FORUM
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Volume 61 Number 2 2019

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CONTENTS [click on author's name for abstract and full text]

 

For a New Public Education in a New Public School

Melissa Benn, Michael Fielding & Peter Moss. Editorial. For a New Education in a New Public School, pages 147-155 FREE ACCESS VIEW FULL TEXT http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2019.61.2.147

Stewart Ranson. Public Education for the Common Good, pages 157-164

Tim Brighouse. Some Factors Affecting What We Mean by Public, pages 165-174

John White. A New Public Education for England, pages 175-182

Fiona Carnie. Building Equitable, Inclusive and Ethical School Communities in a Globalised World, pages 183-188

Carolyn Roberts. Why Don’t We Love Comprehensive Schools Like We Love the NHS?, pages 189-198

Scherto Gill. Caring in Public Education, pages 199-206

Keri Facer. Climate Change: how should public education respond?, pages 207-215

Patricia White. A Dynamic Citizenship Education for the New Public School, pages 217-224

Judith Suissa. Public Education and Non-Statist Imaginaries, pages 225-233

Rhonda Evans. What a New Public Education System Could Learn From Alberta, pages 235-242

John Smyth. The Socially Just School: as a way of putting the ‘public’ back into public education and the public school, pages 243-250

Doug Martin. The Challenge of Developing the ‘New Public School’: learning from Extended Schools, pages 251-259

Nigel Todd & Alan Tuckett. A National Education Service for Adults Too, pages 261-269

Mike Neary & Joss Winn. Making a Co-operative University – a new form of knowing: not public but social, pages 271-279

Francis Green & David Kynaston. The Necessity of Reforming Britain’s Private Schools, pages 281-288


 

Public Education for the Common Good

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2019.61.2.157

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The UK’s neoliberal polity is undermining the very public institutions it requires to resolve its most pressing collective predicaments, in education especially, with its essential role of enabling society to learn the virtues and practices of cooperative enquiry necessary for remaking the common good. The author begins by understanding the nature of public goods and services before discussing the damage wrought by neoliberal governance. The remaking of public education, he argues, presupposes three projects: first, inaugurating public, democratic ownership of all education; second, re-imagining public service comprehensive education; and third, reconstituting democratic public participation for active citizenship in education and community governance.

 

 

Some Factors Affecting What We Mean by Public

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2019.61.2.165

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After exploring what we mean by ‘public’, this article advances the argument that there have been two distinct periods in the post-war English schooling system and argues that the latest one, of markets and managerialism, ushered in on the back of neoliberal economic theories during the 1980s, has internal contradictions if, as both parties declare, their aims for the schooling system are to secure ‘equal opportunity’, ‘equity’ and ‘social mobility’. It concludes with an argument for changing five systemic influences external to schools – namely: governance; pupil admissions; finance; curriculum exams; and accountability, and the existence in their present form of private schools – in order to make the system fairer.

 

A New Public Education for England

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2019.61.2.175

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This is an argument for a new public education for England, but not for a new public school. The focus should be on aims, not structures. We should ensure that all schools (community schools, private schools, academies and religious schools) are working to realise the same nationally determined aims. The national set of aims should be determined not by ministers but by a Curriculum Commission. Its starting point should be the protection and nurturing of a liberal democratic community. This generates a number of major aims from which the Commission will also lay down more specific ones. Schools should be free to employ their own curricular vehicles (e.g. subjects, projects, whole-school processes) and other policies in pursuing these aims.

 

Building Equitable, Inclusive and Ethical School Communities in a Globalised World

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2019.61.2.183

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Does education have a moral purpose, and if so, how can it be defined? In these troubled times, publicly funded schools which are seen to be equitable, inclusive and ethical in their practice have a key role to play in shaping a socially just world. Drawing on the education renewal currently taking place in Scotland and Wales, the author argues for a clear set of values and greater participation on the part of teachers, students and parents in building learning communities which reflect their moral purpose in society.

 

Why Don’t We Love Comprehensive Schools Like We Love the NHS?

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2019.61.2.189

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In this article the author remarks on the difference in genesis between the National Health Service (NHS) and comprehensive schools. She argues that we need to develop a clear national understanding of the purpose of schools in society in order to make all-ability schools as popular as the NHS. Finally, she suggests a set of principles upon which a new public education could be built.

 

Caring in Public Education

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2019.61.2.199

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Currently the British educational system can be characterised by its instrumentalisation (of ends) and control (of means), revealing an impoverished vision of community and a lack of care. To (re)imagine public education is to reconsider what this ‘public’ means and signifies in practice. This article suggests that at the core of a richer and more compelling vision lies the notion of care. It re-examines what constitutes the content of our caring, and argues that to care is to direct attention to things that are intrinsically valuable, such as persons, relationships, educative experiences, all of which are comprised in our well-being. This understanding is a shift from care as a virtue and disposition, to care as valuing the cared-for and engaging the community in caring, and facilitates an exploration of a public education that is caring, in terms of its aims, values and processes, and in terms of schools as learning communities.

 

Climate Change: how should public education respond?

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2019.61.2.207

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This article makes the case that schools have a critical role to play in mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, and that this responsibility should be central to any process of reimagining the role, governance and potential of public education.

 

A Dynamic Citizenship Education for the New Public School

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2019.61.2.217

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Currently in the United Kingdom, citizenship provision is meagre and, where it appears in schools, it is heavily biased towards the theoretical. This article acknowledges that citizenship education needs a theoretical aspect but argues that the new public school should complement this with more dynamic, experiential learning. The proposal focuses on a democratic way of managing political conflict, the complex practice of compromise. It considers three essential features of a good compromise: mutual respect; coping with seemingly second-best choices; and recognising sacrifice. Drawing on these elements, it argues, the new public school can offer a dynamic citizenship education through its organisation, structure and ethos. In a supportive learning environment, school students can learn attitudes of respect, empathy towards others and ways of dealing with conflict by non-violent means, develop social imagination in exploring creative and ingenious solutions to conflict and learn to cope, collegially, with disappointed hopes.

 

Public Education and Non-statist Imaginaries

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2019.61.2.225

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In this article, the author focuses on the statist imaginary associated with the defence of public education. Drawing on work on the idea of the public sphere, anarchist theory and the politics of movement, she argues that in a world characterised by unprecedented and growing levels of mass migration and displacement, a new, non-statist imaginary is needed. She explores some ways in which such imaginaries can play a role in educational thought and practice.

 

What a New Public Education System Could Learn from Alberta

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2019.61.2.235

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What does a successful public education system look like? How does it function? How long does it take to create and what are its underpinning beliefs and values? The Canadian province of Alberta is the highest-ranking education system in the English-speaking world. What can it teach us about how to construct a successful public education system? Given the vast chasm between basic fundamental beliefs about the purpose of education, how much the question of equity should be at the forefront of educational priorities, and the importance of democratic involvement and professional autonomy, is it even possible to create a similar model?

 

The Socially Just School: as a way of putting the ‘public’ back into public education and the public school

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2019.61.2.243

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This article argues that re-inserting the ‘public’ back into public education and public school involves the reclamation of the indigenous (i.e. native) language and practices of schools and their communities. It argues that banishing the interloper discourses of neoliberalism can only occur when schools organise themselves around the alternative discourse of the socially just school.

 

The Challenge of Developing the ‘New Public School’: learning from extended schools

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2019.61.2.251

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English school policy since 1988 has increasingly been defined in neoliberal terms, with an emphasis on markets, competition, and education in its narrowest sense (ENS). However, for a brief interlude from 2005 to 2010, school leaders were challenged by a new Extended Schools (ES) policy to look outside their classrooms and beyond their school gates and to consider education from a wider perspective. This article, based on research in four communities, examines how schools responded to this policy change, through developing ES partnerships, and engaging with community-based organisations and the community itself. The learning from this research undertaken across diverse schools and communities covering this unique period points to what a ‘new public school’ might be and the conditions it might need to successfully evolve.

 

A National Education Service for Adults Too

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2019.61.2.261

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This article highlights the current collapse of adult learning opportunities and the key importance of adult learning to a new public education in a fast-changing world, and makes practical proposals for Labour’s National Education Service.

 

Making a Co-operative University: a new form of knowing – not public but social

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2019.61.2.271

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Calls to establish public education avoid the fact that public education is provided by the capitalist state whose real purpose is the market-based model of private gain. Public against private education is a false dichotomy; rather, public and private are complementary forms of capitalist regulation. Radical alternatives require a more foundational critique of the structures of capitalist education, grounded in an understanding of the contradictory relationship between capital and labour on which the institutions of capitalist civilisation are based. This article suggests a counter project: not public education but social knowing as the basis for a solidaristic form of social life. Our model for social knowing starts with the idea of a co-operative university.

 

The Necessity of Reforming Britain’s Private Schools

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2019.61.2.281

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The existence of extremely expensive private schools – about one in 10 of all our schools – presents a major problem for Britain’s education system. A new public education system could not coexist with the current, unreformed private school system; therefore, reform is a necessary condition for this project. Private schools are, on the whole, good schools, owing their successes largely to a massive resource input, some three times that of the state sector. But this distortion of our educational resources is enormously unjust, as well as inefficient and supportive of a democratic deficit in British society. Some solutions are noted; while not dogmatic about which should be adopted, the authors explain why their preferred solution is a partial integration of the sectors, in particular what they term a ‘Fair Access Scheme’.

 

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