Democracy in Education


I’m at the the RSA AGM and it’s really buzzing here, and I’m with Paul Ingram of the Democracy in Education programme but we can’t hear each other speak come out here. I’ll come with you now. It’s so busy at the
RSA – so in a little bit of quiet tell me about the project. We’ve been
wanting to bring more people together in a more meaningful way on Teesside where we
felt a little bit out on a limb and we felt that young people tended to have a
reputation being disengaged, and what we wanted to do is bring together groups of
sixth formers in an independent school but from all kinds of schools – state
sector cross sector – in order to discuss and learn about and innovate and get
active in democracy themselves so they’re gonna come up in groups mixed
across schools posh and less posh beginning to make a manifesto for
democracy in their own school or community which they then go forth in
the next year with the support of RSA Fellows and develop and make real and
then come back and tell us how it went that’s what it’s about. Fantastic and
you’ve got confidence in these young people being able to do that. I have
confidence in them calling us out on all the things we haven’t thought of, of
thinking of a hundred things that we’ve never even dreamed of and doing it much
better than we ever imagined they’re gonna go forth next month and begin to
put together a student democracy Council in the north which has never happened
before so we’re excited and frightened at the same time. That’s magic so is
their more scope in the RSA and obviously elsewhere in engaging the kind of creativity that young people have got in this field? I think so, obviously we’re going to engage
in a large-scale reflective practice exercise to see what works and doesn’t
work about what we’re doing but in terms of simply saying to people let’s come
together and do this we find that it works and this could happen anywhere all
you have to do is go out and do it just need a handful of Fellows, a bit of support
and get the story out there. What do you need from the RSA to get it going and
then maybe spread the word help other people do more of it? Everyone needs money but that’s
not what we’re talking about actually being able to effectively put the story
together and have it made more public a route into making it obvious to the RSA
across the country what it is that we’re doing critical interrogation of that
support for that just the fact that it was known about will lead to a better
resourced and a more interesting future I think and it should be transferable
anyway for getting right. Optimism in these difficult times. I must be an RSA
Fellow.

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