For many children around the world, especially children who are being marginalized, oppressed and discriminated against, school is not a place that encourages love and liberation. It doesn’t celebrate our unique identities, gifts and shared humanity or encourage us to see the world through curious, critical and creative eyes. It does not help us to recognize and disrupt injustice and heal from it’s wounds, or to imagine a different reality, equipped with the skills to fight for it.
Many of us receive the opposite from school, learning to see ourselves within false hierarchies of the superior and inferior, forced to fit into prescribed molds of who we can and cannot be. We are taught to conform and comply to the demands and expectations of those in positions of power, to see injustices inflicted upon us or others as deserved, to reproduce the systems that in-prison us and pass the wounds we received onto others.
However there are many people around the world who are resisting this paradigm, believing and proving that something different is possible, that education can be used as a means for liberation rather than domination.
I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with many people around the world, who through their stories, analysis and practice are helping us look deeper at the systems we live within, the histories that shaped them and the work we are called to do in pursuit of equity and justice. In the process I have been able to look more deeply at my own experiences and identities and begin to more deeply understand this work of collective liberation. I hope this blog can be a space for others to do the same. Many thanks to all the people featured on this blog, who have shared so much knowledge, love and inspiration.
Faolan Jones – Filmmaker from London UK, working for Teach For All.