Workshops at the London anarchist bookfair

Hi all,

On Saturday 29th October we will be at the London anarchist bookfair where we will run two workshops  in collaboration with others (tbc), on the theme of anarchism and education. More information will be announced, if you are interested and would like to get in touch, please write to us at

We are looking forward to seeing you there,

Kind regards,

State of education


When: 2pm to 4pm

Where: Park View School
West Green Road, London, N15 3QR


Strand 1: What is Anarchist Education?

Anarchist Education involves different relationships between teacher and student than in mainstream education, so how can this be realised, and within what contexts? Relating differently involves different kinds of pedagogies, not just explicit lessons, but different values and practices. Importantly, it is not simply concerned with pedagogical methods but is concerned that the structure and content of education upholds and transmits anarchist principles.

We will explore the concepts and theories of anarchist education by sharing our understandings of and questions about anarchist education theory and draw on our experiences and interpretations. We can collectively respond to how others have imagined and realised anarchist pedagogy and anarchist educations; how we imagine and realise anarchist pedagogy and education in different situations (eg: state schools; anarchist schools; self-organised learning spaces in youth clubs and squatted spaces); and, finally, where we are best positioned to actualise anarchist education.
“If education should really mean anything at all, it must insist upon the free growth and development of the innate forces and tendencies of the child. In this way alone can we hope for the free individual and eventually also for a free community which shall make interference and coercion of human growth impossible.”
Emma Goldman, 1906

Strand 2: The state of education in Britain today – how should we respond in light of current neo-liberal reforms and racist policies (such as Prevent)?

How are we / should we be responding and resisting to the increasing marketisation and privatisation of education (eg white paper reforms) and authoritarian and racist government strategies (eg Prevent)?

This workshop will invite practical responses to how we can organise around current education trends and policies, as well as exploring ideas of how to change society from the classroom, using elements of anarchist / radical education. And finally, ask how we can intervene to promote education that will embrace liberatory opportunities and interact with social struggles.

We would like to create a welcoming space where people from different strands of life (newly qualified teachers, experienced teachers and educators, students and parents) will exchange thoughts and ideas for developing collective and individual resistances to the existing situation.

“The educator has the duty of not being neutral.”
Paolo Freire, We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education and
Social Change


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.