Monthly Archives: November 2013

Celebrating an education and building experiment from 100 years ago

DSCF0042 DSCF0066We attended a conference to celebrate 100 years since the founding of Homer Lane’s Little Commonwealth in West Dorset – a self-governing colony for teenagers in trouble with the law. The conference was based in the original ‘school-room’ – built and used by the delinquent teenagers who were sent for rehabilitation. The buildings now form part of a Franciscan friary.

Emily gave a talk on the relationship of radical education and building in the twentieth century: starting with how the children helped build the houses, library, washing room and dining room at the Little Commonwealth and ending with the proposal that not only should the school be a kind of ‘building site’ but also that a ‘building site’ should be a kind of school.

7 year old boys help build outdoor kitchen

We are staying with family this week – helping them prepare for an outdoor adventure party for 7 year old boys.  We created an obstacle course and an outdoor kitchen under the tree-house which we built earlier in the year.  The boys had to help make the oven with mud which they were very good at.