Current Activities and Initiatives

5. Research

See our research area: Research – Home Based Education Research Project. The study is producing powerful insights and has been bolstered by our £10,000 grant from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. Mike Fortune-Wood is already working on the second of three publications planned on this work. New funding will be needed for the final stage of the research.

Research – Home Based Education

Following the success of the first part of our research programme into Home Based Education Mike Fortune Wood launched the outcomes in his book… The Face of Home Based Education 1. Who Why and How. This first stage of the research was supported by a £10k grant from the Esme Fairburn Trust. Mike is reporting to Trustees for their October Sedburgh meeting and they will look at the progress in securing further funding for the next stage of the research. Personalised Education Now sees this research as an important element in developing our understandings about personalised learning and the development of a Personalised Education Landscape (PEL). Home – Based Education is not a solution for everyone and depending how it is practised is not necessarily personalised. Personalised Education Now is clear that where it does reflect personalised practice there is much to learn for all learners and educators in the wider Personalised Education Landscape.

The Home-based education research has meant Mike Fortune-Wood has given interviews to a wide range of media. Articles have appeared in the following (among others):

  • BBC Radio 2
  • BBC Radio 4
  • The Times
  • The TES
  • The higher TES
  • The Observer
  • The Guardian
  • The Telegraph
  • The Economist
  • BIBO (a French women’s magazine)
  • The Independent
  • India Nest (an Indian news journal)

Additionally, there have been a large number of reviews of the book or coverage of the work with reference to interviews Mike has given, including wide coverage on the Internet, on “wickies” and “bloggs”. These include a number of important and influential websites. Several websites imply that our research has policy implications and one or two think-tanks such as Reform have taken note of our work.

The Generations Divide - The AGE Programme - Agenda on Generation Equity

Once again Personalised Education Now expertise has been invited into a new project. Peter Humphreys is involved in developing our ideas through in this emerging project.

Age concerns… sexism, racism and – childism?

We can see the damage and loss to the whole of society of sexual or racial prejudice. Yet children and young people are often vilified in the mass media, excluded and discriminated against. This seems to be so taken-for-granted that we do not even have a name, such as childism, for this stereotyping and discrimination against young people, simply because of their age. Without a word for it, it is harder to see how this prejudice harms all generations now and in the future.

Inequalities between adults and children are not simply to do with slow biological development. They need to be explained critically through:

Generation Studies. Children are as much affected as adults by most public policies and yet their views are seldom heard. Yet there is growing research evidence that children can be informed, reliable, competent and rational. In these ways, there is no clear difference between children, young people and adults. Babies are expert learners. Young children are deeply concerned with being fair and kind. Children cope bravely and sensibly with long-term illness or disability. They have clever ideas about how to prevent and solve problems in their lives, and how to improve their schools and communities.

AGE aims:

  1. To report research about children’s and young people’s competencies and social contributions and ways to promote these;
  2. To report research about the impact of structures and attitudes, policies and practices that discriminate against children, young people and future generations;
  3. To produce regular research briefings to inform mass media and public debates, policy making and practice about the politics of childhood, youth and adulthood;
  4. To move beyond concern with children’s needs, welfare and interests as defined by adults, to include children’s and young people’s own views, and beyond protecting and providing for them towards also promoting their participation;
  5. To liaise with many concerned individuals and agencies, and with adult and young advisers.


Priscilla Alderson PhD FRSA, Professor of Childhood Studies

Childhood Research and Policy Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London, 18 Woburn Square, London, WC1H ONR, fax 020 7612 6400,

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