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Interview With An Educator: Colin Kirkwood

This is a conversation and interview with Colin Kirkwood who was one of the instrumental people who were involved in setting up the Adult Learning Project in Edinburgh over 30 years ago.  Inspired by the work of Paulo Freire, it took an innovative stance of valuing local knowledge and building educational processes around the ideas and issues which the community felt were pertinent to their lives.  This is an opportunity to hear Colin talk about how he, and others, proposed the project and brought it into a reality which has served the Edinburgh community for decades. Read more

The History of Adult Learning Project in Edinburgh: A Freirean Approach

The Adult Learning Project (ALP for short) was founded in 1979 in Gorgie Dalry in Edinburgh, Scotland. It was an initiative of the South West Edinburgh Area Team of the Community Education Service of Lothian Regional Council, led by Fraser Patrick. ALP was initially funded for three years by an urban aid grant from the Scottish Office. As a result of ALP’s success, funding via urban aid was extended for a further three years, and funding was later taken over by Lothian Regional Council, and later by the City of Edinburgh Council. Read more

Great Educator: Marc Bloch 1886 to 1944

Marc Bloch was born at Lyon on July 6th 1886 and educated at the Ecole Normale Superieure where he specialized in history and geography. He later taught these subjects at the Lycees of Montpellier and Agen. In 1919 he was appointed Professor of Medieval History at the University of Strasbourg until 1937 when he became Professor of Economic History at the University of Paris. His early carrier was interrupted by service in the French Army in World War I.

At the age of 53 and having fathered six children, he was again called up in 1939 where he served as a captain until his demobilization in July 1940, shortly after the fall of France. His book ‘Strange Defeat’ is an eyewitness account of the state of moral and physical prostration in which his country found itself at that time. Read more

Great Educator: John Pounds 1766 to 1839

John Pounds was born on June 17th 1766 and died on January 1st 1839. In his time he did unfathomable amounts of work to improve the lives of many people, particularly children, in the city of Portsmouth. It is arguable that this humble man, ‘the crippled cobbler of Portsmouth’, has played one of the most significant roles in shaping the social and educational landscape of the United Kingdom, and possibly beyond. All because he gave his life over to being a teacher when there were none, and acting true to a selflessness and an altruism which was to go on to inspire people such as Charles Dickens and the Reverend Thomas Guthrie. Read more

Educational History: The Edinburgh Settlement

The Edinburgh Settlement is a multi-purpose voluntary organisation with a rich history spanning more than 100 years. It is part of the international Settlement movement: a global network of social action centres which work closely with local communities, representing and responding to needs and aspirations, to promote social and environmental justice.

Throughout its long history, the Edinburgh Settlement has been instrumental in many significant initiatives in community development and welfare; with innovations in education, support for people economically or socially disadvantaged; through poverty, disability, racial inequality, health issues and other problems; promotion of community volunteering, fostering of the arts and cultural activities, and the provision of much needed community resources. Read more