Tuesday, 4 September 2012


No, not the jobshop or that place advertising for teachers. The agency I mean is the one I've been thinking about for a few weeks.

It's the power you give yourself to be an agent in the world. To be active. To determine. To do. To say.

One of my friends is about to lose her job. She knows that the powers that be are massing against her and waiting for her to make a mistake, even a teeny tiny one. Then, when she does, she will be let go. However, she will not WILL NOT do anything. D is determined that she's staying. Never mind that the ptb are determined to oust her. Never mind that it's costing her monumentally in stress and panic. D is going to stay.

D has no agency.

When you work for an institution your power of agency is limited or non-existent. You do what the institution wants or you look for another situation.

You have no agency.

Home educators have agency. They are agents. They choose. They select. They captain. They are active. They determine. They do. And they say. Boy, do some of those agents say.

That's why the staff of a local authority sometimes fear home educators. They don't understand agency and, until they become dissatisfied with how they deal with other people 'outside', they never will.

Most of society has given up on agency. Or they think that outside agencies will solve their problems, get them jobs, tell them how to live and what to do.

Institutional non-agents are accustomed to citizen non-agents. They understand them. They can mold and manipulate them. They can treat them badly. They can demand silly things of them.

We need to be agents in our own lives. Home educators are agents in charge of educating their young or themselves. That's why institutional agents don't like us and seek to monitor us – to reduce our agency and increase the illusion of their own power.

Do not give up your sense of agency to anyone. Empower your young people and yourself. Never give up. Never give up your power. Don't squander or surrender your agency. Remember:

"Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, give up. Never give up. Never give up. Never give up."
A Winston Churchill quote from

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