I am a mother and a teacher, a writer and a dreamer, and I believe that the key to a better world lies in the way that we raise our children.
There exists within them an unknowable potential, yet so much of our time and energy is spent constraining the young people we have brought into the world: containing them within the limits of our imagination and consigning them to a future bound by the ramifications of our mistakes.
During my work with schools and in the community over the past twenty years, I have seen flashes of a very different future – one where emotional literacy is given the status it deserves, where the skill of learning is as important as the things we learn, where the spark of intrinsic motivation that we are all born with is kindled into a fire, not burnt out by the pressures of other peoples’ expectations.
As a parent, I have had all of my preconceptions about how to bring up children turned upside down. I have come to realise that much of what I strove to inspire in the teenagers I taught – the creativity, the confidence, the candidness – is in fact just a natural part of what it is to be a child. And yet somehow, for so many, it is lost along the way.
You will not find anything here that is new. When I first started teaching, I thought that my ideas were innovative. But the more I read and the more I studied the more I realised that these ideas had been around for decades; the same is true the more I learn about being a parent.
Still, though, authoritarian modes of parenting and education persist – are flourishing under the current government – despite the huge rafts of evidence that shows them to be unhelpful or even harmful.
Here at Raising Revolutionaries you will find my thoughts about how the choices we make as parents and teachers have the potential to transform the world that our children grow up in, and empower them to shape a future they can be proud of.