Debrief meeting for the anarchist bookfair workshops

There will be a debrief of the series of discussions organised by stateofeducation at this year’s London Anarchist Bookfair on
Saturday 21st November 2-5pm at The Common House, Bethnal Green, London (
Anyone is welcome to come and feedback on the workshops, discuss how we can continue the discussions begun there, and begin conversations about what we might host at the bookfair next year.

Anarchist bookfair tomorrow- detailed program

Here the detailed and updated program about our series of workshops at the anarchistbookfair

You will find us in room D117 between 12-3pm
We will also be running a bookstall and be selling newly printed versions of the Radical Education Forum Workbook!
See you there!

*”I am not in the world simply to adapt to it, but rather transform it”*
*Paolo  Freire*
State of Education at the London Anarchist Bookfair 24th October 2015


A series of discussions that borrow from a style of anarchist learning known as “critical pedagogy” espoused by Paolo Freire in ‘Pedagogy of the Oppressed’.

Each workshop will have an open, participatory, on-hierarchical structure in the belief that a traditional format would be a contradiction.

There will be three rounds of facilitated discussions with a choice of topics on anarchism and education, bringing together different practitioners/students/
collectives who will share their knowledge and experience.

*12pm – Education and the state* 
3 simultaneous discussions
*1) What is university for?*
*with Debra Shaw*

The university has traditionally been a place where knowledge about the world is debated and produced but, under the terms of late capitalism, it is transforming into an institution that churns out workers for the knowledge economy. Is it an institution worth saving? Do academics have a role to play in social change? Where, if not in the university, do new understandings of the world emerge?

*2) How do we prevent the Prevent strategy?*
*with Malia Bouattia NUS Black Students Officer and the Radical Education Forum*

How do we frame our opposition to the governments Prevent strategy and what should we be aiming to do? How does it serve capital to have a group who are targeted in this way?

*3) Education, resistance and the criminal justice system*
*with Stop Watch, Julia Roeselers and Carl Cattermole*

Y-Stop is our youth-led stop and search project. It provides tools for young people to safely interact with police, equipping them with practical skills and knowledge to handle a stop and search (

Julia is a documentary film-maker and comic artist who experienced an armed robbery at the neighbourhood-café where she worked. When she found out the perpetrators were kids from the neighbourhood, one of them her neighbour’s son, she started to research the world of restorative justice and made a documentary and short zine about this.(

Carl Cattermole is an ex-inmate and author of HMP – A Survival Guide. Carl will discuss teaching literacy skills to other prisoners while inside and how his own writing has been a way to challenge the system (

*1pm – Education and freedom*?
3 simultaneous discussions
*1) What’s going on now?*
*with Students from Summerhill School and Dr Ian Cunningham*
Students from Summerhill School will talk about their experiences of being in a democratic, self-governing free school where adults and students have equal status.

Ian, from the Self Managed Learning College, will discuss: Structures for Freedom: Undermining control models by creating content-free structures – a practical example (

*2) What is anarchist education?*
*with Judith Suissa*

Judith will draw on anarchist theory and some historical examples of anarchist schools to suggest how a closer look at the anarchist perspective can challenge some dominant ideas about the relationship between education and social change, while making a distinction between anarchist and libertarian educational thought and practice

*3) What can we learn from the past?*
*with Ros Kane and Risinghill Research Group:** Isabel Sheridan, Lynn Brady, Alan Foxall*

RF Mackenzie (1910-1987) is a little remembered but extremely important radical libertarian educationalist. Attempting to run two secondary schools in Scotland as head teacher on non-traditional principles, he of course was squeezed out of both. Ros will discuss his life’s work and struggles.

Risinghill Research Group will give a brief summary of their findings on the work they’ve been doing on Risinghill Comprehensive School *(1960-1965)* and discuss what they have learned from the past. This will include the ex pupil’s views on the education they received there and the research group’s achievements after leaving Risinghill (

*2pm* *- How should we organise to challenge what’s wrong with education today?** -*
A discussion.

Ex-Mossbourne Academy students will present their response to their compulsory education at the flagship academy school in East London to spark off an open discussion about what we can do as parents, teachers, students and anarchists to get from here to there.
This is also an opportunity to hear from speakers from previous discussions.

There will be a debrief of this series of discussions on
*21st November 2-5pm* @ The Common House (
Anyone is welcome to come and feedback on the workshops, discuss how we can continue the discussions begun there, and begin conversations about what we might host at the bookfair next year.

State of Education ( is organised by Radical Education Forum ( )
and LibEd

For more information contact

*Re-imagine everything?* *Grace Lee Boggs*Bookfair15

State of Education at the Anarchist Bookfair – Open invitation to attend planning meeting

Hi all,

We have arranged to run a series of workshops/discussions at the Anarchist Bookfair exploring issues around education. It will take place on the 24th of October. If you are interested in facilitating a session or taking part in the organisation of the space we’d love your ideas and energy.

We are holding a planning meeting on Sunday 28th June at 4pm at Freedom Bookshop, Angel Alley 84b Whitechapel High Street, E1 7QX.

You can email for more information.

Please forward to anyone who may be interested. Thanks for your support.

Best wishes

State of Education

Photos and documentation from the workshop: 9th of May, “Reinventing Environmental and Science Education for Social Change”

09-05-2015_0109-05-2015_3709-05-2015_1109-05-2015_0609-05-2015_21 09-05-2015_18

Dear all,

Thank you for attending our workshop which took place on the 9th of May “Reinventing Environmental and Science Education for Social Change”. It was a most positive and inspiring experience for all of us. If you would like to get involved in taking this topic further, email us at

Below you can find the documentation of the workshop.

We are looking forward to seeing you in the future.

Best wishes,

State of education

Documentation (click on pictures to enlarge)

  • Why  we are here today?

Barchart_why did you come today_crop

  • What is critical pedagogy

what is critical pedagogy

  • Opportunities, limitations and frustrations of environmental and science education to promote social change




  • Challenging the neoliberal agenda

Challenging the neoliberal agenda_1

Challenging the neoliberal agenda_2

  • Interdisciplinary thinking

interdisciplinary thinking

  • The scope to look at social injustice in environmental science education

is there scope to look at social injustice in environmental_science education

  • Practical ideas of working around limitations of curriculum marking

Practical ideas of working around limitations of curriculum marking

  • Networking


  • Outreach



  • Practical ideas of working around limitations of curriculum marking

Practical ideas of working around limitations of curriculum marking

  • Sessional education

Sessional education

  • Young children making environmental education relevant

Young children making environmental education relevant

You can download the presentation by clicking at the link below

Reinventing Environmental and Science Education for social change

open space sessions

closing questions


Reinventing Environmental and Science Education for Social Change

Dear all,

We would like to invite you to our workshop: “Reinventing Environmental and Science Education for Social Change”. We will explore what critical pedagogy in environmental and science education could look like and discuss the potential opportunities (and problems) of applying relevant practices in our work and everyday life. We will be asking What is Critical Pedagogy? Does environmental education as we are doing it encourage young people to question the underlying drivers of environmental problems? How do we educate for social change (rather than maintaining the status quo)?

Where: St Peter’s Bethnal Green, St Peter’s Close, London E2 7AE

When: Saturday 9th May, 14:30 – 18:30

There is a limited amount of spaces available, you can book a free ticket here. Refreshments will be provided. Optional donation.

Please feel free to share this event using your social networking sites.

We are looking forward to seeing you.
State of education

Reinventing Environmental and Science Education for Social Change

Continue reading

Organising meeting for event promoting critical pedagogy in science and environmental education

Dear all,

We would like to invite you to an open meeting with the aim of collectively organising an event, promoting critical pedagogy in science and environmental education.

When: Sunday 25th of January, 15:30 – 17:00

Where: The Common house, Unit 5E, 5 Pundersons Gardens, Bethnal Green,E2 9QG 

What: We are looking for people who are interested in radical approaches in science and environmental education, and would like to explore with us the possibility of taking part/co-organising a relevant event. This will take place within the next few months. 

Background: The idea of setting this up, draws from the experience of the workshop “The potential of socially critical Environmental Education” that took place at last year’s State of Education conference. (You can follow the link below to have a look at the documentation, search for the relevant workshop,

Thus, our intention is to take this one step further, obtain a clearer understanding of what critical science/environmental education is and what it could mean in real life, share our knowledge, explore the potential of networking and, hopefully, decide next steps. 

We hope that such event will be a good opportunity for people with different backgrounds and experiences (e.g. workers in education, forest school leaders, art workers and workers in NGOs) to meet up and have a productive discussion.  

If you would like to find out more about this, or would like to be kept in the loop about either the upcoming meeting, or the organising group, send us an email to  

We hope to see you soon!

State of Education

Postponement of antisexist event

Apologies to all, but unfortunately we have to POSTPONE the event on Sexism in Education, it will NOT take place on the 6th of December. New details to be announced.

Organising an event on this topic is a great opportunity to connect our different areas of work/everyday life/thought/experience. We are interested in connecting with people who would be interested in taking part in and/or collaborating with us in an event on gender equality in education in the new year. If you planned to attend the event please do get in touch. Your thoughts/suggestions would be valuable.

Some of the questions we are interested in addressing are the following:

  • How can we make sure we’re educating for gender equality?
  • How to set up and sustain real anti-sexist ground-rules in a classroom?
  • How to tackle sexism in dominant youth culture with students?
  • How is sexism linked to class and race discrimination within the
    educational system?
  • (How) Is it possible to fight sexism without imposing the teacher’s

We are looking forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes

State of education

Next steps: 2014 – 2015, publication and workshops

Dear all,

Following the summer break, we are beginning to formulate our next steps and actions. Our aim is to utilise energies and ideas that came together at our 1st of March conference as a stepping stone to a more in-depth analysis of the possibilities of radical education. In addition, we want to continue creating spaces for radical educators and students, activists and anyone interested to meet, discuss, act and create.

The ways we will do this within this 2014-2015 is by:

  • Preparing a publication, which will take the conference’s documentation as a starting point. We would like to invite contributions from session organisers and participants of the conference, documenting the workshops/sessions and reflecting on their experiences and/or signposts to further actions. Rough notes from the conference’s workshop have been uploaded on our blog. The final deadline for submission of texts is on the 15th of March 2015, however send us an email to to let us know if you would be interested to contribute, so we can keep you in the loop.
  • Organising a series of workshops with taking individual workshops and thoughts from the conference a step further. We are keen to create opportunities to meet and discuss with different people and groups. Our first workshop will take place on the 6th of December in relation to “sexism in education” at the Feminist Library (5 Westminster Bridge Rd, London SE1 7XW). Details tbc. If you are interested in taking part, email us!

Our next meetings will take place:

  • On the 18th of October you will find us at the Anarchist bookfair where we will have a stall together with Libertarian Education and the Radical Education Forum. Come along to chat about ideas you might want to share.
  • On the 9th of November, we will be at the Feminist Library (5 Westminster Bridge Rd, London SE1 7XW) from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. We will discuss the anti-sexist education event for those who would like to be involved in organising it!

Hope to see you all soon!

State of Education

Who we are

We are a group of people that organized the conference on radical and autonomous education on the 1st of March 2014 in London. We believe that the potential of radical education exists in the experiences and practices of real life workers in education, students, parents and community members and not drawn from a successful recipe for radical pedagogy which already exists elsewhere. Thus, the pedagogy we are coming from has to do with sharing experiences and creating radical contexts which are linked to our everyday lives and work in relation to education. It is our intention to work together with groups and individuals that share similar pedagogies and try to open and maintain spaces of dialogue.

5 July: Invitation to meet up to decide next steps

On Saturday, 5 July at 14:00
@ The Common House, Unit 5E, 5 Pundersons Gardens, Bethnal Green, E2 9QG
(map details available here, bring some food to share if you like)

Dear all,

First of all we would like to let you know that we have created an email list. Its aim is to facilitate communication between education practitioners, wanting to change and exchange on the state of education! We would like it to function as an open space for exchanging information,practices, experiences, ideas and anything you might want to share with others.

To subscribe you can send an email to:

The conference on the 1st of March provided space for many different perspectives on radical education to be expressed. We feel that the intensity of the day and the possibility of real potential arising from the discussions, may represent a sparkle of hope for the future. We also feel that the conference has managed to make a first step in mapping the possibilities of radical education, by raising issues such as: anti-sexist education, democratic and libertarian alternatives, critical pedagogy, homeschooling, politics and ethics in teaching, organizing to reclaim education at individual and collective level, listening to the “voice of the youth”, seeking alternatives to dominant trends and concepts in education and others.

Moreover, we see in the success of this conference an important need and that is the need for a relevant public debate which tries to develop its potential and discover its own means in order to be heard. We believe that the above mentioned need is linked to the crisis of education today and its consequences on our everyday lives. It is important to stress that we do not consider this crisis to be just about a faceless set of political decisions taking place ‘in camera’ but is a part of a wider crisis of social relations.

Considering ourselves as a part of this reality we do not intend to promote predetermined solutions and frameworks. On the contrary, our aim is to keep promoting a discussion that will help in rendering visible what is already being said and done, in our everyday lives, boroughs and workplaces, but remains hidden and often marginalised. Obviously, this surpasses by far what a
one day event could achieve.

Defining our goals for the future:

• We want to create a wider initiative which will build on the elaboration of the morning world café questions and the workshop issues. We are looking for people who would like to be involved in a collective process of furthering this work and advancing its perspectives. The outcome of these processes could be part of a publication which will take place in the future. The form of this publication will depend on future decisions and will depend on our answer to questions such as “what will this publication be about?”, “how should that happen?”, etc.

• Also, we are considering organising another conference next year. We feel it is our collective responsibility to contribute in producing and presenting more elaborate views.

We are therefore proposing to all of you who would like to take active part in this, to join us in our next meeting.

Please send us any thoughts or ideas you might have to:
as it would be extremely useful for the facilitation of the meeting.

We hope to see everyone soon,

State of Education

P.S. Thanks to those of you who have already sent us reflections on the State of Education Conference and/or completed the on-line survey. If you haven’t yet, we would appreciate it if you could take a couple of minutes to complete an evaluation by going to this link. This information will help inform our discussions at the 5 July meeting.