#004 – The Life Pedagogic: Gus John
31st August 2022
We’re delighted to be joined by Professor Gus John to walk us through his Life Pedagogic.
A legendary campaigner for racial justice and equality in education, Professor John’s parents were illiterate farmers who insisted on the value of education. He made the transition from a rural village school in Granada to Oxford University in the 1960s to study theology and pursue the life of a Dominican friar. However, the exciting political currents of Black liberational movements worldwide and his experience supporting black families just outside of Oxford led him to become a community organiser. Over the course of a decorated career, he has written dozens of books, sat on many seminal inquiries, been the first Black director of education services in England and turned down a CBE from Tony Blair.
As one of the most authoritative voices in the country on the history of racism and the English schooling system, Professor John tells our host, Baz Ramaiah, all about:
- The history of the grassroots movement in the Black community to resist racial inequality in education, including Professor John’ s establishment of the very first ‘supplementary school’ in the country
- The horrifying racist violence experienced by young BAME children in English playgrounds and Professor John’s work to help schools understand and prevent it
- The constant resistance of the political and educational establishment to racial equality reform
- The challenges of reforming schools as a Black director of education services in inner London during the 1980s and 1990s
- What more needs to be done to anchor schools in the communities they serve and offer young people a pathway to serving that community
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