We 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.
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