i n v i t a t i o n

Braziers’s iu is looking for self experimenters to participate in two weekends in June 2016 thinking about Settlement (in the sense of place)

I would like to invite you to take part in this educational experiment.

Who

The weekends will be convened by myself, Aggie Forster, using ideas that I have been developing with learning activities for adults in a changing world. I will be helped by previous iu scholars and, of course yourself, should you choose to take part, as the weekends will be totally immersive and experiential, with little emphasis on tutor and student, but rather learning collectively.

We had our minds truly expanded as we were led to explore methods for alternative, experimental education through an outdoor session with Braziers educationalist Aggie. In small groups we shared and considered methods of integration, different forms and modes of consciousness and activity within group and solo activities – to begin to unravel (in a small way) the ways in which groups can function and how we function within these groups. As I and as U. True learning is most often in the review and reflection after the event.’ Braziers’s Supernormal artist’s residency 2016

What

We will start with a skeletal programme and collectively flesh it out.

    •  I hope that people who have first hand experience of migration or homelessness will take us up on the invitation.
    •  As we will be camping, we will document our decisions around choosing where to pitch our tents and the forming of a new community through self-made questionnaires and possibly film.
    • We may play ‘homestead’ a game I have invented to explore how groups deal collectively with change and we will invite new learning materials to increase others’ understanding of settlement issues.
    • I am hoping to create an opportunity for individuals to be transported to some unknown place with the minimum of kit: a small tarp, some tent pegs, a ball of string, their sleeping mat and bag, a torch and some water to spend a night of sleep or vigil in a place they have not seen by daylight.
    • In the intervening weeks between the two weekends we will research according to our individual interests and both share our research on line and devise learning materials for the group during the next weekend.
    • On the second weekend, it will be possible to take part in a building project at Braziers Park

Where

Braziers Park, Ipsden, Nr. Wallingford, S. Oxon. OX10 5AN, where we will camp in the orchard and use the renovated cowshed as a classroom and base. (Not that we really need a classroom)

When

Friday evening 3rd June – Sunday 5th June and Friday evening 17th  June – Sunday 19th June (one or both weekends, but both preferred) Short notice I know, sorry.

Why

Because we want to want to change the world through helping people think of certainties differently.

In the summer of 2015, Braziers’s iu’s Open Ended Learning camp concluded that subsequent camps should:

‘Increase understanding of (the subject matter) within a community experiment that seeks to test the efficacy of pedagogical methods that generally challenge the contemporary knowledge economy and explore libertarian learning for adults and routes to self-agency.’

Paulo Friere’s ‘Pedagogy of the Oppressed’ inspired us in its treatise of liberating the thinking of the ordinary person to recognise when the status quo is not working for them. Freire’s notions of critical consciousness are, we think, increasingly pertinent on our failing, post capitalistic world.

How libertarian and anarchist educational ideas of the twentieth century could inform pedagogy for grow-ups (or andragogy) also informs our ideas especially around community, self determination and play – although we recognise play can be a strange idea in an adult context.

How

Synthesising ideas on adult transformative learning like those of contemporary, Danish educationalist Knud Illeris, ‘A comprehensive understanding of human learning’ recognising the importance of content, community incentive and environment in creating change within.  We camp communally, cooking and eating together. This matters very much to us as it forms the community of practice (Lave & Wenger) in which we can create situational ‘strangeness’ that de-scaffolds existing learning and liberates ideas.

How Much?

Braziers’s iu need to cover costs, but it also needs people willing to take part. To this end there is a standard charge of £80/weekend. However we know that some people offer to pay more in order to support our projects; this ‘philanthropic’ rate is £144/weekend. We also offer a much reduced rate of £35/weekend for those who need it. But experience is priceless.

 

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The Braziers Park website