This area contains material about Braehead or
R.F. Mackenzie that has been printed in the press or on the web.
Fife on-line is a link to the Fife Free Press Group and the East Fife Mail for local news.
The following articles are available:
A Man of our Times: (Date unknown)
Braehead school has been widely publicised and now that its head teacher,
Mr. Mackenzie has left for Aberdeen, we feel some assessment of his achievements should be made.
Peter Preston article (1)
The Guardian, August 31, 1967
No Chance for Choice.
Peter Preston records the end of an experiment in schooling.
If education cared more about education and less about politics, Bob Mackenzie would be a cause celebre in his own right. As it is, he has to fight his good fight more or less alone; a few writers and educationalists speak up for him, but not enough to sway Fife Education Committee, never mind Edinburgh or Whitehall. Mackenzie's school is under sentence of death, and there's nothing anybody can do about it.
Peter Preston article (2)
The Guardian, November 1, 1996
I keep thinking about R.F. Mackenzie this craven, caterwauling week of moral panic. What on earth (or the Scottish heaven he surely inhabits) would Mackenzie make of Manton Junior and the benighted Riding of Halifax – not to mention the gulping National Forum on Values in Education and Community?
Question of Living
HEADMASTERS CONTROVERSIAL BOOK
Now, 'Courier' readers have their say
The Courier and Advertiser, Wednesday, October 16th 1963.
"A Question of Living", the book by Mr. R.F. Mackenzie, has caused a great deal of controversy among "Courier" readers in Buckhaven, Methil and Methilhill.
Mr. Mackenzie, headmaster of Braehead Secondary School, Buckhaven,
gave his views on education in his book. He attacked the examination system, and gave examples of the activities at Braehead. These include extensive field study courses in the Highlands, and sailing.
On navigation courses, Mr. Mackenzie thought that the most important thing was for the
children to get out in a boat. The theory could be learned in the classroom. Mr. Mackenzie also thought that something was wrong with our education system when a
child was considered a failure at 11 years old.
A Valuable School:
Teachers World 29 September 1967
These two reviews concern a book written about Braehead School by the headmaster Robert Mackenzie. Braehead and the principles it stands for are the subject of this week's pictorial feature.
(Unfortunately this article is not complete, the second page is missing. We hope to find it as the article is very interesting indeed. Jim)
Kate Philip - Classic Texts Revisited
R.F. Mackenzie's State School
An article written in 2001 and published late in spring 2002. The article is very informative and its really great to see how Mackenzie's work is still being looked at in reference to today.
"For Mackenzie education lay well beyond the confines of formal schooling and his work holds valuable insights for youth work, community development and citizen's rights. State School is a powerful indictment of what he described as the punitive and bureaucratic educational system in Scotland. He accused school-based education of brutalising both children and teachers in an alienating system that aimed for conformity rather than questioning and that reinforced the hegemony of an unequal society."