of Prof  Roland Meighan’s EHP back catalogue are still available as hard copies and there is a rapidly increasing range of incredible value Kindle versions coming online. The EHP site makes purchasing worldwide via Amazon quick and easy.

Mike has recently published accounts of 92 home educating families  I Home Educate Because: Why 92 families home educate (Kindle Edition

 

“I Home Educate Because…” Why 92 families chose to home educate their children, in their own words.

A collection of families responding to the question why they home educate. While the reasons are as diverse as the families themselves, they follow a common thread of care and concern for their children. All are highly focused on their children, full of care with a concern for their futures in a world of ever greater standardisation, testing and regimented curricula that pays little attention to their child’s needs.

For a full list of all our available Kindles and links to your local Amazon page see:

www.educationalhereticspress.com/search-kindles.htm

Remember, Kindles can be read on any device using the free Kindle reader app.

Educational Heretics Press Website http://www.educationalhereticspress.com/index.htm

Educational Heretics Press Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/educationalhereticspress 

#AlternativeEducationalFutures

 

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Global Terrorism and Brexit Challenge Educators

September 13th, 2016 by Peter

                         Global Terrorism and Brexit Challenge Educators

                                                                                                              Edith W. King

Every day the worldwide media informs us about the horndous acts of terrorism with headlines such as:  “Europe Arrives at a New Chapter of Violence;”   “Terror Spree Unsettles Europe;” or “Brexit Causes Immigrants To Feel Town Turning Against Them” Due to terrorists’ acts breaking news constantly reports the numbers of deaths, the  injured,  destroyed buildings, damaged communities, and, of course, the shattered lives of citizens and of migrants.  It is human damage that terrorism and major legislation such as Brexit, bring to disrupt a once secure society.  The level of outrageous terrorism carried out and attributed to followers of ISIS (Islamic State) produces circumstances that bring on a rise of racism, anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia.

 

Those educators in Britain, concerned about the conditions in the UK in the summer of 2016 after Brexit, cautioned that the climate of rhetoric, hatred and insularism is clearly in the ascendency on both sides of the Atlantic.   They stressed that fear, distrust, and barely disguised racism are infecting society, noting that incidents of verbal and physical violence towards minorities and immigrants are on the increase.  In the US some politicians engaged in the heated presidential election have used the threat of illegal immigrants as the source of terrorism, to further their electoral ambitions.  These opinions on the precarious status of democracy and tolerance in Western nations are evidence of the turmoil and fears violence and terrorism have brought throughout the contemporary world.

 

Worldwide migrations of desperate refugees, legal and illegal immigrants (as well as internally displaced people) show no sign of letting up in the 21st century.  People, entire families, unaccompanied children, young adults, as well as the elderly are fleeing the wars and the collapse of governments in Middle Eastern and African countries.  In 2016 the United Nations Refugees Agency released data that showed 65 million people were displaced worldwide, setting a new global record.  The Refugee Agency went on to state this amounted to 34,000 people a day and doubled the number of displaced people since 1997.   Conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and other African nations, as well as continuing conflagrations in Afghanistan and Pakistan are reasons for driving up these numbers.

 

About half of the refugees are children, some unaccompanied minors. News reports told of youngsters who drowned trying to escape from the flimsy and overturned boats they were in.  The headlines “European refugee crisis” are now a familiar slogan.  The migrants and asylum-seekers have placed enormous burdens on affluent western European countries, as well as the rest of Europe.  By summer, 2016 Germany had accepted over 52,000 unaccompanied refugees under the age of 18 according to official reports.  Most of the children live in group homes, but some are placed with foster parents and later can apply for asylum.  When the Syrian conflicts began in 2011 through early 2016, it is estimated that 4.6 million Syrian refugees had fled to neighboring countries with another 7.6 million estimated to be internally displaced people (IDPs). Studies have examined the socio-economic effects of such extensive migrations.   This has shown that people living outside their country of origin, experience more prejudice and discrimination than the native born citizens. The unpredictable status of global financial affairs has exasperated conditions of inequality for these asylum-seekers. The economic and political implications of persons and families migrating outside their country of origin, now more than in any other time in history are challenging many nations.

 

Germany is an example of the European countries where there exists uncertainty, inconsistency and shifting attitudes on the status of huge numbers of migrants.  Further it appears that these vast numbers are overwhelming the government provisions offered those seeking asylum as the following  comments and opinions of German educators and other German citizens attest.  They spoke with my colleague who was teaching in a German higher education institution in the summer of 2016.

“Many Germans have sympathy with the fugitives because at the end of World War II more than 12 million of Germans were fugitives themselves and had to endure similar experiences. So we want to help and show a friendly, welcoming face. Luckily the attitude of a vast majority of the German population is still very positive.”

 

“We have to cope with these huge numbers of un-controlled inflow by neighboring EU states.  They are simply guiding the masses through their territory towards northern countries like Germany and Sweden and without offering real help to the migrants.”

 

 “As far as we see and know there are not only refugees from war zones – like from Syria – who have a right of asylum according to the Geneva Conventions. Most immigrants are young men with smart phones and without families.” There is just not enough room to house all of these hundred thousands of migrants. Kids in school have no sport education anymore because school gyms are used for makeshift migrant camps.”

 

 

“There is fear of right wing populist movements which could totally change our systems not only regarding the attitude towards migrants. We already see this in some EU states like e.g. in Denmark which had a very migrant friendly system but changed when populist, nationalistic politicians were elected recently. I do hope that in Germany we are able to manage without giving up our open and liberal society. Angela Merkel keeps to being optimistic and tells people: yes, we can manage. All of this calls for a common European policy approach, which is not really recognizable at the moment – a tough test for solidarity among EU states!”

 

(Interviews by Professor Liu Ming, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China, at the Hochschhule Bremen City University, Bremen, Germany, Summer, 2016)

The above comments including:  “we have to cope with large numbers of immigrants”; “most immigrants are young men with smart phones”, “there is fear of right wing populist movements” echo and reinforce the information discussed in this article.  What do these conditions and tensions, now apparent in daily living, impose on teaching and the education of all children — citizens, migrants and asylum seekers?  Here are suggestions I have gathered from various sources to respond to this question.

 

Helping students cope with terrorism — suggestions for home educators:

  • Children should have a climate of acceptance and openness so they can ask difficult-to-discuss questions about terrorism and related controversial issues. Setting forth guidelines for small group discussions such as: not allowing put-downs or making fun of other’s points or contributions. Dissuade them from interrupting each other.  Keep to the rule of allowing each one to finish the remark or statement. Stress confidentiality of the discussion and the assurance that the conversation stays within the group.
  • Listen for concerns about terrorism and acts of violence. Give children a chance to say what is troubling them or what is on their minds. Try to understand their point of view because young people sometimes cannot find the words to say what they mean. Probe more deeply by asking where did you hear or learn that “all terrorists are…” or “that a terrorist is in the neighborhood or near our house?” It is helpful and reassuring to re-phrase or re-state what has been said by noting that “what it seems you are saying is…” Watch for nonverbal messages as well, such as facial expressions, gestures, tone of voice, or emotional signals. You can remark that it is frightening for everyone to think about terrorism.
  • Correct misinformation about conditions surrounding mass shootings, gun violence, terrorists, and the Brexit legislation. Try to explain incidents and crises reported in the “breaking” news reports in direct and simple language. Make clear that many of us are also concerned about the problems associated with violence and unpredictability. It is essential that we do not indicate that we are burdening youngsters with the tasks of solving the predicaments and dilemmas of the Brexit decision or global terrorism.
  • Recognize and discuss the problems and issues that arise in the local community due to threats of terrorism. You can ask for example:   Has someone’s family member joined a group to fight conflagrations where violence has occurred?  Has someone they know been concerned about their rights as a legalized citizen?  Do they know of undocumented persons threatened by deportations of illegal youths and adults?  Are some travel plans for their family curtailed due to concerns about Brexit or terrorist acts and violence abroad?
  • Locate and read stories that recognize and recount those who work for human rights, freedom, and safety for others. Such as the media accounts of Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani woman who advocates education for girls and women and the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace prize.
  • Promote youngsters sense of social responsibility and understandings of others’ perspectives through art activities. Locate museum exhibits and other art displays in libraries or universities that focus on international and cross-cultural themes. This provides students with diverse expressions of cultural traditions, folkways, ceremonies, and customs. Integrate education about human rights into teaching by approaching topics from a global perspective.
  • Bring in human rights through cross-cultural topics and themes including use of languages spoken by peoples around the world. Create opportunities to discuss and use differing languages. Find out if languages other than English are spoken, read or written in your neighborhood and community. Watch for signs or notices distributed by the community in languages other than English to use for examples.

These suggestions can apply for students of all ages, those that are home schooled and those in traditional education.   Today, it is acknowledged that migration within and across nation states is a worldwide phenomenon. Never before in history have people from all over the globe attempted such waves of migration in search of racial, religious and economic freedom.  We know that terrorists are not a new phenomenon.  They have been present in our midst for centuries. The extremists that confront us today, in whatever part of the world they operate, are not unique.  It is widely acknowledged that current acts of terrorism are not condoned by Islam or the Muslim religion. Terrorists use suicide attacks that spurn their own demise. These extremists profoundly believe that their causes are right and just. As long as there is a “war on terrorism” it brings attention to the various causes that use violence as a means to gain power.  In opposition those who advocate education for an enduring peace, seek an appreciation of difference and equality for all humankind.

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BOOK REVIEW: Harriet Pattison Rethinking Learning to Read, Educational Heretics Press

July 18th, 2016 by Peter

Harriet Pattison Rethinking Learning to Read, Educational Heretics Press (2016), 212 pp., £11.99

Review by Hazel Clawley

This important book was launched at the recent Alternative Education Futures conference organised by the Centre for Personalised Education-Personalised Edcuation Now. It is a ‘major study of how children learn to read outside an institutional setting’ (Dr Alan Thomas, in the book’s Foreword). Most of us have, for the past 150 years, been taught to read in school by whatever method was currently fashionable amongst educational pundits. For me, learning to read in the mid-1940s, it was a ‘phonics’ approach – though, as I recall, without the rigidity of current practice. My infant school in Cleethorpes presented me with a book full of glossy coloured pictures (pre-war, obviously), with a green, wriggly snake for the sound of the letter ‘s’, and a boy in pyjamas stretching his arms above his head in a yawn for the sound ‘y’. The book was arranged alphabetically, and I can recall the later pictures most clearly, because I couldn’t wait for the class’s slow progress through the early pages, and dashed to the end to crack as much of the code as possible in school time (books could not be taken home) so I could read for myself Alice in Wonderland, which my mother and I were sharing as a bedtime story. Being given a ’phonics’ toolkit, and then being free to use it in my own way, was a small miracle for me. But it certainly didn’t work as well for all my classmates – and therein lies one of the main themes recurring throughout this well-researched study: all children are different, and what works brilliantly for one may not work at all for another, and may even be counterproductive or damaging.

The study is based on a website questionnaire inviting home-educating parents to respond to questions about how their children had learned to read: 311 questionnaires were completed, representing 400 children. The researcher is aware of the danger of small-sample studies being rejected by decision-making government bodies (as with the Badman Review of 2009). While accepting that the sample does not necessarily represent the whole, she offers the work as ‘a qualitative and exploratory account through which to challenge assumptions and offer new insights’ (p.26).

The book looks firstly at different understandings of learning, comparing in particular two metaphors, that of acquisition and that of participation. Both metaphors were used by home educators in responses: ‘He acquired the skills…’; ‘Everyone else was doing it, they wanted to do it too…’. Pattison notes that the acquisition metaphor is dominant in our society, but suggests that the participation metaphor ‘can be profitably drawn on in rethinking reading’ (p.39).

So what is reading anyway? This is the question at the head of chapter three. (I used to think the answer to this was obvious, until faced with the case of the blind John Milton and his daughter. She would ‘read’ aloud to him from Latin texts that she didn’t understand, but he did. So who was doing the reading?) Pattison explores the question through her respondents’ replies: some   treated reading as a phonetic system (‘…we must learn the phonetic code…’); some as whole-word recognition (‘Reading books the child enjoyed to them, and then first letting the child read the words they could to start and later on reading more and bigger words until they could read the whole story themselves’); and some as a relationship with print (‘Living life in a world where words are everywhere’). She touches on methods that don’t work (‘…many of the methods for teaching kids to read may take the fun out of reading and then kids give up’); on families who eschew any kind of method; on children devising their own method; on memorising; and on silent reading – and the emphasis in school on reading aloud which causes stress to some children.

How do home-educated children learn to read without teachers? Very well, it seems! Of course, some home-educating parents are qualified teachers, but even those who are teachers don’t always teach their children to read. Of the 311 parents responding, 91 claimed that they had taught their child to read, 133 said that they had not (though most of their children had learned to read nevertheless), and 87 took issue with the question itself. Many of the responses to the question about direct teaching led the researcher to speak of ‘reading as cultural participation’ (p.73): ‘The whole family facilitated her to teach herself’; ‘She watches us read’; ‘I always remember my daughter picking up very quickly on the big bright lights of the supermarket names!’; ‘I feel there is no need to teach it, only to perhaps encourage a love of reading’. As Pattison says: ‘The challenges to “teaching”, both the word itself and the theory behind it, permeate the questionnaire responses and push deeply and widely into a core concept of education’ (p.94) – in particular questioning transmission models of learning.

What do families do to enable their children to become readers? This is one of the most fascinating sections of the book. Some answers in brief: sharing books through reading aloud (or not!); talking; answering children’s questions; conversation; games, toys, computers; children’s play and other interests; television (or, indeed, the absence of television!). What comes over above all is that there is no one magic formula to produce children who enjoy reading, no ‘essential core that that all children must have’; rather, ‘there are multiple possibilities and combinations as opposed to narrow necessities’ (p.116).

Learning to read doesn’t always follow a linear, upward curve. Sometimes it progresses by fits and starts, according to home-educators’ evidence. And sometimes it traces a downward curve. Readers can move from ‘hard’ words and phrases to ‘easy’ ones, if ‘easy’  means short words that follow the rules of phonics (like ‘red’) and ‘hard’ means longer words that buck those rules (like ‘conscious’). Everything depends on the child’s interests, and which words are meaningful to them. (I’m reminded of Sylvia Ashton-Warner’s 1963 classic Teacher, in which her Maori beginner-readers chose their own special words (of love or fear) to write large on cards and carry with them. Many chose ‘skellington’ [sic], their own ‘bogey-man’ word, and soon learned to read and write such powerful symbols.)

Parents within the sample reported that their children learned to read anywhere between the ages of 18 months and 16 years. Many parents were unsure exactly when their child had started reading. Most claimed that once their child had decided to read, at whatever age, they learned very quickly: ‘As he was 6 years old, one Sunday morning, he called “Mama, I am at page 61!”’; ‘At 10 I saw her holding a book and I asked what it was. She said it was the book she’d read over the weekend. And that was that. She could read.’ ‘Late reading’, considered such a problem within the formal education system, is not a problem for these children. ‘At home a child who is not reading at 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 or older may become a proficient reader on a par with age expected norms within months’ (p.138).

All children are different. As I have already mentioned, this is one of the main themes of this book. Yet ‘children in school do not have a choice about reading instruction. Nor for that matter do schools or teachers’ (p.145). At home things are different: ‘Learning to read is a very personal adventure and each person comes to it differently at different times and for different reasons and in different ways’; ‘Back off and let the child lead’; ‘Emotional readiness to read is more important than his or her intellectual readiness’. This personalised approach to learning was all the more important to those parents whose children had been removed from an unhappy school situation, especially those who had been unjustifiably labelled as having special educational needs, or who felt their special needs were not being catered for by the school system: ‘I have found that the creative/spatial/technical child (often a boy) learns to read at a later age. In school he/she may be labelled “dyslexic”’ (Mother of three children who learned to read aged between 10 and 12). Children’s own motivation was key to learning to read, whether it was a ‘desire to join in the cultural world of those round them’ (p.175), or the need to read a specific text for a particular purpose: ‘We started playing World of Warcraft and he found his reason’ (p.178).

The overriding impression left by this book is of how many ways there are to learn to read, how quickly it can happen once a child needs and wants to learn and how the age at which a child learns is of little or no consequence. Contrast the school approach, where only one highly prescriptive method is on offer, where the process is deemed to take a number of years, and where precise reading ‘targets’ are specified for each age.

Unlike most academic research studies, this book does not end with neat conclusions. Instead, Pattison suggests a possible new way to understand how children learn to read, through applying the insights of complexity theory. (This is an offshoot of chaos theory, which I first came across in the late 1980s when as a home-educating parent I was introduced by my son to the Mandelbrot Set which he was investigating via our primitive home computer.) This contrasts with the cause-and-effect logic which has dominated the sciences and social sciences since their inception, and which lies behind much of the ‘cognitive skills’ approach to reading, where each prescribed sub-skill must be acquired in a set order for the ‘result’ of reading to follow. The application of complexity theory to reading research is a new idea (for details of the argument, see pp. 187-92); yet, as Pattison says: ‘some similar strands of thinking are discernible in some of the things which parents said’. For example: ‘It was only after the younger child was reading fluently that I realized that I’d neglected to first teach her the alphabet song … she did eventually learn the alphabet song (although not very well) … “knowing the alphabet” is clearly not an essential “pre-reading skill”!’

There is much in this book to encourage and support home-educating families. More importantly, the findings need to be taken seriously by government and by their curriculum advisers. Will this happen? At the same conference that saw the launch of this book, I attended a session by Dr Ian Cunningham, in which, as a scientist, he bemoaned the lack of evidence-based practice in our education system as a whole. So it may take some time.

Hazel Clawley is a Trustee/Director of Centre for Personalised Education – Personalised Education Now. She home-educated her two children between 1979 and 1991, and has since worked for 12 years as an adult education tutor in the NHS, supporting stroke and traumatic brain injury patients to recover literacy ability.

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#AlternativeEducationalFutures Conference. Great Success – Thank You!

June 20th, 2016 by Peter

IMG_0472

A chance for freethinking, networking and opportunities to learn with and from a range of philosophies, sectors and settings. 21 session choices, 27 diverse presenters. 

The Centre for Personalised Education

ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL FUTURES

#AlternativeEducationalFutures

We are delighted to report on the success of this #AlternativeEducationalFutures conference.

A huge thank you from the Centre for Personalised Education #cpe_pen to all the speakers and delegates in Friday’s conference. The memorable event was a fitting tribute for Prof Roland Meighan and Philip Toogood. 

It was great to be in the company of people with open dispositions,  able engage with the possibilities of the past, present and future and able to create an alternative to the current pervasive neoliberal narratives.

The conference struck a chord and exceeded our expectations. We’ve been reunited with old friends and made lots of new! The venue and format worked extremely well.

There will follow a Special Conference Journal from CPE-PEN and an eBook from Educational Heretics Press.

Harriet Pattison  and our publishing partner Educational Heretics Press also launched Harriet’s book Rethinking Learning to Read – get your copy now.

 

 

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ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL FUTURES CONFERENCE – DUE TO DEMAND EXTRA PLACES AVAILABLE! ACT NOW!

June 4th, 2016 by Peter

IMG_0472

Due to demand we have opened up extra conference places! A chance for freethinking, networking and opportunities to learn with and from a range of philosophies, sectors and settings. 21 session choices, 27 diverse presenters. Participants include – professors, lecturers, researchers, PhD students, graduate and undergraduate students, headteachers, principals, teachers (mainstream / alternative), educational psychologists, home educating parents / students, learning consultants, adult education tutors, learning support mentors, autonomously educated students, democratic educators, peace educators, flexischooling parents, publisher, children’s rights campaigner.

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)

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

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 Dr Richard House Richard House MA [Oxon], Ph.D., C.Psychol., AFBPsS, CertCouns is a chartered psychologist and former Senior Lecturer at the Universities of Roehampton (Psychology) and Winchester (Education). Richard is a co-founder of the Open EYE early years campaign (2007-12) and of Early Childhood Action.

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.

 

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GLOBAL TeachMeet

June 2nd, 2016 by Peter
Dear Colleagues,
 
I am delighted to invite you to our first
GLOBAL
TeachMeet
 
to share practical global learning ideas with other professionals in the West Midlands
with a choice of two venues and two dates, chose the one which suits you best
 
5-7, Wednesday 6th July, Nunnery Wood High School, Worcester
Thursday 7th July Aldridge School, Walsall
 
Teachers involved in the Tide~ ‘Young people on the global stage; their education and influence’ EU funded project will be sharing their learning of how to engage young leaders in achieving the new Sustainable Development Goals
 
To register to attend or do a 3-7 minute presentations see http://tinyurl.com/znfm9vd
 
I look forward to seeing you there for an inspirational meeting!
 
Please circulate this invitation to interested colleagues
 
 
Best wishes
Cathryn
 
Cathryn Gathercole
Director
 
Tide~ global learning
Kings Norton Girls’ School
Selly Oak Road
Birmingham B30 1HW
 
Tel: +44 121 303 8298 /+44 7540 770 589
Email: cathryn@tidec.org
 
‘Young people on the global stage: their education and influence’ EU funded project
www.tidegloballearning.net
 
@Tidegloballearn

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Hollinsclough Primary Academy and Flexischool at ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL FUTURES CONFERENCE

June 1st, 2016 by Peter

Hollinsclough Primary Academy and Flexischool

Flexisxchooling at Hollinsclough and flexischool Q&A

will be at

ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL FUTURES CONFERENCE

Birmingham City University

June 17th

http://blog.personalisededucationnow.org.uk/2016/05/31/alternative-educational-futures-conference-final-places/

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

Final Conference Places! A chance for freethinking, networking and opportunities to learn with and from a range of philosophies, sectors and settings. 21 session choices, 27 diverse presenters. Participants include – professors, lecturers, researchers, PhD students, graduate and undergraduate students, headteachers, principals, teachers (mainstream / alternative), educational psychologists, home educating parents / students, learning consultants, adult education tutors, learning support mentors, autonomously educated students, democratic educators, peace educators, flexischooling parents, publisher, children’s rights campaigner.

 

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ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL FUTURES CONFERENCE – FINAL PLACES!

May 31st, 2016 by Peter

IMG_0472

Final Conference Places! A chance for freethinking, networking and opportunities to learn with and from a range of philosphies, sectors and settings. 21 session choices, 27 diverse presenters. Participants include – professors, lecturers, researchers, PhD students, graduate and undergraduate students, headteachers, principals, teachers (mainstream / alternative), educational psychologists, home educating parents / students, learning consultants, adult edcuation tutors, learning support mentors, autonomously educated students, democratic educators, peace educators, flexischooling parents, publisher, children’s rights campaigner.

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)

 

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

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 Dr Richard House Richard House MA [Oxon], Ph.D., C.Psychol., AFBPsS, CertCouns is a chartered psychologist and former Senior Lecturer at the Universities of Roehampton (Psychology) and Winchester (Education). Richard is a co-founder of the Open EYE early years campaign (2007-12) and of Early Childhood Action.

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.

 

 

 

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Sally Alexander at EDUCATIONAL FUTURES CONFERENCE

May 27th, 2016 by Peter

Sally Alexander

‘The Kimichi School Vision’

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

SALLY ALEXANDER

Sally is headteacher at Kimichi, 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. Sally believes Kimichi is “ahead of the curve”: a school for any child who plays or would like to play an instrument with no audition process. All are welcome. There is an emphasis on peer learning and assessment, allowing for different learning styles. Alongside the national curriculum, a fifth of the school week is spent playing and performing music. There is a unique ethos, designed to fully give pupils an invested interest in everything that takes place at school. Through the judicious, guided use of a school government, pupils are instrumental in the day to day rules and running of the school. Kimichi welcomes flexisxchooling families.

www.kimichischool.co.uk

www.kimichifestival.weebly.com

www.kimichidynamica.weebly.com

Final Conference Places! A chance for freethinking, networking and opportunities to learn with and from a range of philosphies, sectors and settings. 21 session choices, 27 diverse presenters. Participants include – professors, lecturers, researchers, PhD students, graduate and undergraduate students, headteachers, principals, teachers (mainstream / alternative), educational psychologists, home educating parents / students, learning consultants, adult edcuation tutors, learning support mentors, autonomously educated students, democratic educators, peace educators, flexischooling parents, publisher, children’s rights campaigner. There will be bookstalls from Educational Heretics Press and LibEd (Libertarian Education).

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Anna Rogozinska at ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL FUTURES CONFERENCE

May 26th, 2016 by Peter

Anna Rogozinska

Community education, Caldmore Community Garden.

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

ANNA ROGOZINSKA

Not that long ago I made the big move from Warsaw to Walsall and am really happy to both live and now work in the multicultural and bustling area of Caldmore. Back in Poland I was a member of Culture Animation Team at University of Warsaw, co-managing European projects aimed at professional development and training of young people wanting to work with various groups and local communities. I was particularly interested in the hyperlocal and the use of the new media in community projects. Since I moved to England I have been a volunteer in various local projects, always looking for little ways to bring positive change and a bit of optimism to everyday life. One of the initiatives has been Caldmore Guerilla Garden that has become a bit of a local, shared wonder! I am extremely excited to be a Community Organiser and to have the opportunity to get to know my community better!

http://www.corganisers.org.uk/users/anna-rogozinska

https://caldmorevillagefestival.wordpress.com/tag/caldmore-community-garden/

Caldmore Community Garden – Facebook

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Alison Sauer at ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL FUTURES CONFERENCE

May 25th, 2016 by Peter

Alison Sauer

Reasons why families choose home education .

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

ALISON SAUER (F. Inst. Pa.)

Alison Sauer has been practising in the area of home education for approximately 17 years. She has provided training to local authorities on the law and practice of home education and their duties in that regard, for much of the past 12 years. She provides an advisory service along with Wendy Charles Warner for home educating parents involving, amongst other aspects, independent, third party assessment of educational provision and writing expert reports in respect of the standard of that provision, to local authorities and the courts. The advice also extends to supporting home educating families in their dealings with social services and other agencies. She is a trustee for ‘The Centre for Personalised Education’. On several occasions over last 5 years she has given witness evidence to the House of Commons Education Select Committee on the subject of home education. She has also acted as an advisor on home education law and practice to NGOs in the UK and abroad.  Alison additionally campaigns for and supports families and schools in developing flexischooling.

Facebook Groups: Home Education and your Local Authority: Help with dealing with officialdom, https://www.facebook.com/groups/239232119524989/  Flexischooling Families UK, Flexischooling Practitioners, Flexischooling, Centre for Personalised Education.

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Mark Webster at ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL FUTURES CONFERENCE

May 24th, 2016 by Peter

Mark Webster

Finding Voices Making Choices; art and creativity as a means to promote positive social change.

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

 

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. He trained as a social worker at University and then spent his years after graduating working in a variety of paid and unpaid jobs during which time he worked as a community artist and as a member of Lancaster Musicians Co-operative helping develop a community recording and practice facility as well as fronting a band called “This Machine Kills Fascists”.  He completed his professional training in Youth and Community Work in 1989 before taking a permanent position as a Community Arts Officer and participated in the founding the Walsall Community Arts Team, working for Walsall Council.  After working there for 6 years he worked in Barcelona for four years as a teacher of English before returning to Walsall to take up the post of Arts and Health Development officer where he worked up until starting work for Staffordshire University in 2003. 30 years of working in and with communities. Publications include- Finding Voices, Making Choices: Creativity for Social Change. (Editor and main contributor) Educational Heretics Press. (2005) Nottingham, England. Informal Education. (Editor) (Authors, Mark Smith and Tony Jeffs) Educational Heretics Press (2005). Personalised Learning. Taking Choice Seriously. (Various Contributors) (Editor) Educational Heretics Press (2008).

http://www.educationalhereticspress.com/search-alphabet.htm

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Derry Hannam at ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL FUTURES CONFERENCE

May 19th, 2016 by Peter

Derry Hannam 

The growing network of Sudbury Model schools in Europe and their non-existence in England. 

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

 

DERRY HANNAM

Derry practised as much democracy and student control over their own learning as he could get away with in his twenty years as a state secondary school teacher. He ended his school career as vice-principal/acting principal of a large English secondary school which pioneered the role of community school. He then became a school inspector where he tried to support other teachers and schools with similar ideas. He was part of the successful defence of Summerhill school against the threat of closure by the government in 1999. He has been an adviser/trainer/rapporteur for the Council of Europe Education for Democratic Citizenship project and a researcher/adviser to the development of citizenship education in the English national curriculum. At the request of the English ministry of education he authored the ‘Hannam Report’  based on research that demonstrates associations between  democratic, participative, and student centred methods in schools and higher academic results, less anti-social behaviour, and better school attendance, especially for students from  economically and socially deprived backgrounds. He has worked widely with many European school student organisations on the issue of school democracy. He successfully campaigned for the creation of an English school students association and has recently done the same for young people being educated at home. He has co-authored several books on the theme that ‘…if you want young people to learn about democracy in schools they have to do it and not just listen to teachers talk about it.’.  As a visiting fellow in student voice at the University of Sussex he was part of a project to democratise the school system of a deprived English city which has now blossomed into a social enterprise run by young people. For several years he has been a member of the international Student Voice Research Network based at Cambridge University.

http://www.eudec.org/Derry+Hannam

http://idec2016.org/wp/speakers/derry-hannam/?lang=en

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Clare Lawrence at ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL FUTURES CONFERENCE

May 18th, 2016 by Peter

Clare Lawrence

 Flexischooling and the child with autism; why might it work?

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

CLARE LAWRENCE

Clare is a teacher, lecturer and writer who has two children, one of whom has autism. She is a graduate of Oxford, York, Northumbria, Sheffield Hallam and Birmingham universities. For the last ten years she has been working with schools, universities and autism experts to explore practical solutions for how to make school make more sense for children with autism and how to help promote understanding of what having this fascinating condition might be like.  Clare is researching autism and flexischooling approaches for her PhD and currently works as a senior lecturer in education. Clare’s PhD research is into the question of whether/how sharing education between home and school might benefit children with autism.  She flexischooled with her son throughout both Primary and Secondary and shares both her preliminary research findings, and her own experiences.

www.ClareLawrenceAutism.com

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Dr Hilary Cremin at ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL FUTURES CONFERENCE

May 17th, 2016 by Peter

Dr Hilary Cremin

 Reclaiming peace education for the twenty-first century; towards global perspectives grounded in trans-rationality

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

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. She has worked in the public, private and voluntary sector as a school teacher, educational consultant, project coordinator and academic. She is a byefellow and Director of Studies for Education at Fitzwilliam College and coordinates the new MPhil in Education, Globalisation and International Development, which will begin in 2016.

Hilary has carried out research projects funded by the Society for Educational Studies, the ESRC, the British Academy and the EPSRC. She worked with colleagues from Nottingham University and Edinburgh University on a seminar series exploring Restorative Approaches to conflict in schools. Hilary was funded last year to work with colleagues from the Universidade Estadual Paulista, Department of Education (UNESP) in Sao Paolo Brazil to carry out a comparative study of violence and conflict resolution in schools in Brazil and the UK. She has a growing interest in arts-based methodologies in educational research including photovoice, poetry and auto ethnography.

Cambridge webpage with list of publications https://www.educ.cam.ac.uk/people/staff/cremin/

Peace Education Research Group set up by Hilary’s graduate students http://cperg.weebly.com

Talk on transformational peace education in New York 2012 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8sDqMHjUMw

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David Gribble at ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL FUTURES CONFERENCE

May 13th, 2016 by Peter

 David Gribble

‘The importance of accepting variety’

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

 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. After Cambridge, teaching in private, democratic and state schools David became a joint founder of and teacher at Sands School. He was one of the first trustees of the Phoenix Education Trust. David has published widely – Considering Children (1985) Dorling Kindersley Real Education: Varieties of Freedom (1998), Libertarian Education, A Really Good School (2002), Seven-Ply Yarns,    Lifelines (2004), Libertarian Education, Worlds Apart (2006), Libertarian Education. David’s most recent published book is Children don’t Start Wars, (2010) Peace News. David is a member of the editorial board of Other Education http://www.othereducation.org/index.php/OE . Lifelines is being translated into German for Mandelbaum Verlag

www.davidgribble.co.uk

www.authoritarianschooling.co.uk

http://www.libed.org.uk/

http://www.othereducation.org/index.php/OE

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Dr Harriett Patterson at ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL FUTURES CONFERENCE

May 12th, 2016 by Peter

 

Dr Harriet Pattison

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

DR HARRIET PATTISON

I am now an erstwhile home educator lecturing in the Early Childhood Department at Liverpool Hope University and flying the flag of the alternative to a surprisingly receptive audience.  I completed my doctoral thesis on home educated children learning to read and am very pleased to be finally able to return this work to the home educating community who made it possible.  It has been a work of endless fascination to me and I shall be continuing to write and think about reading and the wider implications of the research in the time ahead.  I have also become equally fascinated by the philosophy of the alternative and am developing work in this area too.  My writing includes: Pattison, H (2016) Education and the Time of our Lives in Other Education Special Issue ed N. Peim. (forthcoming) ; Pattison, H and Thomas A (2016) Great Expectations:  Agenda and Authority in Technological, Hidden and Cultural  Curriculums in eds  Noddings, N and Lees, H in Palgrave International Handbook of Alternative Education Basingstoke, Palgrave MacMillan; Pattison, H (2015) How to Desire Differently: Home Education as a Heterotopia in The Journal of Philosophy of Education,  (49)  4; Thomas, A and Pattison, H (2015) The Informal Acquisition and Development of Literacy in: P. Rothermel (Ed.) International Perspectives on Home Education, Basingstoke, Palgrave MacMillan; Thomas, A. & Pattison, H. (2013) Informal home education: philosophical aspirations put into practice. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 32, 141-154

http://www.othereducation.org/index.php/OE

 

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