Charles Booth – mapping the impact of poverty and acting to improve things

Charles Booth, The Wellcome Collection ccby4 licence Charles Booth’s work in gathering data around poverty and wealth, both deepened the processes of social research and extended the attention given to it. He made a lasting contribution to the analysis of poverty and the development of government intervention to improve the situation faced by many. Charles […]

Club work

  On this page we explore the nature of clubs and how they came to be a key site of informal education activity. Focusing on developments in Britain, we examine their benefits and some of the issues that face those that work in, and with, them. To be completed contents: introduction · philanthropy · parish […]

Coffee houses and informal education

 Mid sevententh century coffee house, Wikimedia Commons pd The first coffee house appeared in 1650 and they became major forces in learning. Coffee houses, as forums for debate and discussion, played an important part in the general diffusion of knowledge and ideas (Kelly 1970: 82). The first is said to have appeared in Oxford in […]

Communitarianism and education

Picture: Litchen community on Alpine rock by Richard Droker. Flickr – ccybncnd2 licence. Communitarianism has become the focus of some debate and interest – but what is it, and what implications does the communitarian agenda have for education? contents: introduction · philosophical communitarianism · political communitarianism · communitarianism and education · conclusion · further reading and […]

Offering community to children and young people in schools and local organizations

Mark K Smith explores how, in the context of the ‘new normal’, educators, pedagogues and practitioners need to offer community to children and young people. This article is part of a series: dealing with the new normal • offering sanctuary • offering community • offering hope] contents: introduction • friendship • social capital • associational life […]

How to do a community audit: building profiles using neighbourhood statistics

On this page we suggest some basic and quick steps you can undertake a community audit, and gather information about a particular neighbourhood in Britain or Northern Ireland. contents: introducing community audits and profiles · quick statistical profile · census material · local authority statistics and other material · crime · other searches · your […]

Inside out. rethinking inclusive communities

We reprint the executive summary of this (2003) report by Tom Bentley, Helen McCarthy and  Melissa Mean. It argues that community-based organisations (CBOs) could be damaged by attempts to co-opt them as instruments of government policy; and that a ‘new middle ground’ needs to be created which allows CBOs and statutory services to work together […]

James Gustave Speth, green jazz, social jazz and community development

‘Just doing it’  – not waiting upon national governments and international organizations to take action – has led to a remarkable outpouring of initiatives around the global environmental crisis. We explore James Gustave Speth’s vision of unscripted, voluntary initiatives that are decentralized and improvisational – what he calls ‘jazz’ – and the possibilities for community […]

Sustainable communities and neighbourhoods. theory, policy and practice

In recent years there has been much talk of the need for sustainable communities. But what is a sustainable community? Why do neighbourhoods matter and why is sustainability important? What are the implications of debates around sustainability for community policy and practice? contents: introduction · the background · sustainable communities · sprawl · livable, enduring […]

Explore the theory and practice of community education

What actually is community education? How does it differ from education in the community, or education for community? We explore the theory of community education and some examples of practice using resources from The encyclopedia of pedagogy and informal education. In England, and many other countries, ‘community education’ has tended to be wrapped up with […]

Community education: being a description of the work of residential and non-residential colleges for adult education

Maryport Educational Settlement This 1938 publication from the Educational Settlements Association provides a useful overview of activity at that time. contents: preface · introduction · community education · the association · the residential colleges · educational settlements in normal areas · educational settlements in special areas · examples of courses · membership of the esa […]

Roger Hiemstra: The community school

Impington Village College This chapter from Roger Hiemstra’s The Educative Community (1997), originally written in the early 1970s, sets out some of the key elements of the North American community school. contents: introduction ·the community school – center of community education · the community school – past and present · the administration of community schools · […]

New community schools in Scotland

In a fascinating initiative, over 150 Scottish schools were due to develop more integrated services to raise attainment and promote social inclusion. Will they work? The new community schools initiative in Scotland has, not unexpectedly, been spun and trumpeted as a significant attack on a ‘vicious cycle of underachievement’. They are a key aspect of […]

Education for democracy

contents: · introduction · the meaning of democracy and the meaning of education · John Dewey, democracy and education · A. S. Neill on democratic schooling · · further reading and references One of the major tasks that education must perform in a democratic society, Kelly (1995: 101) argues, ‘is the proper preparation of young […]

Feature: Friendship and education

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash In this set of articles we examine some key questions surrounding the theory and experience of friendship – and the significance for education and educators. Friendship theory Many people’s understanding of friendship in northern societies is rather thin. We explore some classical views of friendship, the development of theory […]

Thomas Coglan Horsfall and Manchester Art Museum and University Settlement

The first settlement to be established outside London, and an extension of its parent institution at Toynbee Hall in Whitechapel, Manchester University Settlement was nevertheless, explains Stuart Eagles, deeply rooted in the specific political and cultural history of Ancoats. It, and Manchester Art Museum, owed much to the work of Thomas Coglan Horsfall. contents: introduction […]

Homer Lane: An account of the Little Commonwealth at Evershot, Dorset

An extract from a lecture given by Home Lane in 1918. Reprinted from Homer Lane (1928) Talks to Parents and Teachers, London: George Allen and Unwin, pages 188-193 Homer Lane (1875-1925) was Superintendent of the Little Commonwealth, a co-educational community in Dorset run for children and young people ranging from a few months to 19 […]

‘Leadership and spirituality…minus the loaves and fishes’

When you hear the word ‘leadership’ you may find yourself bombarded with images of the likes of Shackleton or Hunt battling against the odds, men of great achievements and, undoubtedly, great examples of good leadership. However, is this what we mean by leadership in today’s society? Is leadership meant only for those on adventurous endeavours? […]

Neighbourhoods and regeneration – theory, practice, issues

For all the talk of changing lifestyles, neighbourhood still plays a fundamental role in many people’s lives. We explore the nature of neighbourhood, some current issues associated with ‘disadvantaged’ neighbourhoods; and what can be done to regenerate them. Coopers Road Estate, London SE1 – walls removed to deter squatters contents: introduction · growing disquiet about neighbourhoods […]

Neighborhoods and regeneration – theory, practice, issues

  For all the talk of changing lifestyles, neighborhood still plays a fundamental role in many people’s lives. We explore the nature of neighborhood, some current issues associated with ‘disadvantaged’ neighborhoods; and what can be done to regenerate them. contents: introduction · growing disquiet about neighborhoods  · social polarization · some issues of disadvantaged neighborhoods  · […]

Dealing with the ‘new normal’. Offering sanctuary, community and hope to children and young people in schools and local organizations

Mark K Smith explores how, in the context of the ‘new normal’, educators, pedagogues and practitioners need to work to create the conditions for education, learning and change. This article is part of a series: dealing with the new normal • offering sanctuary • offering community • offering hope] contents: introduction • dealing with the new […]

Richard Sennett: Class and the new capitalism, craftsmanship, cooperation and cities

Over 50 years Richard Sennett (1943-) has contributed to our understanding of the experiences of class, capitalism and the life of cities – and our appreciation of Homo faber – humans as makers, users of tools and creators of common life. Sennett is variously described as a sociologist, urbanist, planner and polymath. He is also […]

Henry Solly: The origin and nature of Working Men’s Clubs and Institutes

 Picture by Graeme Douglas. Flickr ccbysa2 licence In this piece Henry Solly reviews the early development of working men’s clubs and establishes their central characteristics and principles. First published as Chapter 1 of Henry Solly (1867; 1904) Working Men’s Social Clubs and Educational Institutes. Founder of the Club and Institute Union and a great propagandist […]

Prospectus for the Working Men’s Club and Institute Union

This prospectus was drawn up by Henry Solly in 1862 in order to obtain money and support for the establishment of the Club and Institute Union. Founder of the Club and Institute Union and a great propagandist for clubs, Henry Solly (1813-1903) provided a much needed conceptual clarity to the notion of club work. He […]

Mary Ward and the Passmore Edwards Settlement

Mary Ward – Wikipedia pd An innovative settlement founded by Mary Ward that developed play centres, special education and a range of other programmes. Mary Ward and the Passmore Edwards Settlement (now Mary Ward House), 9 Tavistock Place WC1. The original settlement began as University Hall in Gordon Square in 1890. Soon Marchmont Hall in […]

Robert A. Woods: The recovery of the parish

South End, Boston by Thomas Julin. Wikimedia ccby3 licence Robert A. Woods (1912) states, and argues for, the fostering of association, co-operation and common welfare. Robert Archey Woods (1965-1925) was a key figure in the introduction and development of university and social settlements in the United States. Founder and Head of South End House, Boston […]

Robert A. Woods: University settlements: their point and drift

South End, Boston by Thomas Julin. Wikimedia ccby3 licence Robert A. Woods states, and argues for, the fostering of association, co-operation and common welfare. Robert Archey Woods (1965-1925) was a key figure in the introduction and development of university and social settlements in the United States. Founder and Head of South End House, Boston (1895-1925) […]

Working and learning together to build stronger communities

Subtitled ‘Working draft Community Learning and Development Guidance’, this document was published in January 2003. It sets out Scottish Executive thinking around the provision and development of community learning. contents: preface · foreword – margaret curran ·  introduction · defining community learning and development · community planning · joining up the planning process · quality, […]