Family Learning: A Foundation for Strong Communities

by Mair Francis, After Coal Project Adviser I have been a Family Learning Commissioner for NIACE (The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education) England and Wales.  NIACE is a non-governmental organisation working for adult learners that advocates on behalf of adult learners and providers.  Its focus is on those who are least skilled, most disadvantaged and whose motivation, economic and social circumstances present barriers to engaging in learning. The year long Inquiry into Family Learning was launched in October 2012 to gather new evidence of the impact of family learning, to develop new thinking and to influence public policy. Research shows that family learning could increase the overall level of children’s development by as much as 15% for those from disadvantaged groups. The recommendations for Wales were: Family Learning should be integral to school strategies to raise children’s attainment and to narrow the gap between the lowest and highest achievers. […]

Community Workers: You are the Heroes

by Angela Wiley How can you become a successful community worker? What is counter hegemonic community development? What are alternatives to current power structures? These are just some of the questions Dean Cawsey explored in an interview with the After Coal production team this summer in Wales. I didn’t develop the questions, schedule the interview, or check the audio levels on location. I had no idea who Dean Cawsey was. Yet, I found myself in a windowless office in Boone, North Carolina, pushing a tape labeled “Dean Cawsey 1” into the deck. For the countless time, I picked up my pen, hit the spacebar to begin playback, and began scratching time code on the margin of the legal pad. This is the work of documentary film. It is hours of preparation, even more hours of filming, and even (even) more hours of crunching media, taking notes, and weaving together the […]