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