Learning, not education

Learning, not education

This title may seem a bit bizarre. After all, most people in authority believe education is a good thing and there are organisations attempting to create compulsory education worldwide. The basis for this is the idea that there is an entitlement to education for young people. So I have to explain what I mean by ‘learning, not education’. My fundamental stance is that humans are crucially learning creatures. Human babies are born with the least range of inbuilt abilities of any creature. Babies have to learn hugely the first few years of their life and even then they are not […]

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Excellent outcome from Ofsted visit

One morning last October we had an impromptu visit from two Ofsted inspectors at  SML College, Brighton. The lead inspector spent some time quizzing most of the students on an individual basis. He asked about what they did and how the college ran including the times which they attended. The Chair of Governors in the College, Dr Ian Cunningham, explained to the inspectors that the College did not have an imposed curriculum, it had no classrooms or formal lessons, no timetable, nor any other of the arrangements found in school. After the lead inspector had spoken to students he commented […]

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The Twelve Days of Christmas at SMLC

On the first day of Christmas, the students gave to SMLC Unlimited super-fast broadband for free On the second day of Christmas, the students gave to SMLC Aira’s kitchen checklist and unlimited super-fast broadband for free On the third day of Christmas, the students gave to SMLC A Unity game from Lily, Aira’s kitchen checklist and unlimited super-fast broadband for free On the fourth day of Christmas, the students gave to SMLC Cool tunes from Harry, A Unity game from Lily, Aira’s kitchen checklist and unlimited super-fast broadband for free On the fifth day of Christmas, the students gave to […]

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Libertarian education: marginal experiment or instrument of social change?

Listen to the talks by Luca Lapolla. “Is libertarian education really possible within a neoliberal society? Why have libertarian education experiences always been marginal? What role can libertarian education have in overcoming the present situation? To think about possible answers to these questions, we held our fourth Applied History Network event at MayDay Rooms in London on 19 April 2016. The idea to organise this event came after a reflection on my personal experiences as a teacher in mainstream schools, and took shape when I noticed that the debates on libertarian education at the last London Anarchist Bookfair (October 2015) […]

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Governors opportunity at SML College

Due to growing popularity of the College both nationally and internationally, we are will be expanding our governing body which is made up of a diverse group of academics, professionals and members of the College community. This is an opportunity to be part of a unique and expanding educational venture. If you’d like to proactively support our work and play a part in our progress please contact Ian Cunningham for more info. ian@csml.org.uk        

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Arts Award

We continue to use this excellent qualification that has been developed by the Arts Council. The advantage to us is that it allows students to create their own personalised portfolios of real learning and at the same time gain GCSE level qualifications. While older students generally do take their own selections of GCSEs such exams are often limited in not showing the full extent of student learning. The Arts Award allows a much richer picture of achievement to show through. Another advantage over GCSEs is that we have three qualified assessors in our tutor team so that we can do […]

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Radio 5 Live

Ian Cunningham was asked to contribute to a phone-in programme on Radio 5 Live. As a result of his comments about education and about our College the radio station received many positive emails and phone calls. This resulted in them deciding to broadcast a proper slot on the College. A reporter came and interviewed students and tutors. The piece she did is available from us as a podcast. The final version of the piece, coupled with an interview with Ian, went out on the Nicky Campbell show in February. Please contact Ian directly if you’d like to hear it: ian@csml.org.uk

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Brighton Youth Centre

We don’t just rent the extensive facilities at Brighton Youth Centre (BYC): we also feel part of the range of offerings in the Youth Centre. In this respect Ian Cunningham made a presentation at an event on March 4 that featured the various organisations associated with the building. Our work fits well with the youth work and other activities in BYC.

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