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

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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US Presidential Election Ignites Student Worries and Educators Should Take Notice

May 11th, 2016 by Peter

US Presidential Election Ignites Student Worries and Educators Should Take Notice

                                                             Edith W. King

The Survey

During 2016 a vitriolic, uncivilized campaign for president has been spreading across the United States. These election activities, particularly by some candidates of a major political party, are creating fear and anxiety among school-age children.  The situation is escalating racial and ethnic tensions in US classrooms.  Teachers report an increase in bullying, harassment, and intimation of students. A timely and important survey was recently conducted by Teaching Tolerance, the educational journal of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).  Results of the survey suggest that the presidential political campaigns are having a deeply negative effect on many students,  kindergarten through high school.

The Teaching Tolerance survey of April, 2016 reported that over two-thirds of the teacher-respondents believed that students –mainly immigrants, children of immigrants and Muslims — expressed fears about what might happen to them and their families after the election.  Further,  one-third of the teacher-respondents observed an increase in anti-Muslim or anti-immigrant sentiment. “Our report found the campaign is producing an alarming level of fear and anxiety among children of color and inflaming racial and ethnic tensions in the classroom.  Many students worry about being deported.”  (p.3)  The Report goes on to say that the gains made by years of anti-bullying work in schools have been rolled back in just the few short months of this presidential campaign.  A high school teacher noted that students seem emboldened to make bigoted and inflammatory statements about minorities, immigrants, and the poor. Another high school teacher observed that some students think all Muslims are the same and are a threat to our country and way of life.

The Report specifically focused on Muslim students stating:

Along with Sikh and Hindu students (who are often mistaken for Muslims), i.e. the students have endured heightened levels of abuse.  According to reports from around the nation, Muslim students regularly endure being called ISIS, terrorist or bomber. These opinions are expressed boldly and often.  Even in schools where such behavior isn’t tolerated, current-events discussions often become uncomfortable for teachers and Muslim students. The harassment of students who are immigrants or children of immigrants is another particular problem, because nearly one-third of US public school students have foreign-born parents.”  (p.5)

Students; are stressed and anxious in a way that is threatening their health, emotional well-being and their schoolwork.  We heard from dozens of educators about young students who expressed daily worries about “being sent back” or having their parents sent back.  In many cases, the students are American citizens or come from families that are here legally.  It doesn’t matter, regardless of immigration status, they feel under attack.  We heard about students from second grade to high school crying in class. ….For immigrants whose home countries are unsafe places to which they can’t return, the fear is “tremendous and profound.”  One teacher observed that the campaign season is particularly traumatizing for students who have suffered through exile, migration and even asylum.  Other reported that their Iraqi and Syrian students are terrified of being sent back to their war-torn countries.  (p.8)

Studies have examined the socio-economic effects of global migration. This research documented that individuals who are living outside their country of origin experience more prejudice and  discrimination than the native born citizens.  Additionally, the unpredictable status of global financial affairs has exasperated conditions of inequality for 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.

Teaching Tolerance wants readers to know that this report summarizes responses to questions posed via an informal online survey conducted from March 23 to April 2, 2016.  A link to the survey was sent to educators who receive their newsletter and was also shared on social media sites.  It was open to any educator who wanted to participate.

Implications and Suggestions for Home Educating Families

How can home educating families make use of these concerns arising from contested and  national major political campaigns?  Here are some suggestions.

…Make sure your home educated children consistently learn about and are exposed to people of different races, ethnicities, religious, and sexual orientations, so they can know about and then dispel myths and stereotypes.

… Help home educated children to think critically about acts of terrorism and extremism in order to see multiple perspectives and current events to further their understanding.

… Encourage home educated children to participate in their community by writing to representatives, and supporting legislative efforts they agree with or to protest legislative effort they do not agree with, thereby by practicing civics, not just learning about civics from textbooks.

… Help your home educated children to use conflict resolution techniques to resolve disagreements rather than turning to physical and verbal threats.

In such an unpredictable global climate young people place trust in their parents, caregivers and instructors to insure their safety and well being.  Important national elections and international agreements, (financial or military) are widely disseminated by the media. Students are a part of that general public this information reaches and they are aware of the possible implications.  The Teaching Tolerance survey wants us to recognize such concerns and act responsibly. In our contemporary environment we recognize that the access to equal opportunities is rapidly diminishing for many children.  An almost instantaneous worldwide communications network propels us into the global community.  It informs people of the vast inequities that exist in the conditions for children and families.  This means we must take on a worldwide viewpoint in educating our children.  A world perspective leads us to examine perceptions, ideas, concepts and information in new ways that our growing global interdependence now dictates. As a result this knowledge gives learners new insights into the changing nature of inequality.  The Southern Poverty Law Center Teaching Tolerance survey of the presidential election campaign in the United States and the deleterious effects on students’ education is significant international news and worthy of educators attention.

 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.

References

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

Southern Poverty Law Center.  Teaching Tolerance.  (2016)

 

 

 

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STATEofEDUCATION at ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL FUTURES CONFERENCE

May 10th, 2016 by Peter

STATEofEDUCATION

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

STATEofEDUCATION

Stateofeducation is a small collective of education practitioners who came together as a result of collaboration between the London Radical Education Forum and Libertarian Education. We organise events (conferences, min-conferences, workshops) which explore critical pedagogical approaches to learning and social change. From the point of view of the individual, 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. This is probably sufficiently familiar to require no further elaboration; it is not exclusively or distinctively libertarian. More distinctively libertarian are aims relating to the concept of freedom, in particular the aim of enabling people to make choices, and to make their choices in as free a way as possible.

There are two components to this. Firstly it is necessary to present people with as wide a range of different alternatives as possible, with each being presented both in its own terms and, where appropriate, in comparison with others. Secondly, it is necessary to create a situation in which people can then make informed, unprejudiced choices between the various alternatives.

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

https://stateofeducation2014.wordpress.com/

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Dr Richard House and Josie Alwyn – Steiner education at ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL FUTURES CONFERENCE

May 5th, 2016 by Peter

Dr Richard House and Josie Alwyn

Steiner 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

DR RICHARD HOUSE

Richard House MA [Oxon], Ph.D., C.Psychol, AFBPsS, CertCouns [Cantab is a freelance educational consultant and campaigner living in Stroud, Gloucestershire. Formerly Senior Lecturer in Education Studies (Early Childhood) at the University of Winchester (2012-14), Richard also lectured in psychotherapy at the University of Roehampton (2005-12). Richard is co-editor of the journal ‘Self and Society: International Journal for Humanistic Psychology’, and is a founder-member of the Independent Practitioners Network and the Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy. A trained Steiner Kindergarten and class teacher and an education campaigner since the late 1990s, his books on education include ‘Too Much, Too Soon? – Early Learning and the Erosion of Childhood’ (editor, Hawthorn Press, 2011) and ‘Childhood, Well-being and a Therapeutic Ethos’ (Karnac, 2009; co-ed. Del Loewenthal). Richard is a founder-member of the Open EYE Campaign, Early Childhood Action, and the Save Childhood Movement. He organised the three ‘Daily Telegraph’ Open Letters on the state of modern childhood in 2006, 2007 (both with Sue Palmer) and in 2011. He is also founding editor of Hawthorn Press’s acclaimed ‘Early Years’ series.

http://www.earlychildhoodaction.com/richard.html

JOSIE ALWYN

Josie Alwyn earned her Masters degree in English Renaissance Literature and Drama from the University of Sussex. She has been teaching in Steiner Waldorf education since 1975, having taught all ages from Kindergarten to A level students, and has considerable experience in teacher training. A graduate of the London Waldorf Seminar, 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. She is currently completing a book on Shakespeare, jointly written with the late Dr Brien Masters.

http://www.steinerwaldorf.org /

 

 

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Dr Tim Rudd at ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL FUTURES CONFERENCE

May 4th, 2016 by Peter

Dr Tim Rudd

Negotiating neo-Liberalism; towards a concept of ‘Refraction’

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 TIM RUDD

Tim was Head of Evidence and Research at the British Educational and Communications Technology Agency (Becta) and then appointed Senior Researcher at Futurelab, a world leading research and development charity focussing on innovation and educational transformation utilising new technologies. Currently, Tim is Principal Lecturer at the Education Research Centre at the University of Brighton. His research interests include: the sociology of education; educational technology; the politics and ideology of educational technology; learner voice and empowerment; alternative educational discourse and practice; and equity and social justice in education.

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’.

http://about.brighton.ac.uk/education/contact/details.php?uid=tpr10

http://www.livelab.org.uk/page2.htm

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Dr Leslie Barson at ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL FUTURES CONFERENCE

May 3rd, 2016 by Peter

Dr Leslie Barson

‘Forget learning and education, let’s dance! ‘

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 LESLIE BARSON

Leslie is an experienced home educator and pioneer with home educating support groups. Leslie founded The Otherwise Club, a community centre in Central London for home educating families in 1993 which she continues to run.  Leslie home educated her two children as a single parent, whilst pursuing a part time academic career, obtaining a PhD in Education in 2008. She is widely published on learner-managed learning and home-based education and speaks internationally about autonomous education, for example as a keynote speaker at the Universidad de Colombia, Bogata, Columbia. Leslie is a member of the editorial board of Other Education http://www.othereducation.org/index.php/OE

www.theotherwiseclub.org.uk

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Fred Garnett at ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL FUTURES CONFERENCE

April 29th, 2016 by Peter

Fred Garnett

‘WikiQuals; Self-accredited learning and personalised learning environments.’

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

 

FRED GARNETT

Fred is currently Research Associate London Knowledge Lab, Institute of Education, University of London. After many years working on green & new technology initiatives in education I became Head of Community Programmes at Becta working on social & digital inclusion nationally for the UK government. ‘The work & research I did lead me to realise that, as Goldman said about Hollywood, “nobody knows anything” about digital & network futures. Nor have any interest in social inclusion, as we are a hierarchical, representative democracy. I now work “liminally” on any project that will help create a socially-just participatory democracy; Learner-Generated Contexts, Ambient Learning City, WikiQuals, CROS Universitatea Alternativă, Heutagogy, Transition Towns, P2P banking. For planning I rely on serendipity & laughter.’ In Russia Fred is known as the “scientist of self-education” Fred’s work can is aggregated here http://www.slideshare.net/fredgarnett/presentations

Participatory City; http://www.slideshare.net/fredgarnett/participatory-city

Third Place blog (EU CoWorking) https://thirdplaceeu.wordpress.com
Before and After Institutions http://architectureofparticipation.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/before-after-institutions/

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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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