Event calls for education revolution

An international conference aiming to promote alternative education will take place in Portland on 1-5 August 2012

“This is the time for an education revolution,” said Jerry Mintz, the founder of the Alternative Education Resource Organisation (AERO), which runs the annual event. UK members of the AERO network include Human Scale Education and Schumacher College.

The conference will create a networking space for teachers, families and students who are engaged in educational approaches varying from home schooling and ‘open syllabus’ higher education to Montessori, Waldorf, virtual, libertarian, independent, co-operative and democratic school models. A common thread to these routes, which the conference will focus on, is the concept of placing learners at the heart of education systems.

In 2011 the conference drew 500 participants. Keynote speakers this year include the internationally recognised leader in the development of education, creativity and innovation, Sir Ken Robinson, and parenting expert Naomi Aldort. The event will host a panel discussion with Occupy Portland and workshops on themes such as how to bring values and community-building into education.

Workshop leader Matt Dale, a high school teacher in California, said: “The revolution cannot exist only in the margins of private alternative education; it must be mainstream.”

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