Last Friday we held the first of three CRACL days to be held this year.

We have decided that, rather than meet monthly at lunchtime, it is better for our part-time people and those doing field work if we have full days. We will meet less often than other centres, but the day gives us more time to share and informally chat as well.

Those informal chats are really useful as, not surprisingly, there are lots of common threads among the work that people are doing. Although we are looking at apparently different topics – reading, writing, play, performing, learning in and with art and working with artists and arts organisations –  there are underlying patterns of interest among us. CRACL days allow us to see what they are – ways of thinking, being and doing which are for instance artistic, creative, resistant, and critical. It wasn’t really surprising then that, as well as listening, we also found ourselves drawing, and clowning-miming during the day. But there was more than this going on.

CRACL days are important not only to establish a sense of community but also of our shared endeavour. We are all looking at ways in which we can make a difference in the lives of children, families and communities, many of them finding it pretty tough. Very often this commitment means that we are acting against the grain of current policy and dominant practices. Getting together affirms our directions and research practices.

We are all looking forward to the next meeting –  and to each writing a blog post about our work! A big thanks to Cassie for getting us organised.