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what is education? picture: Alain Bachellier | flickr ccncnd2 space to explore education, pedagogy, community-building, and change.

New and updated

Ruth Kotinsky on adult education and lifelong learning. Ruth Kotinsky made a number of important contributions to thinking about lifelong learning and welfare. Of particular interest was her exploration of education as an aspect of everyday life and working together to build a life in common. [new]

What is education? A definition and discussion. Education is the wise, hopeful and respectful cultivation of learning and change undertaken in the belief that we all should have the chance to share in life. We explore the meaning of education and suggests it is a process of being with others and inviting truth and possibility. [updated]

Pierre Bourdieu on education: Habitus, capital, and field. Reproduction in the practice of education. Bourdieu’s exploration of how the social order is reproduced, and inequality persists across generations, is more pertinent than ever. We examine some key lessons for educators and pedagogues. [new]

Basil Yeaxlee, lifelong learning and informal education. A key, but overlooked figure, Basil Yeaxlee wrote the first book on lifelong education; argued that informal education was as significant as formal; and explored the spiritual nature of education. [updated and extended]

Marie Paneth – Branch Street, The Windemere Children, art and pedagogy. Paneth was a talented painter, art therapist and pedagogue. Her book, Branch Street (1944) is a classic exploration of community-based work with children during the Second World War – and the healing use she made of art both with The Windemere Children (2020) and in later practice was pioneering. In this piece, we explore her work – mostly in the 1940s – and continuing relevance. [updated and extended]

Rethinking schooling

A series of articles exploring the changes we need to make in schooling.

school by Jérémy Lelièvre | flickr ccbyncnd2

Dealing with the ‘new normal’. Creating places of sanctuary, community and hope. We explore how educators, pedagogues and practitioners work to create the conditions for education, learning and change in the context of the COVID-19 ‘new normal’.

[This article is part of a series: the new normaloffering sanctuaryoffering communityoffering hope]

What is teaching? A definition and discussion. In this piece, we explore the nature of teaching – those moments or sessions where we make specific interventions to help people learn particular things. This is set within a discussion of pedagogy and didactics and demonstrates that we need to unhook consideration of the process of teaching from the role of ‘teacher’ in schools.

What is pedagogy? Many discussions of pedagogy make the mistake of seeing it as primarily being about teaching. In this piece, we explore the origins of pedagogy and the often overlooked traditions of thinking and practice associated with it. A focus on teaching as a specialist role is probably best understood in other ways. Pedagogy needs to be explored through the thinking and practice of those educators who look to accompany learners; care for and about them, and bring learning into life. Teaching is just one aspect of their practice.


Animate, care, educate – the core processes of pedagogy. Pedagogy can be viewed as a process of accompanying people and bringing flourishing and relationship to life (animation); caring for, and about, people (caring); and drawing out learning (education). Here we explore these core processes.

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Settlements and education. New in the archives – Will Reason’s overview of educational provision in early university and social settlements (1898).

Henrietta Barnett and Samuel BarnettHenrietta Barnett and Samuel Barnett

Henrietta O. Barnett – What has the Charity Organisation Society to do with social reform? New in the archives. “Might not—may not charitable effort be organised to remove some of the social conditions which stand as barriers to prevent, or anyhow make it painfully difficult for … people to live the highest, fullest, richest life?”

Samuel A. Barnett – Practictable socialism.  New in the archives. “Facing, then, the whole position, we see that among the majority of Englishmen life is poor; that among the few life is made rich. The thoughts stored in books, the beauty rescued from nature and preserved in pictures, the intercourse made possible by means of steam loco­motion, stir powers in the few which lie asleep in the many. If it be true, as the poet says, that men live by admiration,’ it is the few who live, for it is they who know that which is worth admiration”.

Acknowledgements: Picture: Dessiner le futur adulte by Alain Bachellier. Sourced from Flickr and reproduced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) licence.

The image of the school stairs is by Jérémy Lelièvre | flickr ccbyncnd2.

The image of Henrietta Barnett and Samuel Barnett was sourced from Wikipedia and marked as being in the public domain.