Dr Roland Meighan 1937- 2014

Dr Roland Meighan 1937- 2014


 It is with the greatest sadness that we record the death of Roland Meighan on 20th January 2014. Roland had been hospitalised since the New Year and finally succumbed to heart failure. What follows is just a short, inadequate tribute to this great man. We will do more in due course.

Dr Roland Meighan was an academic at Birmingham and Nottingham Universities (Special Professor of Education). He was a founding trustee and director of Centre for Personalised Education – Personalised Education Now (CPE-PEN) and a leading global thinker, researcher, publisher, and author of Education Now, CPE-PEN and Educational Heretics Press.

In a distinguished and respected career Roland researched, wrote and presented extensively across the world on a range of topics including home-based education, personalised education and educational futures. His research included: 1. a ten year study of the perspectives of pupils and their judgements of teaching performance, 2. an ongoing study of over twenty years duration of the learning systems of parents who educate their children at home, 3. action research into democratic learning practices in teacher training over a fifteen year period, 4. theoretical research into the concepts of (a) the Hidden Curriculum, (b) Ideologies of Education, and (c) Flexischooling  (d) Current and Future Learning Systems.

His booklist is too numerous to list at this point but includes the standard text – 5th edition of A Sociology of Educating with Prof Clive Harber.  IBSN 0-8264-6815-2.  His last work was Comparing Learning Systems: the good, the bad, the ugly and the counter-productive Educational Heretics Press, ISBN 1-900219-28-X.

Roland liked to be known as an Educational Heretic and fundamentally a freethinker. He was hostage to no man, institution or ideology. His influence on educational ideas is incalculable. He never sought fame, would never compromise his values and principles but his ideas, concepts and his language range across the best educational thought. Many educational thinkers and writers will find Roland’s thinking underpins their work.

Such was the respect Roland engendered that countless people redirected their lives to try and put some of his educational work into practice. Roland loved to visit these educational settings and witness the proof of concept in practice.

Over the last couple of years it is heartening to know Roland witnessed the rise and current growth in interest in flexischooling and the part CPE-PEN is taking in its development. Roland brought the concept of flexischooling to our attention following discussions held with John Holt. In 1988 Roland wrote the book ‘Flexischooling. Education for tomorrow, starting yesterday’.

CPE- PEN has had a torrid 18 months with the loss of three of our finest educators … Chris Shute, Philip Toogood and now Roland. The clarity of Roland’s thinking and the accessible nature of his writing will stand the test of time. It will be important to ensure his legacy and body of work continues to influence the development of our learning systems into the future.

On a personal note, I am devastated. Roland has been a key figure in my life, and professionally, singularly the most important person. I have been privileged to study with him, learn from him and work alongside him these last two decades. I learned more about education and learning from this one man than any other. Roland never wasted words, he thought deeply, and spoke pure wisdom and common sense… a rare characteristic.

Roland has been taken far too early and it is a desperately sad time for his partner Janet and his family. Our love and best wishes go out to them all.

Peter Humphreys, Chair/Trustee and Director CPE-PEN

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