Alternative Pedagogical Spaces: From Utopia to Institutionalization

Colin, Anna. 2024. Alternative Pedagogical Spaces: From Utopia to Institutionalization. Berlin and New York: Sternberg Press. [Book] (Forthcoming)

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Abstract or Description

Grounded in empirical research, Alternative Pedagogical Spaces: From Utopia to Institutionalization is a critical inquiry into the establishment, developments, and morphing of alternative pedagogical and social spaces, with a particular focus on the foundational years of Open School East, an independent art school and community space created in London in 2013.

Exploring instituting factors, organisational life cycles, and the alignment and misalignement between values and practices, among other themes, the essay delves into the qualities and prerequisites for what the author proposes to name ‘multi-public educational organizations’. By the same means, it scrutinises the hurdles associated with the effort to remain alternative with the passing of time and that which comes with it: processes of habituation, temptation or pressure to scale up, ethos-bending fundraising exercises, long tenure, as well as the plain desire for stability and sustainability.

The essay asks where and how to look for a reconceptualization of waiting, slowness, and longevity, and how this reconceptualization may benefit cultural practice, the design of future institutions, or the redesign of existing ones. Overriding the common assumption by which success is longevity, the author searches for institutional models that resist chrononormativity, drawing from social movements, psychotherapy, biology, and permaculture.

Item Type:



critical pedagogy, multi-public educational and cultural spaces, community arts, institutional practice, alternatives, permaculture

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies > Centre for the Arts and Learning



Item ID:


Date Deposited:

22 Feb 2024 16:17

Last Modified:

29 Mar 2024 19:52


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