1st Edition

Reclaiming Freedom in Education Theories and Practices of Radical Free School Education

By Max A. Hope Copyright 2019
    122 Pages
    by Routledge

    122 Pages
    by Routledge

    Reclaiming Freedom in Education examines the notion of ‘freedom’ within educational settings. Following an investigation of the new ‘Free Schools’ in the UK, it argues that this name is a misnomer, and instead explores the original free schools of the 1960s and 1970s, using these models as a lens through which to explore contemporary examples of radical schooling, notably those which describe themselves as democratic and/or progressive.

    By arguing that in radical educational contexts both ‘positive freedom’ and ‘negative freedom’ are apparent, and that the notion that ‘responsible freedom’ is more pertinent than that of ‘absolute freedom’, this book posits that freedom can be seen to operate in a number of ways including ‘freedom to be’, ‘freedom to think’, ‘freedom to choose’ and ‘freedom to self-govern’. The book:

    • Describes how freedom can be used to inform educational structures, policies, pedagogies and practices across a range of settings
    • Features illustrative case studies of radical free schools and alternative education spaces which have been underpinned by a commitment to freedom and to advancing social justice
    • Critiques the current policy agenda to use ‘freedom’ to make education more competitive through claims that it correlates with higher test scores and academic success
    • Considers some of the challenges for teachers, educators and students of offering and experiencing freedom in education, and argues that despite these, the case for advancing freedom is both urgent and compelling

    Creating discussions about the new meaning and role that ‘freedom’ can have in improving education, Reclaiming Freedom in Education is a practical contribution to educational activism, which will be a key point of reference for teachers, parents, researchers and students on undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Education Studies, Early Childhood Studies and doctorates.

    Dedication; Acknowledgements; Table of Contents; List of Tables; Preface; Chapter 1 Introduction: The notion of ‘freedom’; Chapter 2 Free Schools: a misnomer?; Chapter 3 Stories of Freedom: strangers in a strange land; Chapter 4 Stories of Freedom: advancing social justice; Chapter 5 Freedom and self-governance; Chapter 6 The case for freedom


    Max A. Hope works part-time at the University of Hull and part-time as an independent academic, educator and activist. Her key areas of interest are about radical, democratic and student-led education. She is passionate about developing more inclusive and equitable educational systems that meet the needs of all children and young people. She is co-founder of the Freedom to Learn Project (www.freedomtolearnproject.com), an international project that explores whether alternative and radical education can contribute towards social justice. She is convener of the Alternative Education Special Interest Group for the British Educational Research Association. She is a Trustee at The Warren (Hull, UK) and at Phoenix Education Trust (London, UK).