Thoughts of two schools

One large:

and one small:

  • “… education at that time was based almost entirely on classroom learning, which made it difficult to learn about the natural world. It was important to us that children learn not only about but from nature.” says Satish Kumar, founder of The Small School in Devon. Reported in Resurgence article: Children’s Charter.

For more on the big, read this Times OnLine article:

“We are not intending to have any playtime,” says the head, Alan McMurdo. “Pupils won’t need to let off steam, because they will not be bored.” The project manager says: “A playground would have had to be huge. We have taken away an uncontrollable space to prevent bullying and truancy.”

For more on the small, try this:

“…large schools subject village children to inner-city-type problems: drug abuse, violence, vandalism, bullying, indiscipline, shoplifting, and even sexual abuse. These schools are so big that it is difficult for teachers to know the names of all the children…”


  1. Vincent Says:

    Hi Mark,

    I was surfing at the end of my working day, reading some blogs I enjoy about slow movement and this kind of stuff, then by association I thought about some discussions I had during the very interesting workshop on Change Management in London, in particular I thought about what you said and about your life, having the feeling that you try to do something valuable which I am very confident you are doing. Anyway, there are some moments when several things interconnect in a very sudden and consistent way. I will try to summarize quickly :

    I thought about you
    Entered your name on Google
    Found your blog
    Read some articles
    In particular the one about Max-Neef and Rosenberg.
    Also made the connection to NVC and Rosenberg which I appreciate a lot
    I clicked on your link to Max-Neef
    Saw the books he wrote
    Discover that my son talked to me about one of these books
    My son is spending 5 months in Guatemala helping a local NGO
    Sent a mail to my son about Max-Neef and Rosenberg

    It is strange as sometimes you have a feeling of coherent interconnection between interests, people, thoughts, …

    Anyway, speaking about education, I wanted to share with you a very simple and nice book for children (and we are all children) :

    “If the World Were a Village: A Book about the World’s People”

    Have a nice day !


  2. Mark Says:

    Hey Vincent, your comment has made me very happy!
    I’m happy to be reminded about the change workshop, and of our conversations too.
    I know exactly this sort of feeling you are describing. I was thinking the same when I saw Max-Neef in the slides for the Change Workshop.
    Speaking of education, I recently interviewed for a place on the Certificate of Education course at Shhumacher College, and I think that went well. I’m excited at the prospect.

    And finally to anyone who has visited this page before, why didn’t anyone tell me I spelt “schools” wrong in the title? 3)

  3. Tyg Says:


    so, you’re thinking of going down the education route?

    My sister has some interesting thoughts on it

    And here’s a school I read about years ago that I think you might find interesting


Add your comment