The Free Educators Network (FEN)
All EFIOS educators are encouraged to participate in one of the groups of the Free Educators Network. FEN groups have between 5 and 10 members and exist to support educators and their ongoing learning in accordance with EFIOS principles. Each group will link up for mutual support with two or three other groups on the basis of linking with the geographically nearest available group.
Open to all educators
Although primarily FEN is an initiative for the support of EFIOS teachers, it is open to any teachers, trainers, educators and others who want to develop their skills as facilitators of holistic learning.
Participation in FEN groups will take up time. It may also be quite challenging as it is in itself intended to be a holistic learning experience and it may bring up all sorts of feelings particularly related to past experiences of education. However, as with EFIOS classes, the groups are intended to be non threatening, supportive and enjoyable.
Educators have the right, even possibly the duty, to put themselves and their needs for ongoing support and learning first. This idea is in contrast to educational systems in which teachers' needs are treated as very much secondary, ultimately to the detriment of students.
How each group organises and what they do is up to them, they only need to satisfy themselves and their link groups that they are learning and enjoying themselves. The overall principle is that these are peer groups, in other words everyone is equal. Whether this equality is supported by rotating roles, formally or informally, by joint, peer facilitation or in any other way is for the group's members to decide.
As local groups form it is intended that there will be some external facilitation of linking groups by volunteer EFIOS supporters. These facilitators will be working in a panocratic way, in other word they will have no authority to impose anything. They will aim to keep themselves informed about groups and their state of linking, communicate with groups and make suggestions.
FEN only exists as an independent network of independent groups linked to no more than three other groups.
How to join
Any educators interested in being a member of a FEN group can join an email list to register their interest and see if there is anyone else in their locality on the list. The list is also a kind of “virtual group” particularly for educators who are not yet in a local group.
Alternatively educators can get together with others in their own locality to form groups. These groups can then register their existance on the email list and in due course be listed on this web site.
FEN is based on an idea of Em Edmondson for the Independent Practitioners Network.