Meet Linda Barker
However, we know from ample research that more equal societies are happier and more fulfilled societies, even more so at a global level, so this quest for equality and justice is in everyone’s interests.
Hello, I’m Linda. I’ve been involved as a freelance Associate with Global Learning London since around 2010 – so quite a while! The clue to that sustained involvement is the wonderful team I get to be part of and the thought-provoking and interesting work we get to do. The perfect formula.
At first I did a couple of specific tasks to help out Margaret Burr, the previous Head of what was then called the Humanities Education Centre. Over time my involvement grew and grew, to being much more involved and part of the team, mirroring the evolving nature of Global Learning London, which has recently had a refresh – we have a new name, website and renewed spirit but continue our purpose and commitment to social and global justice.
I took a career side-step into the global learning field in 2000. We had moved from Hertfordshire to Derbyshire to make a new life as a young family – hoping for a more sustainable and relaxed life. It seemed the perfect time to try something new. I had been teaching for 12 years or so and had become more and more interested in something called Development Education. My primary classroom in Stevenage had featured a global story corner, Persona dolls, a recycling and repurposing point, Fair Trade displays, a vegetable and flower patch just outside the classroom door, circle time discussions and even sported a Yurt at one point (courtesy of the Oxfam Homes pack). When I saw an advert in the Guardian for a part-time position at the Development Education Centre in Nottingham, MUNDI, my heart sang. I don’t think I’ve ever prepared for an interview so well, drawing on the better understanding of the field from a dear friend – our very own fellow Associate at Global Learning London Sheila Tucker. I’ve worked in Global Learning ever since, in various posts, positions and freelance contracts – my enthusiasm and commitment to this form of education as strong now as it was on my way to that first interview in Nottingham twenty one years ago.
The natural question to ask is why? Global learning provided an outlet for my passion for making the world a better place and my belief in the social purpose of education – the way to improve all lives, especially those whose lives are made difficult by current social and global injustices. It sounds a bit worthy when written down like that. However, we know from ample research that more equal societies are happier and more fulfilled societies, even more so at a global level, so this quest for equality and justice is in everyone’s interests. Now it sounds even more worthy…. let’s just leave it with the sentiment that I love my work and it’s important to me!
I have contributed to so many initiatives at Global Learning London over the past decade. From compiling and writing resources, to providing CPD training for teachers and leading on exciting projects, currently Shared Ground, looking at the pertinent theme of Migration.
Each job has bought its challenges and successes – I learn so much from being involved in this work. At the start I mentioned the wonderful team we have here at Global Learning London. I hope we continue to be able to help teachers enrich the learning of their classes and keep the vibrancy of school life alight – and that I continue to be part of it for another few years yet!