Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Thank You :)

I've now got 40 responses to my request for opinions on the affects of the badman review. That's so fantastic thank you all so much.

Still room for more though, if anyone feels up to it - positive, negative, bit of both it's all good :)

Friday, 13 August 2010

Help needed

I'm currently working on a project that I would really appreciate some help with.

I'm looking to collect people's opinions about how the badman review and it's aftermath affected them (and their families too).

A paragraph or two is fine, as is more than a couple of paragraphs if you find it flows once you start writing!

Anonymous or named both fine.

If you're up for doing this, please email your opinions to me at

thank you :D

Friday, 6 August 2010

The Children Were Educated in a School

That is the headline we never see when a tragedy unfolds, ok so it's hardly big news is it? Most children go to school. This is something that social scientists refer to as an "unmarked identity", that is: something which is taken for granted, a social norm. Home educated children, by contrast, have a "marked identity" - something which is defined in my OU text book like this:

"... the marked identity never goes unnoticed and usually carries a negative value."

The BBC, as ever, loves to point out the marked identity of home education, it can't seem to help itself even when other journalists manage to write perfectly good copy without resorting to the spreading of prejudice against a minority group which has had more than it's fair share of attacks in the past 18 months.

Maybe, if every time a child died, the fact that they had attended that great social safety net that is a school was pointed out to them, people might start to question this form of education too. >hollow laughter<

This story is what has prompted this mini rant, if you haven't already seen it. Home Education Forums has an excellent rebuff on it's blog here.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

The (in)famous Mr Ed

I'm finally getting round to finishing this excellent book which I started way back in March - other books have taken precedence in the intervening months. Something which seems to happen with interesting regularity is that, since taking up this book again, several other areas of life have convened and lots of things are now slotting into place for me as a result.

I've been reading Kelly's collection of essays this morning, which has, rather uncomfortably, made me think about Ed Balls again - how I had hoped that man had been purged from my mind! So with that (him) in mind I'm just going to type up a bit of the book:

"One of the most poisonous ethereal ideas in human history is the concept of an absolute authority which overrides all other moral or legal considerations. Whether the authority cited is God or The Party, Science or Truth or The State, this particular ethereal idea has been used, and is still being used today, to justify some truly disgusting atrocities. By treating human beings as means rather than ends in their own right, it places human life, and quality of life, below some abstract goal. Whether or not it is associated with an explicitly totalitarian regime, it is a clear example of totalist thinking."

"... one of the joys of ethereal ideas is their apparent explanatory power, their capacity to make everything look simple. Dividing the world into clearly-marked *us* and *them* groups puts much less strain on one's cognitive resources than acknowledging the details of human difference."

I think that sums up pretty well what the man did, and is still trying to do when he writes guff such as this.

Lots of people have suggested that what home educators must now do is to keep positive stories about what we do in the press. That we can't afford to slide back into the shadows and get back to just living our lives as we were pre Badman. I must admit that I've not felt much attraction for this PR exercise, to be honest I resent it, it's an imposition, we are not celebrities, our lives are not fodder for the trashy magazines. But. Having read what Kelly has to say, and to find that it marries up with what this neuroscientist says about how to break through strong *cogwebs*, I think we really don't have any other option.

Can't recommend the book enough, it's fascinating, eye opening and a real education!