Hannah Arendt and Jean Baudrillard: pedagogy in the consumer society

Hannah Arendt and Jean Baudrillard: pedagogy in the consumer society. Trevor Norris explores the contribution of Hannah Arendt and Jean Baudrillard to our appreciation of the consumer society and education. Contents: introduction · the rise of consumerism · Hannah Arendt: consuming the polis · Jean Baudrillard: consuming signs · the consumer society and education · […]

Aristotle and education

Aristotle, The Louvre Wikipedia | ccby sa2 licence Aristotle and education. We only have scraps of his work, but his influence on educational thinking has been of fundamental importance. Aristotle (384 – 322 BC). Aristotle’s work was wide-ranging – yet our knowledge of him is necessarily fragmented. Only around 20 per cent of his written […]

What can education learn from the arts about the practice of education?

Elliot W. Eisner argues that the distinctive forms of thinking needed to create artistically crafted work are relevant not only to what students do, they are relevant to virtually all aspects of what we do, from the design of curricula, to the practice of teaching, to the features of the environment in which students and […]

The impact of austerity on schools and children’s education and well-being

The impact of austerity on schools and children’s education and well-being. Cutbacks in government-sponsored services, growing inequality and falling real wages, and changes in housing and income support are impacting upon the lives of children and creating major challenges for schools and colleges in the UK. Mark K Smith explores some key areas of concern […]

Steve Biko and informal and community education

Steve Biko and informal and community education. Steve Biko is remembered as a founder and martyr of the Black consciousness movement in South Africa. Here Barry Burke assesses his significance for informal and community educators. contents: introduction · steve biko on education · conclusion · bibliography · how to cite this article Steve Biko (1946-1977) […]

Augusto Boal, animation and education

Augusto Boal at Riverside Church in New York City 2008. Picture by Jonathan McIntosh Augusto Boal, animation and education. Known for his work around forum theatre and the theatre of the oppressed, Boal has interesting things to say about animation and education Temporary page In Boal’s work around forum theatre, invisible theatre and the theatre […]

Murray Bookchin: social anarchism, ecology and education

Murray Bookchin: social anarchism, ecology and education. Murray Bookchin made a significant contribution to the development of thinking around ecology, anarchism and later communalism. As a result he helped to shape the anti-globalization movement – and has continuing relevance for informal educators and those seeking to foster more convivial forms of learning. Mike Wood explores […]

Jerome Bruner and the process of education

Jerome Bruner and the process of education. Jerome Bruner has made a profound contribution to our appreciation of the process of education and to the development of curriculum theory. We explore his work and draw out some important lessons for informal educators and those concerned with the practice of lifelong learning. contents: introduction · jerome […]

Martin Buber on education

Martin Buber on education. Buber’s focus on dialogue and community would alone mark him out as an important thinker for educators. But when this is added to his fundamental concern with encounter and how we are with each other (and the world) his contribution is unique and yet often unrecognized. contents: life · i-you, i-it […]

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’. […]

Calling and informal education

Calling and informal education. The notion of calling, once rather unfashionable, has re-emerged as an organizing idea within education. Michele Erina Doyle examines calling and vocation, and sets them in particular within Christian discourse. She argues that fulfilling our calling as informal educators means we work with others for the processes of knowing, testing, naming, […]

Caring in education

Caring in education. In this article Nel Noddings explores the nature of caring relations and encounters in education and some of the difficulties educators have with them. She also looks at caring relations as the foundation for pedagogical activity. Contents: introduction · caring relations and encounters in education · why is the relational view difficult […]

Mary Carpenter, reformatory schools and education

Mary Carpenter, reformatory schools and education. Mary Carpenter’s path-breaking work on the experiences of children in trouble – and the education that should be offered them was a landmark in nineteenth-century educational and social analysis. Her realism, tolerance, and good humour struck a particularly liberal note. We explore the main principles and methods of her […]

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 […]

Elliot W. Eisner, connoisseurship, criticism and the art of education

Elliot W. Eisner, connoisseurship, criticism and the art of education. Elliot W. Eisner has deepened our appreciation of education in a number of areas. Here we examine his argument that education involves the exercise of artistry and the development of connoisseurship and criticism. We also assess his contribution to the debates around school reform. contents: […]

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 […]

Paulo Freire: dialogue, praxis and education

Paulo Freire, dialogue, praxis and education. Perhaps the most influential thinker about education in the late twentieth century, Paulo Freire has been particularly popular with informal educators with his emphasis on dialogue and his concern for the oppressed. contents: introduction · contribution · critique · further reading and references · links Paulo Freire (1921 – […]

Erich Fromm: freedom and alienation, and loving and being in education

Erich Fromm: freedom and alienation, and loving and being in education. Erich Fromm was both a practicing psychoanalyst and a committed and insightful social theorist. We explore his continuing relevance to educational practice and focus on his deeply instructive appreciation of freedom, love and human flourishing. Contents: introduction · erich fromm – his life · […]

Howard Gardner, multiple intelligences and education

Howard Gardner, multiple intelligences and education. Howard Gardner’s work around multiple intelligences has had a profound impact on thinking and practice in education – especially in the United States. Here we explore the theory of multiple intelligences; why it has found a ready audience amongst educationalists; and some of the issues around its conceptualization and […]

Henry A. Giroux: neo-liberalism’s nemesis

Henry A. Giroux: neo-liberalism’s nemesis. Henry A Giroux is well-known for his explorations of critical pedagogy, neo-liberalism and the condition of young people. Doug Nicholls reflects on his contribution and continuing significance. contents: introduction · henry giroux – background · some key themes · publications · about the writer · how to cite this piece […]

Globalization and the incorporation of education

Globalization and the incorporation of education. Here we draw out some of the profound implications of globalization for education and the work of educators. As part of this we also look at some of the issues surrounding the increased presence of corporations and branding in education. Contents:  introduction · globalization, commodification and the corporate takeover […]

Antonio Gramsci, schooling and education

Antonio Gramsci, schooling and education. Gramsci’s emphasis on critical awareness, the importance of intellectuals being part of everyday life, and on the part played by so-called ‘common sense’ in maintaining the status quo have helped to open up the transformational possibilities of education. contents: introduction · ideological hegemony · organic intellectuals · gramsci on schooling […]

Happiness and education – theory, practice and possibility

Happiness and education – theory, practice and possibility. What makes us flourish – and what does not? We explore the theory, practice and possibilities of putting happiness at the centre of education and helping. Contents: introduction – why all the interest in happiness? · what is happiness? · what makes us happy and unhappy? · […]

Hope, utopianism and educational renewal

Hope, utopianism and educational renewal. In this piece David Halpin offers an analysis of the nature of hope and its significance for educational practice. He identifies three ways in which a renewed optimism of the will can be nurtured among educators, despite the current talk of professional decline. These ‘three ways’ involve taking seriously: ‘hopelessness’; […]

What is informal education?

So what is informal education? Here Tony Jeffs and Mark K Smith cut a path through some of the confusion around the area. They focus on informal education as a spontaneous process of helping people to learn. Informal education they suggest, works through conversation, and the exploration and enlargement of experience. It’s purpose is to […]

A brief history of informal education

A brief history of thinking about informal education. So where did informal education come from? Who are the key thinkers? How does it relate to other ways of describing education? contents: education from daily life · informal educators in ancient greece · developments in britain and ireland · informal education and philanthropy · developments in […]

Jiddu Krishnamurti and his insights into education

The Valley School’s birthday celebration. Established in 1978, itis one of the five schools of the Krishnamurti Foundation India Jiddu Krishnamurti and his insights into education. Scott H. Forbes explores Jiddu Krishnamurti’s (1895-1986) emphasis on education as a religious activity. (From a presentation at the first Holistic Education Conference, Toronto, Canada, 1997) contents: human nature […]

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 · […]

Eduard C. Lindeman and the meaning of adult education

Eduard C. Lindeman and the meaning of adult education. Perhaps best known today for his work in adult education, Eduard C. Lindeman (1885 – 1953) also wrote one of the first books on community development, was an early explorer of groupwork and worked to extend popular education. In this piece, we explore his life and […]

William Maclure: science, Pestalozzianism and reform in Europe and the United States

William Maclure: science, Pestalozzianism and reform in Europe and the United States. Ian Donnachie explores William Maclure’s role in educational reform during the eras of the European and American Enlightenment and early industrialisation. A scientist and educational reformer, he was the first to introduce Pestalozzian methods to the United States. contents: introduction · early career […]

Karl Marx and education

Karl Marx and education. What significance does Marx have for educators and animateurs today? An introduction and assessment by Barry Burke. contents: introduction · life · Karl Marx as a thinker · Karl Marx and the class struggle · the communist manifesto · Karl Marx’s relevance to knowledge and education · further reading · links […]

Charlotte Mason: education, atmosphere, habit and living ideas

Charlotte Mason: education, atmosphere, habit and living ideas. Aimee R. Natal examines the life and work of Charlotte Mason (1842-1923) – an extraordinary educator whose thinking looked to the significance of atmosphere, habit and living ideas. Contents: life · key ideas · education is an atmosphere · the discipline of habit · the presentation of […]

Howard McClusky and educational gerontology

Howard McClusky and educational gerontology. The development of interest, knowledge, and professional involvement in educational gerontology has been evolutionary. Roger Hiemstra explores Howard McClusky’s advocacy of limitless human potential throughout life and, in particular, his ‘theory of margin’ – the need to balance in the later years those stresses and demands (load) on a person […]

Maria Montessori and education

Maria Montessori and education. First the education of the senses, then the education of the intellect – Montessori’s vision and ‘method’ are still popular. Maria Montessori (1870 – 1952). Maria Montessori was the first woman in Italy to qualify as a physician. She developed an interest in the diseases of children and in the needs […]

Michael Newman, adult learning, social action and activist education

Michael Newman, adult learning, social action and activist education. Michael Newman’s work and writing has, for many years, offered an important, grounded and refreshing alternative to much of what has passed as the mainstream in adult education and lifelong learning. In this piece we explore his contribution and the possibilities it offers for ‘activist educators’. […]

Nel Noddings, the ethics of care and education

Nel Noddings, the ethics of care and education, Nel Noddings is well known for her work around the ethics of caring, however, she has also added significantly to theory and practice more broadly in education. Here we explore her contribution. contents: introduction · nel noddings – life · caring · caring, schooling and education · […]

Julius Nyerere, lifelong learning and education

Julius Nyerere, lifelong learning and education. One of Africa’s most respected figures, Julius Nyerere (1922 – 1999) was a politician of principle and intelligence. Known as Mwalimu or teacher he had a vision of education and social action that was rich with possibility. contents: introduction · ujamma, socialism and self reliance · education for self-reliance […]

Education in Robert Owen’s new society: the New Lanark institute and schools

Education in Robert Owen’s new society: the New Lanark institute and schools. Robert Owen’s educational venture at New Lanark helped to pioneer infant schools and was an early example of what we now recognize as community schooling. Yet education was only a single facet of a more powerful social gospel which already preached community building […]

Parker J. Palmer: community, knowing and spirituality in education

Parker J. Palmer: community, knowing and spirituality in education. Parker J. Palmer’s explorations of education as a spiritual journey and of the inner lives of educators have been deeply influential. We explore his teachings and contribution. contents: introduction · parker j. palmer – life · education as a spiritual journey · parker palmer – knowing, teaching […]

Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi: pedagogy, education and social justice

Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi: pedagogy, education and social justice. His commitment to social justice, interest in everyday forms and the innovations he made in schooling practice make Pestalozzi a fascinating focus for study. Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746 – 1827). Born in Zurich, Pestalozzi took up Rousseau’s ideas and explored how they might be developed and implemented. […]

Plato on education

Plato on education. In his Republic we find just about the most influential early account of education. His interest in soul, dialogue and in continuing education continue to provide informal educators with rich insights. Plato (428 – 348 BC) Greek philosopher who was the pupil of Socrates and the teacher of Aristotle – and one […]

what is praxis?

Few educators speak of praxis. Those that do tend to link it to the work of Freire. Yet while praxis may not be part of many workers overt vocabulary, practice, a pale derivative, is. So what is praxis and why should educators be concerned with it? contents: · theory and practice · practical reasoning · […]

The potential of role-model education

The potential of role-model education. In this article Daniel Rose examines the role and potential of the educator as a role-model within both formal and informal education. contents: introduction · the influence of the role model on moral identity · role model education and informal education · role-model education as a basis for mentoring · […]

Jean-Jacques Rousseau on nature, wholeness and education

Jean-Jacques Rousseau – wikipedia commons – pd Jean-Jacques Rousseau on nature, wholeness and education. His novel Émile was the most significant book on education after Plato’s Republic, and his other work had a profound impact on political theory and practice, romanticism and the development of the novel. We explore Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s life and contribution. contents: […]

John Ruskin on education

John Ruskin on education. John Ruskin altered the way we look at art and architecture, and was an influential social critic and advocate of economic change and reform. His desire to advance reform and to deepen people’s appreciation of art inevitably brought him to teaching and to education. His work was to have lasting significance. […]

Rabindranath Tagore on education

Rabindranath Tagore on education. As one of the earliest educators to think in terms of the global village, Rabindranath Tagore’s educational model has a unique sensitivity and aptness for education within multi-racial, multi-lingual and multi-cultural situations, amidst conditions of acknowledged economic discrepancy and political imbalance. Kathleen M. O’Connell explores Rabindranath Tagore’s contribution. contents: background · […]

Richard Henry Tawney, fellowship and adult education

Richard Henry 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 the dispersion of power · social function · democratic citizenship · fellowship · adult education […]

Key teaching activities

In this add-on to ‘What is teaching?’ Mark K Smith outlines nine key activities that teachers engage in. Teaching, he argues, is the process of attending to people’s needs, experiences and feelings, and making specific interventions to help them learn particular things. Contents: being present • setting challenging tasks • talking • explaining • showing […]