A lot of what I am about to write I would assume you have all considered but I think we need to concrete each of the certain areas, even if we decide that they will resolve themselves naturally. I am keen for us to have considered what it is we are doing and defining our path ahead as I am keen to avoid the vaguarities of doing something that is learning and educational, and to fully understand what these mean and where they fit in.
I think this is very important especially as when our reasons for embarking on this become more defined then our responses to that should do as well. If we are positioning our project in opposition to an idea of debt slavery for instance then what have we done to oppose that. It would be frightful if our only reaction is to say that we have embarked on our own education and this naturally opposes. For me it would not be good enough. What were our other options, who else has set out to solve this problem, who have we spoke to specifically in relation to this, does taking charge of our own education offer a real solution, is it applicable elsewhere, are we left with a different sort of debt?
All this may sound obvious but in order for us to direct ourselves these questions must surely be asked. Also when assuming the role of education body, teacher and student all at once, several points come up concerning how we organise ourselves and others and what part of this triad we/they fit and where are the overlaps. These three areas are very distinct and encompass a whole swathe of other points. If we are going to truly map this then I think we need to have a structure to begin with, key points to address, areas of research, frameworks for intervention and so on. When we approach someone to collaborate in what context will we be doing so? I would want to avoid a vagueness on our part as it would probably invite a similar response on theirs.
Anyway here are some points I have outlined below. These will need extending and working through. Perhaps we can all respond and then skype afterwards. I think it will help us galvanise.
Blueprint for Education
Identify strands of research/issues and our response/action:
* What constitutes education
* what constitutes learning
* what is valuable as a curriculum
* what constitutes a curriculum
* who can teach
* how do we assess
* how do we position knowledge, intelligence, skills
* what role does research play, what forms can this take, what structues validate this
* what do we make open (do we make it open)
* how do the social, political, ethical and egalitarian figure
* how do we approach being the education body, teacher and student. Do we tackle them one by one? where do they overlap?
* How do we structure our education? Do we need to have an initial period of formulation or can this develop as we progress?
* What wider discourses impact upon this project? How are these approached incorporated into our dialectic?
* Political economy
* locating location
* Notions of skill
* configurations of value
* accepted knowledge
* the expert/amateur
* the value of work/labour
* Department 21
* Imogen Stidworthy
* Becky Shaw
* Paulo Friere
* David Harvey
* Terry Smith
* Keller Easterling
* Dan Smith
* Ele Carpenter
* Peter Thompson
* Derek Horton
* Cat Moir
* Andy Abbott
* The Radical Aesthetics Research Group
* Dissent at Home
* iDC (institute for distributed creativity)
* Research studios/trips
* publications/journals (our own and others)
* flying structures
* reading groups
* guest speakers, tutors, module leaders
* the marx library
* the public school
* pop-up school
All this covers a lot and can be quite vague. What I hope it does show is the breadth of what we are proposing and what it touches upon. What we choose to cover is up to us but perhaps it would be useful to seriously consider understanding all that will act upon us and define new positions. For now though I would like to say that Badiou’s points for a new communism are something which I would like to instill into this as much as possible, that the marx library offers us one of our first resources and points of convergence as a school and that us all undertaking writing and passing it between us is a wonderful place to start in defining our position, procuring an education but also is translating our resources and experiences through the project into something that others can access.