Association, democracy and civil society

A set of pages exploring civil society, civic participation, the development of community and association, and the activities of educators and animateurs. ‘The strength of free peoples resides in the local community. Local institutions are to liberty what primary schools are to science; they put it within the people’s reach; they teach people to appreciate […]

Henry Caldwell Cook

Henry Caldwell Cook. Pioneering teacher and advocate of natural education in self-governing communities. Henry Caldwell Cook (1885-1939) taught at Perse School, Cambridge and was best known for his (1917) book The Play Way. He had a vision of ‘natural education in self-governing communities’ but argued for a transition involving a ‘partial liberation from the classroom’. […]

Citizenship, youth work and democratic renewal

Citizenship, youth work and democratic renewal. Tony Jeffs examines current and historic concerns with citizenship within British youth work and the direction of government policy. He argues that informal educators must be wary of pseudo-democracy and work to cultivate small pockets of genuine deliberate democracy wherein citizenship survives and from which it will range forth. […]

Grace Coyle and group work

Grace Coyle and group work. Grace Coyle made an extraordinary contribution to our understanding of group work. She was also an important advocate for the work within US social work and an innovatory trainer. Contents: introduction · on group work · conclusion · bibliography · how to cite this article. Grace Longwell Coyle (1892-1962) made […]

John Dewey on education, experience and community

John Dewey on education, experience and community. Arguably the most influential thinker on education in the twentieth century, Dewey’s contribution lies along several fronts. His attention to experience and reflection, democracy and community, and to environments for learning have been seminal. (This ‘John Dewey’ page is due to be extended). John Dewey (1859 – 1952) […]

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 […]

Mary Parker Follett: community, creative experience and education

Mary Parker Follett graduation picture 1891 Mary Parker Follett: community, creative experience and education. With her concern for creative experience, democracy and for developing local community organizations, Mary Parker Follett is an often forgotten, but still deeply instructive thinker for educators, pedagogues and social animateurs. contents: introduction · Mary Parker Follett – life · The […]

Kurt Lewin: groups, experiential learning and action research

Kurt Lewin: groups, experiential learning and action research. Kurt Lewin was a seminal theorist who deepened our understanding of groups, experiential learning, and action research. What did he actually add to the theory and practice of pedagogy and informal education? contents: introduction · life · field theory · group dynamics · democracy and groups · […]

C. Wright Mills: power, craftsmanship, and private troubles and public issues

C. Wright Mills: power, craftsmanship, and private troubles and public issues. Charles Wright Mills (1916-1962) was one of the most influential radical social theorists and critics in twentieth century America. His work continues to have considerable significance. Here we focus on his connecting of private troubles and public issues; his exploration of power relationships; and […]

Robert Putnam, social capital and civic community

Robert Putnam, social capital and civic community. Robert Putnam has been described as the most influential academic in the world today. His book Bowling Alone seems to have struck a chord with many concerned with the state of public life. Is the hype justified? We explore Putnam’s contribution and its significance for informal educators and […]

Oscar Romero of El Salvador: informal adult education in a context of violence

Oscar Romero of El Salvador: informal adult education in a context of violence. John Dickson explores Oscar Romero’s place and impact as a socially involved educator. He examines key aspects of the social and historical background; the means and extent of Oscar Romero’s teaching ministry; and Romero’s confrontation with the dilemma facing all authentically revolutionary […]

Richard Henry Tawney, fellowship and adult education

Richard Henry Tawney in 1934 National Portrait Gallery Richard Henry Tawney, fellowship and adult education. R. H. Tawney was a noted economic historian, democratic socialist and educator. Here we make a brief assessment of his contribution as an adult educationalist – and his strong belief in fellowship. contents: introduction and life · equality· association and […]