About this blog

Hello. My name is Tanya Murphy. With my husband Niall and three children Aaron, Naomi and Zeb, I currently live near Geneva in Switzerland. Aaron and Zeb go to the local school and Naomi home schools.

I am a social anthropologist and conducted my PhD fieldwork on the Ethiopian Jews who settled in Israel. I wrote an academic book based on my thesis, available, with a hefty price tag, here.  I worked for many years in the social development field in the UK and overseas. Until recently,  I conducted evaluations for charities and local government. I particularly enjoyed training small charities in monitoring and evaluation.

Together with my fellow trustees, I run a small education charity, the Zoe Trust. We support child-headed families and we sponsor children in South Africa to go to better schools.

I love the work we do at the Zoe Trust, but I am painfully aware that while we are changing the lives of the children we sponsor, we are not yet contributing to efforts to create a better education for all. I want to help with systemic changes to improve education in Africa and elsewhere where it is woefully inadequate.

Thanks to TED talks by education innovators such as Sugata MitraShukla BoseKen Robison and Salman Khan, I am learning that there is a growing movement of people engaged in developing new ways of education. This new education is firmly rooted in the 21st century, making full use of latest technology, while still costing no more, or indeed less, than conventional models. It is also promoting a new philosophy of education. Children are placed at the centre of their learning process and self-directed learning and peer-to-peer teaching are encouraged.

My dream is to get myself in a position where I can support and propagate these new education models.

But first steps first.

My first step is to understand these new education models. I want to understand their methodologies and theories of education. I want to learn about best practice and visit some of the shining examples.

I am creating this blog to document my journey of discovery. Please join me.


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