Mary-Ann Ridgway is a mother, educator, and citizen of the world, currently living in France. She co-created and sustained for twenty years a community school where learning was not limited to the acquisition of knowledge and skills but included a live engagement into understanding our human nature and our relationship to the planet. By sidestepping the conventional ladder of status and credentials that can divide individuals between those who know and those who don't, Mary-Ann advocates that it is the spirit of collaboration and humility that will transform the world and no one needs a certificate for that.
In Other Woods
What people are saying about the book:
Human society needs to change and so do its education systems. What would a different education be then, and who would bring it about? For over twenty years of its work, the small school the book refers to dared move away from the dictates of institutional education to try and re-craft autonomously a sensible approach. 'In Other Woods' is a tale that doesn't descend from ideas and suppositions but rises from the ground of what has been realised over that period of the life of the school intent in addressing that fundamental challenge. It doesn't posture as a handbook of good schooling; rather, with a wealth of anecdotes and pointers distilled from such long dedicated practice, it is an invitation to reflect and engage creatively with the work. Numeracy, literacy, and the transmission of knowledge are thinly mentioned here. What lies thus at the heart of a meaningful schooling? Without pointing the finger at anyone, through the sensibility of its considerations and the practice they emerge from, 'In Other Woods' stands as a radical question to present day school systems. Having worked for thirty years at bringing about a different education, I welcomed this book as a present full of insights and observations that in my experience I found at the core of what human education ought to be. L. C (Educator)
Style of a sustained rather rhythmic composure, like the second movement of a Bach Brandenburg Concerto! Great cameos of kids and their goings-on. Also fine, acute observation of the Inwoods psychological interplay between adults and children and adults and adults. I think what you did was start with relationships in the school but somehow expand this as it went on to take in the adult world and finally our relationship with the planet. Krishnamurti says somewhere that if you go deeply into one human problem you take them all in. D.S (Editor and former Trustee)
This book provides an intimate account of education as reflective action. It touches who we are, what we are to teach other and how we are to live in and with this world. G.K (Director of Environmental Studies, Antioch University, U.S)
It's a wonderfully written and vivid account of an inspiring and sustainable way of living and teaching. There is much to like in here both in terms of writing and also vision. C.G Publishers
Mary-Ann! I've finished the book! I'm floating, flying! It's an inspiration! It's well-written and utterly compelling, energising as a book on education jolly well should be! What a read! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing this. You've done us all a service. V.Y (Educator and former colleague)