News of the month (March 2005).
Human Scale Education.

Can we educate our children with a holistic approach to learning that engages the whole person?

Human Scale Education was set up in 1985 with the aim of promoting small, human scale learning communities within the state maintained and independent sectors of education. Human scale learning environments can foster the positive relationships that enable teachers to know their students well and make possible a more holistic approach to learning that engages the whole person.

The founding of Human Scale Education was inspired by E.F. Schumacher's book Small is Beautiful which advocates small scale working units as a means to personal fulfilment , environmental sustainability and productivity. As Schumacher placed people at the heart of economics so Human Scale Education places children and young people at the centre of education.

In the last nineteen years Human Scale Education has sought to ensure the continued existence of small schools which have come under threat of closure. It has worked to secure public funding for small schools outside the state system and has brought to the attention of secondary schools within the state system the principle of restructuring large schools into smaller learning communities.

Human Scale Education remains committed to the idea that diversity of provision is a healthy feature of an educational system and that for many young people a human scale learning environment can make the difference between success and failure. It is also committed to the belief that a main purpose of education is to enable young people to understand their role in creating a fairer and environmentally sustainable world .


Visions for Environmental Education
Conference and AGM

Saturday 4 June 2005 11.30 - 15.30hrs
Maria Assumpta Centre, London W8

The challenge of the environmental crisis demands that children are educated to become responsible citizens and environmental decision-makers. A radical revisioning of education is required if young people are to develop the values, skills and knowledge needed to create a fairer and sustainable world. How can this be achieved?

The conference will explore ideas and approaches which foster in young people a genuine care and concern for the environment. This is best achieved through active and participative ways of learning which seek to connect the learner to the natural world.

This conference is for teachers and parents, students, governors, policy makers and anyone involved in educating towards a fairer and sustainable world.

Satish Kumar is Editor of Resurgence magazine. He is Programme Director of Schumacher College in Devon, an international centre for ecological studies and is the founder of The Small School in Hartland.

David Orr is Professor of Environmental Studies at Oberlin College, Ohio. He has written a number of books on ecological education, most recently Ecological Design. He was co-founder of the Meadow Creek Project, which gave young people from urban areas experience of living and working close to nature.

10.45 Arrival and Coffee
11.00 Welcome and Introduction - Mary Tasker, Chair, Human Scale Education
11.10 Educating for Ecological Literacy - Professor David Orr, Oberlin College, Ohio
11.50 Questions to David Orr
12.10 Educating the whole person: should education serve ecology or the economy? - Satish Kumar, Editor, Resurgence
12.50 Questions to Satish Kumar
13.00 Lunch
14.00 Schools and communities as catalysts for change - small group discussions led by practitioners in the field
15.00 Panel discussion
15.30 Tea and finish

March 2005