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Special Interest Group

Alternative Education

The Alternative Education SIG takes the broadest approach to ‘alternative’ that we can.  We are interested in all forms of out of school educational provision and with ‘alternative’ approaches within schools.  We will facilitate  debate, discussion and exploration around the many issues, philosophical, political, pedagogical and ethical, that surround alternative education from PRUs to home education.  We aspire for this SIG to be a meeting ground for the education which takes place in museums, libraries, homes and open spaces as well as in alternative schools, democratic schools and flexi schools,  and to give a voice to those who realize education and learning differently.  We aim to promote network of critical discussion and supportive resources for researchers, practitioners, writers and thinkers.  We aim to be lively in our debate and in our SIG activity and to represent a vibrant forum of voices in this important and growing area. Research interests within the SIG are widespread and include, but are not restricted to:

  • Home education
  • Flexi- schooling
  • Adult education
  • Forest Schools
  • Free Schools
  • Democratic Schools
  • Self-managed learning
  • Museum education
  • Pupil Referral Units
  • Disruptive innovations in learning and teaching

SIG Convenors

Profile picture of Amber Fensham-Smith
Amber Fensham-Smith, Dr

Lecturer in Childhood and Youth Studies at The Open University

Amber is a lecturer in childhood and youth studies at the Open University and co-convenor of the Alternative Education special interest group. A sociologist by training, her research seeks to give voice to marginalised and excluded communities in...

Profile picture of Fadoua Govaerts
Fadoua Govaerts, Ms

PhD student at University of Bath

Fadoua Govaerts is a PhD researcher at the University of Bath, in the Department of Education. Her doctoral research project explores the experience of home-educated adolescents, with a special focus on their educational outcomes and social...

Profile picture of Stefania Romano
Stefania Romano, Dr

Lecturer in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at University of Leeds

Stefania is the Educational Leader for the Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Studies (CEES); she is a Fellow of Higher Education, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA). She is also a Certified Management and Business Educator (CABS)....

Content associated with this SIG

BERA Conference 2023 – Call for Abstract Reviewers

6 Feb 2023 - 17 Feb 2023

Would you be willing to act as a reviewer for abstracts submitted to the BERA Annual Conference 2023? To be involved, you will need to: be a BERA Member be available to referee abstracts...

Upcoming event

Alternative Education SIG Annual Meeting

This meeting is open to Non Members to also attend. Join the Alternative Education SIG annual meeting to network with colleagues, learn about activities over the last year and  collaborate in...

Past event20 Sep 2021