Social Purpose Education and The Community of Praxis

Teaching for a Social Purpose is about values-based education, wherever you teach.  All education is values-based; where we differ is that we are explicit about this, we try very hard for there not to be a hidden agenda.  We are quite clear that we want to change the world and, what’s more, we want to do that in collaboration with anyone who feels the same as we do.  That’s how the Community of Praxis was born.  It’s a network of activists, philosophers of praxis, who get together in real-time and online to think and write and do – and most of all, to inspire and energise one another.

Blue skies over Brighton Beach, with the pier in the background

There are many others in the world who think the same – imagine how education could be transformed if we brought those energies together.  There are many ways to join your thinking with ours.  Just one rule – whoever is there in the moment, are the right people.

There are lots of access points, all of which we talk about here on the blog:

  • We get together at Northern College in Barnsley every couple of months #TDcafe
  • We get involved in projects, such as TeachDifferent:  The Diversity Programme, funded by NIACE Equality and Diversity Innovation Fund 2013-14 #TDdiversity
  • We tweet at @teachnorthern, using the hashtag #teachdifferent – we Twitter chat for real the first Tuesday in every month, 8pm-9pm
  • We have occasional reading groups, via the blog and #TDbooks
  • We have a monthly blogging group, where we write for 30 minutes then comment on each other’s words, contact @kaysoclearn to join #TDblogs
  • We have a closed Facebook Group:  TeachDifferent – Community of Praxis #tdfb
  • We have a LinkedIn Group:  TeachDifferent – Community of Praxis #tdlinkedin
  • We host an annual conference, next year 4th July 2014 at The Northern College #TD14

For 2014, we are planning:

  • A series of seminars #TDtalks
  • Social Purpose Teaching Awards (with our friends the WEA) #SPawards14
  • CPD Events #TDCPD

And of course, our bread and butter:  social purpose teacher education courses, from Level 3 to (hopefully soon) Level 7 – The TeachNorthern Programme.

All of this grew – and is growing – through the ideas we have when we get together.  Most of it is unfunded, we give our time and our passions.  If you want to read more about how it all began – and, most importantly, why – check out the Autumn 2013 edition of NIACE’s Adults Learning publication for Lou Mycroft’s article, ‘A Sense of Belonging’.

We hope you’ll join us.  We’d love you to come and think with us.


Author: TeachNorthern

We are hard working educators with passionate interest in Teaching for a Social Purpose. Everything we've learned is through observing colleagues and students, all of whom are committed to changing the world. And reading interesting stuff. We work at The Northern College in Barnsley and its mission (and thirty-eight year history) of social transformation makes it an ideal base to face the challenges of teaching adults in 21st century England.

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