Learning, school and education: transforming myths of origin


Here’s an invitation for school communities and educationalist to take part in an open public cultural exploration of ‘myths of origin’ and child-centred education in autumn 2022.

It’s being run in conjunction with an academic conference in Llantwit Major (12th – 14th October 2022) with The New Library at Llantwit Major, Bath Spa University, Cardiff University and Cambridge University Centre for the Study of Platonism.

Details of the full cultural exploration covering many aspects of Welsh life can be found here: https://www.newlibrary.wales/welsh-cultural-exploration-myths-of-origin-justice/

The purpose of Education

Our children come together at school daily from differing backgrounds, households, cultures, outlooks and aspirations – our schools receive all these children with the vision of enabling all children to discover new opportunities in the world – opportunities which are bigger and greater than the places and identities from which they have come. Our child-centred education in Wales is at the centre of justice for all our citizens – it is the life, health and well-being of our future generations. What understandings do we need of myths of origin and leadership around the term ‘child-centred’ to help our school and education providers maximise opportunities to help all our children flourish healthily in our complex and disputatious world?

Tension at the heart of human life

Paul Tillich was one of the 20th century’s great philosophers. He points out that one of the great tensions in human life and culture is the tension between what we actually are and what we should be, or could be.

It is a tension that affects all human life. Tillich showed that this tension deeply affects political culture, and he also demonstrates that this applies to all human life.

This thinking and it’s offer especially speaks to the idea and practice of education.

Education is a greater transformer of human life. Compulsory education for children only began in Britain in 1871.  Children are transformed within education from what they are, into a new capacity for living, with potential for fuller individual and communal lives. Education seeks to allow us to blossom into what we could be – it seeks the flourishing of human potential.

We’re interested to work with schools, colleges and educationalists to see how this tension is expressed, and how it can be described and illustrated, in many different ways within different learning communities. We’re interested to hear from, and work with, students, teachers, school providers and managers of education.

Exploring myths of origin

The stories we tell ourselves about where we come from significantly affect our identities. Our myths of origin, creative and destructive, significantly affect our ability to develop our human potential as individuals and communities.

Some myths of origin are a barrier in education. There are stories about what we are or where we come from that can strongly attach to learners making education and transformation difficult.

In these circumstances, what do schools do to enable students to flourish? How can teachers solidly frame culture, relationships and learning so that children are better able to overcome barriers caused by limiting identities?

This autumn’s open work in Wales will explore how exploring narratives about who and what we are as humans can make practical daily education easier and more effective, and we’ll reflect on the range of dynamic narratives that hinder and disrupt education.

Understanding the term ‘child centred’

At the heart of this work will be the term child-centred. The American psychologist Carl Rogers was responsible for establishing the 20th century counselling movement and established the principles of person-centred education. Rogers was in deep dialogue with Paul Tillich about the possibility of human transformation. We’ll be enquiring in what ways the fundamental and enduring person-centred work of Carl Rogers is held and celebrated in education in Wales today? How can Rogers’ approach further help to transform our education vision with health and justice, a practical approach to positively navigating and transforming our differing myths of origin?


If your school, department or organisation would like to respond, ask questions, take part or explore how these themes are held in Welsh education please get in touch. You are warmly invited to join this discussion and help us to create this open and engaging cultural exploration for October 2022.

This cultural exploration is run by the cultural facilitation charity Coleridge Cymru who have significant experience in working with schools, education and young people.

The connected academic conference is being held at the New Library in Llantwit Major.

You can phone Richard Parry from Coleridge Cymru on 07974 397771 – Richard will be happy to chat – or email us at waverleymusic  @  live.co.uk

Your questions, puzzling, ideas and suggestions will very much shape the cultural exploration on education. We look forward to the coming conversations…

Any academics wishing to be involved in the parallel academic conference in October can find details of how to get involved here:  Paul Tillich Today: The Two Roots of Political Thinking 

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