I have been researching democratic schools and alternative educational groups and clubs , in preparation for the second stage of my project once the MA is concluded and lockdown is over.
Last year I made contact with The Awen Project in Wales, with the proposal of going to photograph their newly opened democratic school their, to show how their education space works and operates, and to illustrate the beauty behind allowing children freedom to make their own choices when it comes to their own education. Below is the welcome / introduction video released by The Awen project founders.
In addition I have been watching some of Sir Ken Robinson’s talks on you tube , including on Ted Talks and the bellow video, which sums up a lot of what many people who subscribe to alternative education believe about the current educational system and really sums up why many families I know choose Home Education.
Part of this research led to me watching and reading hours of past coverage of A.S Neill talking about education and about Summerhill, the democratic school he founded Suffolk (after stints in Germany and Switzerland). Included in this reach I watched the film below that was made about the school, (along with the 4 episode BBC drama) and the legal battle that saw the school take Ofsted and the Department for Education to court after a damning ) Ofsted inspection, that threatened the schools closure. The school fought to protect their educational freedoms and philosophies and to become the most protected school in the world.
I have today completed the application form to present a talk and multimedia exhibition of my project at the Summerhill festival of childhood next year and will update when I hear back from them.
I have also started reading through a large collated list of research papers from academics with an interest in pedagogy and alternative education, with the view to using them as references and linking the research on the website for the wider public to be able to access aswell.
In addition I have today purchased the books below as well as the new Summerhill book
Video 1, The Awen project .14.03.2019 . You Tube. Available at https://youtu.be/cvU9HN0Qqrg (Accessed 31.03.2021)
Video 2, RSA ANIMATE: Changing Education Paradigms 14.10.2010 Youtube Available at RSA ANIMATE: Changing Education Paradigms (Accessed 31.03.2021)
Video 3, Summerhill (2008) Best Freedom movie EVER (BBC) Available at https://youtu.be/TxngqMavda0 (Accessed 31.03.2021)
Video 4, Henry Readhead speaking about the Summerhill Festival of Childhood at the IDEC 2020. 11.11.2020. You tube . Available at https://youtu.be/tx4w2yUZHcs (Accessed 31.03.2021)
The Awen Project. 2019. Home. Available at https://www.theawenproject.com (Accessed 31.03.2021)
Fig 1, Graham, Bekkie. 2021. Screenshot Amazon order 31.01.2021
Fig 2, Graham, Bekkie. 2021. Screenshot summerhill book order 31.01.2021