For the last ten years I have been working with pupils, teachers and parents in schools across Scotland and the UK. I have been lucky enough to work with over 400 schools in that time, navigating themes such as motivation and confidence, personal development, protection from and awareness of forms of abuse, and laterally, character and values. On reflection, I suppose my continuing vocation has been to search for ways in which to understand what it means to be a person, what it means to learn and develop, and what enables or hinders us on that journey.
My current work focusses on the themes of character development, values and relationships. I curated the Character Scotland conference which took place in June 2015. While doing that I also completed a part-time MSc at University of Glasgow. My dissertation title was ‘What is the Purpose of Character Education?’, and my conclusions might surprise you.
I have chosen the title of this blog site to reflect the perspective I have arrived at, which is that in all of the work I have done over the years, the pivotal issues roughly come down to three main areas: people, power and the relationships between the two.
The ‘people’ bit is about who we are, how we feel, think and act, and how we relate to one another. The ‘power’ bit is about who has it, what form it takes, how it travels, how it is exercised and what its effects are. The relationship between the two is about agency, empowerment, structural forces and contexts.
I plan to use this site mainly to generate some dialogue about a variety of issues along these lines and to explore how they play out in educational policy, practice and research.
I am not expecting to arrive at many clear-cut answers (in fact I will do my best not to!), but I hope to stumble across some powerful questions along the way, with the help of anybody who chooses to get involved.
So please feel free to leave your comments, suggestions or questions.