Education for Social Change: The many histories of Woodcraft Folk

Event date: 
15 September 2018 - 10:30am - 5:00pm
Event location: 
Institute of Education, University College London

To mark the transfer of Woodcraft Folk’s archive to UCL, and working towards Woodcraft

Folk’s 100th anniversary in 2025, Education for Social Change examines the organisation’s long-standing and innovative engagement with children and young people. Woodcraft Folk’s aim, since its inception, has been to utilise education as a tool for social change towards the ‘fashioning of a new world’. The symposium will evaluate these contributions, examining how the practices of Woodcraft Folk have framed the experience of childhood and adolescence over the last century, often in opposition to prevailing social and cultural norms, and, equally importantly, it will explore how children and young people have articulated their identities and experiences inside the organisation over the same period. In so doing, the symposium will examine the place of Woodcraft Folk within a broader set of progressive educational approaches and also its distinctiveness in how these ideas were (and are) understood and acted upon. Crucially, the symposium will explore not only the successes and achievements of the organisation but also, in the spirit of critical engagement with the archive and histories, those times when Woodcraft Folk failed in its ambitions or struggled to meet the challenges of changing values.

Confirmed topics include: the founding years of woodcraft scouting in Britain and Germany; socialism and eugenics in Woodcraft Folk’s early educational policy; Leslie Paul’s progressive cultural networks; Labour youth movements in the first half of the twentieth century; Woodcraft Folk and the Trade Union Movement; Woodcraft Folk, landscape and outdoor education; cosmopolitanism and internationalism in Woodcraft Folk’s citizenship training.

Confirmed speakers include: Paul Bemrose, Doug Bourn, Andy Flinn, Robin Hicks, Suzanne Joinson, Rich Palser, Annebella Pollen, Susanne Rappe-Weber, Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP.

Event includes: film screening, archive handling session, oral history listening post, poster display.



Lunch and refreshments will be included in the day.  


Please register for tickets here by 1st September 2018.

Cost: Under 25s: £10. Adults: £25