(1) PEOPLE: Craft-based therapeutic education / transformative education

Arts and craft-based therapeutic education forms a spearhead of research at the Field Centre, aimed at adjoining specialists and practitioners in Special Needs Education. Situating the process of recovery and human development in sensory and meaningful participation in the world, this research links to a broader field of educational research, aiming more generally at educational renewal. A special task of this long-term project lies in penetrating the work of Rudolf Steiner on the ecology of the human senses, allowing his pedagogical impulse to be enriched by contemporary phenomenology and philosophy of education.


The 7 Fields of Practice – The method developed over the years through the Ruskin Mill Colleges has by Gordon & von Bülow (2012) been identified to comprise of a synthesis of 7 distinct perspectives on transformative learning. This project is an invitation to core staff from the Ruskin Mill Colleges to collaboratively learn, explore and develop these fields through a series of 1 day workshops.

Project leader: Matt Briggs, Hiram Education and Research Team

Being an Adult Educator – How can adult education be developed within the Ruskin Mill Colleges in a manner that is coherent with the emphasis on embodied learning and professional performance in PSTE? This project is aimed at adult educators within Ruskin Mill Trust through a series of 12 1-day seminars over a period of one year. The aim is to develop a coherent culture of adult pedagogy and an explicit guide for adult education within the RMT colleges.

Project leader: Dr. Aksel Hugo, The Field Centre

Practical Skills Transformative Learning – How can the Ruskin Mill Method of transformative learning be researched and made explicit within a broader context of contemporary special needs pedagogy? What is its potential for being transposed to other countries and contexts? This project is linked to the new MA in special needs education in collaboration with Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norway.

Project leaders: Dr. Jenny Steinnes, Dr. Mandy Nelson, Dr. Rune Hausstätter, Aonghus Gordon, Synnøve Myklestad

Bee Curriculum Development Project – What are the deeper reasons behind the current crisis in the bee-populations across the western world? What can we learn from these remarkable bee beings? What do they have to teach us? This project is instigated as a collaborative action research project where we connect curriculum development (pedagogy), biodynamic ecology and community and cultural actitivies.

Project leaders: Dr. Aksel Hugo and Simon Reakes

Project advisor: Christian Grützmacher

Communities of Practice – How can textile tutors share experiences and resources, and develop a research culture connected to their own professional practice? This is a pilot project, piloted by textile tutors from the different Ruskin Mill Colleges. The methods they develop for peer-mentoring and shared practical and pedagogical resources will serve as a template for collaborative action research in other professional contexts within Ruskin Mill Trust.

Project leaders: Sue Reed, Hiram Education and Research Team