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The World Education Fellowship (WEF)

The World Education Fellowship (WEF) is an international educational association with sections and representatives in more than twenty countries. It has played a continuing role in promoting progressive and forward looking educational ideas and practices in the twentieth century.

The central aim of the World Education Fellowship is to work for the establishment of a world community through education.

Administrative history: Founded in 1921 as the New Education Fellowship by a small group of progressive educationists and liberal thinkers, including Beatrice Ensor, who were heavily involved with the British Theosophical Society and the Theosophical Educational Trust, this organization grew into a national and then international organization, with local sections in many countries worldwide, and was re-named the World Education Fellowship in 1966. Although the Fellowship has embraced a wide range of individual philosophies, the central focus has been on child-centered education, social reform through education, democracy, world citizenship, international understanding and the promulgation of world peace. Many famous thinkers and educationists have been involved with the Fellowship and it has forged close links with academic institutions, including the Institute of Education, University of London, and with international organizations, especially UNESCO. An English Section of the Fellowship was founded in 1927 and has included amongst its prominent members, Sir Michael Sadler, Sir Percy Nunn, Sir Fred Clarke, R.H. Tawney and J.A. Lauwerys. The English Section was also instrumental in the establishment of the Home and School Council and the English Association of New Schools.

Content and Structure: Records of the Fellowship's central administration, including officers' correspondence, constitutional papers, minutes and committee papers, 1929-1970s; files relating to individual regional sections, 1930s-1970s; records of international conferences, 1921-1972; files concerning special projects, 1942-1968 and relations with UNESCO, 1948-1973; audio-tapes, including of conferences and personal reminiscences, 1959-1971; publications, pamphlets, and newsletters, including the journal The New Era. Records of the English New Education Fellowship, c.1940s-1980s, including minutes, correspondence, administrative and subject files and publications. Minutes of the Home and School Council of Great Britain, 1929-1950s.

Subject terms: Experimental schools; Progressive education; Alternative education; International cooperation; Child centered education; Democracy; Liberalism; Theosophy; Peace

Corporate Associations: British Theosophical Society; English Association of New Schools; Home and School Council of Great Britain; New Education Fellowship; Theosophical Educational Trust; United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); World Education Fellowship

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