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origins | first meetings | vocabulary | early heroes | the future | informal exclusion

Building something that was quite literally NOT school needed a new vocabulary - interestingly this is now the same problem facing the many new school buildings and organisations who would wish to be differentiated from the old factory schools that came before, as they look for terms to describe their smaller intimate communities: home bases, principal learning centres, learning plazas and the like.

Carole Chapman at Ultralab had been running her ground breaking mixed age on-line Learning in the New Millennium project - from 1993, sponsored by Nortel and had also faced a vocabulary problem. After much debate Carole's vocabulary underpinned Notschool's. In particular she called all her participant students, from primary to secondary "researchers". It was actually Tom Smith of Ultralab who suggested using the term, in a conference about vocabulary.

Ever since Carole's project I have tried really hard to be precise about vocabulary and often introduce newly precise terms. It works.

In those still early days of the world wide web, people were still talking of the dot com boom, and the use of dot net was really quite unusual for a major project. I chose the notschool name almost immediately - it simply was not school (!) but we also registered and later, looking at a similar project for prisons, I still own the domain, but notuni and notnick lapsed and were brought by others.

origins | first meetings | vocabulary | early heroes | the future | informal exclusion

today, is run by a charity, the Inclusion Trust which I chaired until 2009. You can find the Inclusion Trust here.

this page authored, and last updated, by Prof Stephen Heppell - latest changes made on Friday, July 4, 2014 9:31 AM