Current Activities and Initiatives

7. Influencing the national and international debate on the future of education, schooling and learning

See Newsletters and Journals, Articles, Papers and Presentations and the resources of this site

See the publications of Educational Heretics Press

Dealing with media requests

Developing a DVD on Personalised Learning:

The Trustees are at present engaged in applying for funding to produce a DVD on this theme in order to present the principles and values of personalised learning with tangible examples, in another accessible media. A range of affiliated and supporting groups and organisations have agreed to be part of the DVD if funding is secured. Our grateful thanks go to trustee Alan Clawley for his work here.

Personalised Education: A Framework for Evaluation

Trustees are developing a multi purpose evaluation framework based on our Principles of Personalisation.

Demos / Nesta Futurelab / Becta Project… Learner Voice and Technology in Personalised Learning

Major think tank / ideas / analysis project looking at the nature of personalisation, learner voice and technology. PEN was invited to this project, has made presentational input alongside developing ideas throughout the programme. Peter Humphreys has been part of the Core Group developing materials for national dissemination. Two particular ideas have taken hold and will feature in some capacity (a) The Personalised Education Landscape / learner traveller (b) A Learner Personalisation Charter… both these can be traced to PEN input.

Futurelab Seminar Series: Re-thinking Learning Networks: Home, School and Community

Futurelab is holding a series of three, half-day seminars to debate key issues, approaches and policies around home-school-community links, informal learning and the use of digital technologies. Presentations will be given by experts in the field and these will be followed and enhanced by full audience discussions. The seminar audience will be made up of a mixture of people working in the field of policy, research and practice. PEN trustees are represented in this project and in the Core Working Group but we are also delighted to see good friends from the PEN network like Professor Ian Cunningham and Gillian Trott from The south Downs Self Managed Learning Centre

Futurelab interview with Personalised Education Now Chair

Peter Humphreys was interviewed recently by Futurelab. The article can be found at

Futurelab 'Re-Imagining Learning Spaces'.

This residential workshop aimed to bring together experts in the fields of creativity, design, research and policy in order to re-conceptualise what might be meant when considering learning spaces and by re-imagining new possibilities for learning through the use of digital technologies in existing environments as well as new learning locations. (30/31 March 2006). Whilst much is beingmade at the policy level about the need to rebuild or change existing learning spaces, we also need to ask how we might transform what already exists and imagine new learning possibilities within them. The main aim of the workshop was to stimulate new thinking and possibilities in this area and to inform future practice and policy direction. PEN trustee Philip Toogood was involved in this 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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