Archive News

Happenings and goings on in the Archive and Study Centre: Events, researchers, discoveries, additions. For latest articles added to the Archive and Study Centre section of the website, click here.

 

Question: How do you spend a happy Saturday evening (or morning, depending on your time zone!) preparing for an international conference in the comfort of one's own Archive, Study and Conference Centre at the confluence of the Cotswold Hills and the Vale of Evesham's Garden of England?

Answer:  In the company of good people setting up a video link between the San Francisco Bay Area and rural England, so that two pioneers in therapeutic community and education can join the conference and share their life times of insights and experiences. Which conference? Common Roots 2017: "Progressive Education and the Future", May 20-21st, Planned Environment Therapy Trust Conference Centre.

Rod Odgers and Psychologist Dennie Briggs met at the U.S. Naval Hospital at Oakland, California, in 1955-56, in the remarkable therapeutic community reception and assessment ward set up by the late Harry Wilmer ("People Need People" (1961); "Social Psychiatry in Action: A therapeutic community" (1958)). Briggs then took Odgers and a small team to set up a new therapeutic community for United Nations' military personnel at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Yokosuka, Japan (1956-1958). Dennie has written accounts of both therapeutic communities here. Rod went on to a long career as a teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area school system.  Dennie worked as a therapist in the California prison system, with youth and students in peer-led education, and with "the father of therapeutic community", Maxwell Jones, in the United Kingdom. Both have deep insights to be shared into education and the future, and will share those in a dedicated session on Saturday, May 20th.

team 2017

Dennie Briggs, Derek Douglas, and Chris Worthen making things work in the Bay Area; PETT archivist Craig Fees (inset) back in Toddington. Screen shot taken at the end of the training and exploration session, remarkably unbroken by breaks for tea or coffee.

 

Helping us to negotiate the hurdles of modern Internet technology and exploring the tools and facilities of meeting-platform Zoom were Derek Douglas and Chris Worthen, backed by a beautiful California morning and its transition into a beautiful afternoon. Friends everywhere. Many many thanks! Much excitement looking forward!

For a video interview of Dennie Briggs and Rod Odgers by Nathan Johnson for the "Veterans Voices" program on Contra Costa Television, See here.

 

Day in and day out, quietly in the background, hundreds of digitised documents, recordings, and publications are flying off the PETT servers to people around the world. Between January and May 2017, almost 15,000 downloads were delivered. Scaled up, that equates to more than 30,000 a year.

At  £2 a shot that would make up the entire annual budget of the Archive and Study Centre!  with a little left over! Begone weeks of grant-writing; begone baleful shades of austerity.  Hello digitisation and new uploads of documents, recordings, and publications for good people around the world. Hello a wider and deeper understanding and appreciation of therapeutic community and its rich roots and tendrils of history!

So: What have the most popular downloads of 2017 (so far) been? Drumroll...

 

The 10 most popular downloads overall

 

Dennie Briggs, "In Prison: Transitional Therapeutic Communities. 1. OVERVIEW (Introduction to the documents)"

395

inprison1          

John Maher and Dennie Briggs, "Formative Causation: The Strange Driving Force" (1994)

332

The Joint Newsletter (of the Association of Therapeutic Communities, the Charterhouse Group of Therapeutic Communities, and the Planned Environment Therapy Trust), No. 9, December 2003

316

Lisa K. Burns, "Elements for Holistic Sanctuary Design Based ont he Expressed Needs of Traumatized and At-Risk Adolescents", A dissertation presented to the Faculty of Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology (2008)

286

Dennie Briggs, "In School II: Growing Learning Communities"

276

The Joint Newsletter, No. 5, July 2002

264

Dennie Briggs, "Maxwell Jones: Photo Highlights from his life and work"

262

Dennie Briggs, "In Prison: Transitional Therapeutic Communities. 3. Prison Communities.

237

The Joint Newsletter, No. 12, November/Fall 2004

234

The Joint Newsletter, No. 6, November 2002

233

 

The top 10 downloads taking out Dennie Briggs' contributions

 

The Joint Newsletter (of the Association of Therapeutic Communities, the Charterhouse Group of Therapeutic Communities, and the Planned Environment Therapy Trust), No. 9, December 2003

316

          jn09 2003

Lisa K. Burns, "Elements for Holistic Sanctuary Design Based ont he Expressed Needs of Traumatized and At-Risk Adolescents", A dissertation presented to the Faculty of Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology (2008)

286

The Joint Newsletter, No. 5, July 2002

264

The Joint Newsletter, No. 12, November/Fall 2004

234

The Joint Newsletter, No. 6, November 2002

233

The Joint Newsletter, No. 7, March 2003

204

The Joint Newsletter, No. 10, April/Spring 2004

202

Annebella Pollen, "The British Woodcraft Movement: Origins and Legacies". A talk at Braziers Park (2016)

200

Polly Shields, "Finding a place for Forest School (1929-1940) in the history and future of education"

182

Emily Carrick, "Non-Directive Play Therapy with Children and Young People in Residential Care: A Qualitative Study of Play Therapists’ Experiences." MA Non-Directive Play Therapy University of York (2009)

160

 

The top 10 Audio downloads

Annebella Pollen, The British Woodcraft Movement: Origins and Legacies. A talk at Braziers Park (2016)

200

braziers 2016 02 20
         

Carolyn Mears, "Personal Reflection", the Oral History Society’s “Psycho-Social Therapies and Care Environments” Special Interest Group inaugural event, April 27th, 2016.

75

Verusca Calabria ‘Insider Stories from the Asylum: The Role of Social Support and Networks’ the Oral History Society’s “Psycho-Social Therapies and Care Environments” Special Interest Group inaugural event, April 27th, 2016.

66

Howard Mitchell, "Schedules of Reinforcement for the Oral Historian” [Personal reflection] the Oral History Society’s “Psycho-Social Therapies and Care Environments” Special Interest Group inaugural event, April 27th, 2016.

65

Will Eiduks and Len Clarke, 'The Early Pestalozzi Children Project'
the Oral History Society’s “Psycho-Social Therapies and Care Environments” Special Interest Group inaugural event, April 27th, 2016.

64

Tom Harrison, "Through the one-way looking glass: from Clinician to Historian"
the Oral History Society’s “Psycho-Social Therapies and Care Environments” Special Interest Group inaugural event, April 27th, 2016.

64

Oral History: Dr. Peter Holmes, recorded January 10, 2006. About himself: an overview:"Born just after the Second World War..." . The original webpage can be accessed here.

24

Elaine Harris, "The Lasting Legacies of Oral History: Memories of Kibble, 1928-2008" talk at "The Struggle of Memory Against Forgetting", 'Therapeutic Living With Other People's Children' project conference (2011). The webpage can be accessed here.

24

Hazel Powell, interviewed by Craig Fees, 25 September 1997 (1 of 7) . The web-page, with transcript, can be accessed here.

22

Mr. Lyward's Introduction to Finchden Manor. Transcribed from a Dictation Tape recorded 25/5/66

16

 

The top 10 audio downloads from RadioTC International

Ron Williams, President and CEO of Therapeutic Communities Inc, Stay'n Out New York, Broadcast 11 July 2008

6

ronwilliams
          

Nicola Hilliard, Head of Library & Information Service, National Childrens Bureau. Child Care History Network Inaugural Conference: "CHILD CARE: THE NEED FOR HISTORY”, October 23, 2008. Conference webpage can be accessed here.

3

Programme One: Fraser House - A Total Therapeutic Community. David Cruise interviews Dr. Les Spencer. "FRASER HOUSE" A series of programmes about Fraser House, a total therapeutic community in 1960s Australia, featuring David Cruise and Dr. Les Spencer, a behavioural scientist and sociologist in Melbourne, Australia. Access full series here.

3

Anthony Slater interviews Prof. Eric Broekaert, Chairman Department of Orthopedagogics, Ghent University, Belgium, at The first European congress of conflict management and treatment in education and care, Blankenberge (Belgium), 23rd - 26th April 2008. Webpage accessed here.

3

Fraser House David Cruise interviews Dr. Les Spencer. Programme Five: Going Berserk.Programme Five: Going Berserk. Webpage accessed here.

3

Vibeke Lund interviews "Marit", a member of the Phoenix Haga re-entry programme . Recorded at the Norway Therapeutic Communities Women's Weekend, March 2007. Webpage accessed here.

2

`Rex Haigh's Audio Diaries, Series 3, Number 17: "Exciting Times With Horticultural Therapy, December 11, 2006". Website accessed here.

2

Discussion following the 12th Annual Maxwell Jones Lecture. Speaker: David Kennard, "Therapeutic Communities - a natural impulse or evolving technology". Respondent: Dr. Penny Campling. Webpage accessed here.

2

Rex Haigh's Audio Diaries, Series 3, Number 20. "The new breed of mini-TCs"20. "The new breed of mini-TCs". Website accessed here

2

"Who's Dropped in to the Archive and Study Centre?...", Masha Pichugina and Maria Krivenkova, Kitezh and Orion Children's Communities, Russia. Webpage accessed here.

2

 

The top 10 downloads of theses and dissertations

 

Lisa K. Burns, "Elements for Holistic Sanctuary Design Based ont he Expressed Needs of Traumatized and At-Risk Adolescents", A dissertation presented to the Faculty of Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology (2008)

286

burns2008          

Polly Shields, "Finding a place for Forest School (1929-1940) in the history and future of education"

182

Emily Carrick, "Non-Directive Play Therapy with Children and Young People in Residential Care: A Qualitative Study of Play Therapists’ Experiences." MA Non-Directive Play Therapy University of York (2009)

160

Stijn Vandevelde, "Maxwell Jones and His Work in the Therapeutic Community", MEdSc, Ghent University (1999) [translation from Dutch by Dieuwke Twinberrow for PETT] 119

John Diamond, "The Use of Supervision and Consultation to Develop a 'Reflective' Practice with an Emotionally Disturbed Client Group in Group Care Organizations", M.A., University of Reading (1993)

84

Robin Posniak, "Black Power Meets FLower Power: The Participation and Interaction of Stokely Carmichael and Allen Ginsburg at the DFialectics of Liberation Congress, MA, American Studies, University of Wyoming (2015)

79

Marc Steele, "'Angels with dirty faces': A reflective study of the journey of a residential care worker's emotional and practical development, in order to aid the development of therapeutic ethos in a private care provision", MA, Therapeutic Child Care, University of Reading (2007)

68

Robin Johnson, "In Search of the Enabling Environment: A comparative study of therapeutic community models and structures, identifying some underlhying modalities or dimensions of interaction", WLIHE Diploma in Applied Social Studies (1981)

53

Lorraine Easterbrook, 'Appendices', to "Does the SACCS Assessment Process contribute to the 'Recovery' of Traumatised Children in the area of Attachment?", MA, Therapeutic Child Care, University of Reading (2006). The actual thesis is online as an html document, so doesn't record as a download. The thesis itself is available here.

51

K. Keenan, "Food Glorious Food? An exploration of the issues of anxiety and its containment for childrn and adults surrounding food and mealtimes in a residential therapeutic setting", MA, Therapeutic Child Care, University of Reading (2006) 48

 

 

These figures don't include the sight and download of images or documents in text or html formats; and given that our webpages have been accessed 914,342 times in this same period - that's Views, not Hits (1,103,079) - this suggests a lot of good work is being done.

2017's Wennington/PETT collaboration in the Common Roots Conference was titled "Progressive Education and the Future". It was a 24-hour event. At the close of Day 1, after a delicious meal together,  we celebrated Hylda Sims with the first in a new series of Audiences with people whose lives have been touched by alternative/democratic/progressive education.

 

AN INTERVIEW and OCCASION with HYLDA SIMS

interlocutor: Richard Schofield

06 HyldaHylda Sims: Writer and folk musician, Hylda is the love child of market traders, her early education involving a few days at one school and then another as her parents followed the circuits of Britain's markets and fairs. Things looked up when she became a pupil at Summerhill; and later, a student at the University of Hull, and then the LSE. Hylda writes songs, poetry and novels (including Inspecting the Island, 'the Summerhill novel'). With Freer Spreckley – also from Summerhill – she founded the still active Lifespan community in 19 railway workers' cottages on the South Yorkshire moors. Hylda has worked as an 'Elizabethan Minstrel', a teacher, a specialist tutor and a single parent. She also ran the Skiffle Cellar, a night spot in 1950s Soho; and has for the past twenty years hosted a monthly poetry and music event at the Poetry Café in Covent Garden. Hylda sings with the skiffle and blues group City Ramblers Revival, a reformation of the original City Ramblers skiffle group – recorded on Tempo, Storyville and Topic labels – with whom she toured Europe, appearing at the International Youth Festival in Moscow in 1957 (Remarkably, Youtube has footage of this moment). She divides her time between Norwich and London.

 

1. Background and life story

 

 INTERMISSION

 

2. Poems, songs and stories

 

The Interlocutor: RICHARD SCHOFIELD

At the age of fourteen, when badly failing in a thousand-strong uniformed secondary school in Essex, Richard was sent by his local authority to become one of the hundred or so pupils at Wennington School in the West Riding. The rest is history. (Which includes – after a number of years as an agricultural worker – studying architecture and then typography before teaching newspaper design). Other propellants are the sixties, art school, and the History Workshop movement.

Back at the beginning of June 2016 we had the great pleasure of installing a plaque to celebrate Reinden Wood House therapeutic community, which flourished near Folkestone in Kent from 1969 to 1980.

For the installation of the plaque on June 3rd, 2016: see here.

For the unveiling of the plaque on June 4th, 2016: see here.

 

And here is how it looked on June 24th, 2017:

reinden 2017 06 24 01

 

reinden 2017 06 24 02

 

 reinden 2017 06 24 05

 

Thankyou again to everyone who made this possible!

 

 

 

 

 Even before it began it was getting rave reviews:

"a remarkable line-up... an uplifting, much needed conference..."
- Michael Fielding, Emeritus Professor of Education, University College London

2017 poster 640 00 header

COMMON ROOTS 2017
"The Future and Progressive Education"

jointly hosted by the Wennington Association and the Planned Environment Therapy Trust

At the PETT Conference Centre, Toddington, Gloucestershire
A FOCUSED 24 HOUR GATHERING, LUNCHTIME THROUGH LUNCHTIME, SATURDAY MAY 20 - SUNDAY MAY 21st, 2017

 

And it lived up to the reviews.

 

gathering

Gathering together and meals: the heartbeat of the event

dinner

 

DAY 1

01 richard

Introduction

Ex-Wenningtonian and conference co-organiser Richard Schofield welcomes the conference, with an introduction and overview of the issues leading to the theme "The Future and Progressive Education".

02 albert

 Session 1

Albert Lamb (American former Summerhill pupil and staff member; author; alternative education specialist)

"Historical Paralels with the Present: McCarthyism and Education"

03 den and rod

 Session 2

"Past, Present and Future (I): The American Education Experience"

In conversation: Veteran American therapeutic community-informed educators, Dennie Briggs and Rod Odgers. By live link from California.

Interviewer: Craig Fees (PETT Archivist)

04 dick marc sam

 Session 3

"Past, Present and Future (II): The British Progressive Education Experience"

In conversation: Former Wennington pupil and veteran progressive educator, Dick Jones, with ex-Frensham Heights pupil and innovation adviser, Marc Jaffrey

Interviewer: Sam Doncaster (Former Wennington pupil and veteran educator)

06 Hylda

 Common Roots Evening: Summerhill, the School that Says, 'Yes'!

Interview with, and performance from, Hylda Sims (Former Summerhill Pupil, poet, novelist, skiffle musician, arts organiser and Lifespan community co-founder)

Interviewer: Richard Schofield (ex-Wennington)

Take me to the recording

 

 DAY 2

THE INAUGURAL WENNINGTON LECTURE

02 01 judith

Session 4

"Democracy, Education, and the Political: Tensions and Possibilities"

Speakers: Judith Suissa (Institute of Education, UCL) with Emile Bojesen (Winchester University)

Chair: Sam Doncaster (ex-Wennington)

 

02 02 mark

Session 5

"Dialogue, Democracy and the Disneyfication of Art and Design Education"

Speaker: Mark Smith (Loughborough School of Arts)

Chair: Jonathan Adamson (ex-Wennington)

 particpants

 Session 6

Plenary Session: Finding Forward Paths

A final open session with an intention to establish ways forward for alternative education in the present political and educational climate.

Faciitators: Albert Lamb (ex-Summerhill) and Craig Fees (PETT Archivist)

 

 

 

WHO ARE THEY? COMMON ROOTS 2017• SPEAKERS, CHAIRS and FACILITATORS

ALBERT LAMB

Albert awoke as a little boy in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His parents worked at Harvard and MIT in the McCarthyite 1950s. Albert managed to find his way (first spending a year in John Holt's How Children Fail classroom) to Summerhill School. After home schooling his four kids in the USA, Albert moved to England to marry his Summerhill girlfriend and work at Summerhill. Now he acts as mentor to the Stroud home education project, A Place to Grow.

CRAIG FEES

Craig is a product of the American public school system and three years at a New England prep school. Following his PhD from the Institute of Dialect and Folklife Studies at the University of Leeds in 1988 he was asked by the Planned Environment Therapy Trust to establish a specialist Archive and Study Centre devoted to therapeutic communities and environments, and democratic / alternative / progressive approaches to education. A Registered Member of the Archives and Records Association, he is also a trustee of the Oral History Society, an Honorary Research Fellow in the History of Medicine at the University of Birmingham, and course author and tutor in oral history in the Centre for Archive and Information Studies at the University of Dundee.

DICK JONES

Dick was educated from the age of eight at New Sherwood School in Epsom, a small progressive school founded by two ex-Kilquhanity House teachers; and, from age thirteen at Wennington School in West Yorkshire. Teacher trained at Goldsmiths’ College, Dick taught in state schools before moving on to King Alfred, Frensham Heights and St Christopher Schools. At St Chris he teaches drama, having come out of retirement to stand in for the indisposed head of department. Away from the school theatre, Dick is a fitfully jobbing musician; and a poet, with two books currently in print: his selected poems, Ancient Lights – described by poet and children's writer Wes Magee as, 'essential reading' – and the Old Style Press' brilliant new version of Blaise Cendrars' celebrated poem Trans Siberian Prosody, a partnership of Dick's translating with the image making of Natalie d'Arbeloff.

DENNIE BRIGGS & ROD ODGERS

Dennie and Rod have been both friends and collaborators in therapeutic community fields for almost a lifetime. They first met at the experimental therapeutic community set up at the Naval Hospital in Oakland, California (1955-1956) under pioneering psychiatrist, Dr. Harry Wilmer – an experience that fundamentally changed the lives and outlooks of both men – and went on together to found a team to establish an all-new Therapeutic Community Program at the U.S Naval Hospital in Yokosuka, Japan (1956-58). Following this experience, Rod graduated from San Francisco State University and transferred his therapeutic skills to education, teaching elementary school for forty-five years (1963-1978); while Dennie transferred his to Californian Prisons (1960-1965) before, at the invitation of Maxwell Jones – another therapeutic community pioneer – joining him at the open doors mental health project at the Dingleton Hospital in Melrose, Scotland (1968-1969). He then moved on to work at the equally notable Henderson Hospital in London (1969-1970). Drawing on these experiences, Dennie went on to become a teacher, speaker and consultant across both Europe and America. Both Dennie and Rod's lives are strewn with extraordinary rich episode – as an example, Dennie's involvement with the Dutch protagonists of the May '68 events – of which a brief account of their lives can only hint at. (More on Dennie at, denniebriggs.com/wp).

EMILE BOJESEN

Emile Bojesen is a Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Winchester, where he is programme leader of the MA in Philosophy of Education, and (with Marie Morgan) co-convener of the Centre for Philosophy of Education. He writes on the experiential, relational and political dimensions of educational thought and practice. He has published widely in journals such as Studies in Philosophy and Education, Educational Philosophy and Theory, Ethics and Education and Philosophy Today. He has recently co-edited a book entitled Against Value in the Arts and Education (2016).

HYLDA SIMS

Writer and folk musician, Hylda is the love child of market traders, her early education involving a few days at one school and then another as her parents followed the circuits of Britain's markets and fairs. Things looked up when she became a pupil at Summerhill; and later, a student at the University of Hull, and then the LSE. Hylda writes songs, poetry and novels (including Inspecting the Island, 'the Summerhill novel'). With Freer Spreckley – also from Summerhill – she founded the still active Lifespan community in 19 railway workers' cottages on the South Yorkshire moors. Hylda has worked as an 'Elizabethan Minstrel', a teacher, a specialist tutor and a single parent. She also ran the Skiffle Cellar, a night spot in 1950s Soho; and has for the past twenty years hosted a monthly poetry and music event at the Poetry Café in Covent Garden. Hylda sings with the skiffle and blues group City Ramblers Revival, a reformation of the original City Ramblers skiffle group – recorded on Tempo, Storyville and Topic labels – with whom she toured Europe, appearing at the International Youth Festival in Moscow in 1957 (Remarkably, Youtube has footage of this moment). She divides her time between Norwich and London.

JUDITH SUISSA

Judith is Professor of Philosophy of Education at UCL Institute of Education, London. Her research interests are in political and moral philosophy, with a focus on social justice, the control of education, libertarian and anarchist theory, the role of the state, and the parent-child relationship. Her publications include Anarchism and Education: A Philosophical Perspective (Routledge, 2006) and (with Stefan Ramaekers) The Claims of Parenting: Reasons, Responsibility and Society (Springer, 2012).

MARC JAFFREY

Marc is a scion of the well known Jaffrey family. Educated at Frensham Heights, where he was taught by Dick Jones (also a participant at this conference), his children attend St. Christopher's School where Dick now teaches them in turn. Marc has spent twenty-five years as a campaigner and campaign adviser in the business, government, education, human rights, social and arts fields. He says 'I am driven by a belief in the power of people ’s creativity to change the world'. In 2010 he gained the OBE for services to music and education. He is currently writing a book on the role generosity plays in effecting change.

MARK SMITH

Mark is an art teacher who has just completed a research degree at Loughborough School of Arts. He is a keen advocate of key concepts of the influential Brazilian educational thinker Paulo Freire. He is also an education-focused moving-image artist and graphic designer. In addition to his teaching and design work, since 1985 Mark has been making ethnographic films, videos, and installation art with diverse communities. His most recent output uses the Freirian concepts of ‘conscientisation ‘ and emancipation to present politicised videos made by fellow artists. The result is available at: www.artistsmovingimage.org

RICHARD SCHOFIELD

At the age of fourteen, when badly failing in a thousand-strong uniformed secondary school in Essex, Richard was sent by his local authority to become one of the hundred-or-so pupils at Wennington school in the West Riding. The rest is history. (Which includes – after a number of years as an agricultural worker – studying architecture and then typography before teaching newspaper design). Other propellants are the sixties, art school, and the History Workshop movement.

SAM DONCASTER

After leaving Wennington School, Sam studied for a Teachers Certificate in Secondary Science at Goldsmiths (1963-1966). He then taught in Kent until moving to Devon, where he moved into the Youth Service. At Liverpool University he took a degree in Outdoor Education (1975-1976). Until 1992 he combined a role in Community Education in Bideford with a responsibility for Safety in Outdoor Education for Devon County Council. Made redundant in 1992 – when Devon lost a third of it's Community Education staff – Sam took the money and ran. Since then he has converted a barn, restored a house, built a workshop and helped to build a fast boat which now plies its trade to Lundy Island.