"Advocates of radical democratic education in the 21st century have much to learn from Homer Lane’s Little Commonwealth and its ensuing legacy in private and publicly funded education. Central to core practices of both self-government and shared responsibility is the interplay between therapeutic and more overtly political orientations. This talk will explore their necessary but often problematic interdependence and offer examples of how it might help us develop new practices for new times."


Michael Fielding taught for 19 years in some of the UK’s pioneer radical comprehensive schools and for a similar period and with identical commitments at the universities of Cambridge, Sussex and London where he is currently Emeritus Professor of Education at the Institute of Education. Widely published in the fields of student voice, educational leadership and radical education, in 2012 his latest book, co-authored with Peter Moss, Radical Education and the Common School – a democratic alternative won the annual book award of the Society for Educational Studies. Michael has recently been awarded a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship grant to complete his work on Alex Bloom, one of the UK’s greatest pioneers of publicly funded radical democratic education.

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