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Using free choice and imaginative teaching can be rightly claimed as part of the teaching armoury of many educators who would never consider themselves to be anarchists. Equally, radical education is so often used as a term for any teaching that seems new or different. I have recently been lucky enough to spend time in conversation with a Finnish anarchist educator who influenced my thinking on what real anarchist education should aspire to being, which is to equip learners to live their lives completely independently from society in sustainable ways. It is only once we have the tools to live on our own terms that we can position ourselves where we choose in society, if at all. Free from societal dependencies anarchist education then becomes more about what we teach than how. Education that teaches us how to live without money rather than climbing a meritocratic ladder to join the super rich. Within this model of anarchist education learners would learn the skills to build, sow, weave and more. Craft would be central to all education. Within this anarchist model of education we would ‘Let the universal culture of schooling aim at an apprenticeship in freedom, and not submissiveness’ (Stirner, 2005, p19).
About the Presenter:
Garry is an adult learning educator with a lifelong aversion to rules. In the early 1980’s, from late January onwards, he spent Wednesday mornings in the school science cupboard poring over the pages of the NME. A score of 4% in his O level German mock deemed him as being a lost cause. Not that this mattered because the plan was either an apprenticeship at the local printers. With some disbelief, thirty-six years later he finds himself in the latter stages of a long and fulfilling teaching career. Not only that but also a career in which he has largely been left to his own devices! He’s currently undertaking a doctorate degree with Sunderland University that focuses on the pedagogical praxis and wisdom of folk schoolteachers. Little did he know that he would be exploring a world of socialist and anarchist thinkers. He believes that neo-liberalism has led to a narrow overemphasis on developing economic capital and that education should be person-centered and emancipatory.