Radical Education Forum logoState Of Education 2014 Conference on Radical and Autonomous Education: Programme Announcement


Where: Oxford House, Derbyshire Street,  Bethnal Green,  London E2 6HG

When: Saturday 1st March 2014, 10.30am to 7pm (+ afterparty tbc.)

Bookings (Please book in advance as places are limited): http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/state-of-education-conference-1-march-2014-tickets-10238604943

Access: Conference spaces are fully accessible to wheelchair users and a creche will run in the gallery space.

Day Programme

10.30-11.00: Arrivals and Registration

11.00-11.30: Opening

11.30-13.00: World Cafe

Taking place in the main theatre, World Cafe will be used as a way to start having conversations in small groups.  A convener will sit in each group throughout to facilitate three 30 minute sessions around a ‘key’ question and subject. Conference participants will have the opportunity to gather around questions of interest, meet each other and contribute to group discussions, which will be recorded and shared at the end of the morning.

13.00-14.00: Lunch

14.00-17.30 (including two 15 mins breaks): Afternoon Workshops


The Trend Away from Freedom

For thousands of years we were becoming more free. Now we have become less so:

How can Enlightenment thinkers like Hegel, Mill and (later) Fromm influence our practice today?


Instead of school

What if mass, compulsory, full-time schooling is a 150 year old experiment which hasn’t worked?  A workshop to generate and discuss ideas about what ‘instead of school’ might look like, convened by a group with experience of the ideas and practices surrounding alternatives to school.


Direct Action in Schools

What can teachers do to raise awareness of and respond to the current market-led reforms of state schooling? This session will be led by a full-time state primary teacher.



Chatting Critically with Young People and Youth Workers

Turning Voices into Action

Facilitated by ‘In Defence of Youth Work’


Freedom and Democracy in action

Democratic Education is, of course, no longer radical. Staff and students from two of the world’s most famous democratic schools, the UK’s Summerhill School and Sands School, will explain and take questions about democratic education, the schools themselves, and the unique experience they offer both students and teachers.


Another Roadmap for Arts Education: ‘Glossary of Conflicted Terms’

‘Cultural Exchange’, ‘Creative Workforce’, ‘Arts Curriculum’, ‘Radical Education’ are terms which have become synonymous for a rigid, tokenistic, yet empty tick-boxing exercise around Arts Education. By unpicking these terms we want to foster a conversation that looks at what actually is important to us as arts education practitioners, teachers, students and organisers.


Education workers and unions: organising to reclaim education

Collective organising is essential to transform our education system into one that will genuinely meet our needs.

What can we learn from successful struggles in this country and further afield?


The potential of socially critical environmental education

The aim of the workshop is to present and criticise dominant trends in environmental education and raise a debate on critical approaches. The discussion will draw from the participants’ teaching experiences in environmental education and relevant curriculum subjects (e.g. geography, science, citizenship) as well as their interests in environmental issues.


Ethics and practice in teaching

Teachers / educators of the Radical Education Forum have been working through their experiences to build an ethical framework for our practice. We will workshop input from the REF ‘s Behaviour Management Clinic and the application of participatory theatre methods to ethical issues, based on the “Ethics of Participatory Theatre”.



‘Hip Hop Education as Radical Education?

History, Theory and Practice


Sustaining the movement

How do we ensure that the stateofeducation2014 conference is not just a one-off experience?  What real and practical next steps do we need to take? This workshop will feed its ideas and plans into the plenary event.


The suppression of freedom in schools

Do schools undermine school students’ human rights? Can students ever have a say and be listened to at school? Are schools like prisons? Can school students, youth workers, teachers and others work together to make a serious change to schools?

‘Voice of Youth’ will present their short film and lead a discussion.


17.30-17.45: Break

17.45-18.15: Closing Thoughts

18.15-19.00: Informal Networking



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