This presentation explores building and learning as crucial aspects of the Little Commonwealth and other radical experiments in the 20th Century. It argues that children and adults making their own environments has been a common and essential feature of radical education and child care in the past. It explores the relevance of this theme from the past for thinking about what we need to do in the present to create spaces in which adults and children can work and learn alongside each other.
Emily Charkin is a PhD student in the history and philosophy of radical education at the Institute of Education in London and formerly a programme director at Common Purpose and researcher at the National Centre for Social Research. With her architect-builder husband and three children, she is setting up a social enterprise which involves children and teenagers in co-creating the spaces they need to flourish. See www.buildingforfamilies.org.