Education for Survival: The Pedagogy of Compassion

This Global Read was held on May 28, 2021 at 8 am Pacific Time.

Click here to watch the recording!

Edited by Maurice Irfan Coles with Bill Gent

Education Survival CoverYesterday, it was the split atom that should have made us reconsider our thinking and our relations with our neighbours on the Earth. Today, other conditions are challenging our ways of thinking – climate change and destruction of nature, global large-scale conflict, inequality, poverty, government accountability and lack of transparency, among other issues…what are the necessary knowledge and skills for citizens to learn how to live effectively in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world? What needs to be learned and why – not to mention how? - From the book's foreword authored by the Charter for Compassion's Executive Director, Marilyn Turkovich.

And so, our survival depends upon creating a compassionate world and an education system that incorporates compassion for self, for others and for the planet.

Sixteen authors present a comprehensive analysis of compassion and the political character of pedagogy. Drawing upon new scientific findings about how the brain works and their understanding of the political nature of pedagogy, they offer a scientific, spiritual and educational rationale for curriculum and societal change. The result is this blueprint for survival, illustrated with numerous practical examples.

About the Editors

MauriceColesMaurice Irfan Coles worked in education for nearly fifty years and wrote extensively on school improvement, race equality, intercultural education and continuing professional development. In 2006, as the first CEO, Maurice launched The CoED Foundation at the British Parliament. He came from a Christian background, converted to Islam, and was married to a Hindu for over 40 years. He believed compassion; humour, collaboration and service are the keys to stopping conflict, and building a just and cohesive society. Maurice died in 2020 before this book was published.

bill gentBill Gent was editor of the journal of the National Association of Teachers of RE. An associate fellow at Warwick University Centre for Education Studies, he researched and published on aspects of Islamic supplementary education. He was also a trustee of the CoED Foundation. Bill died in 2020.


About the Contributors


The following contributors to the book will be joining us for this Global Read

RohesiaRohesia Coles is a Specialist Occupational Therapist in Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMH). Graduating from the University of Liverpool in 2005 with a Bsc (Hons) in Occupational Therapy, Rohesia went onto working within a range of mental health settings working across the North of England and West Midlands and has a special interest in Neurodevelopmental conditions.  She currently works within early help and primary care settings, supporting education and social care provisions to provide intervention and assessment. She is a Trustee of the CoED Foundation and a contributing author to Education of Survival: Pedagogy of Compassion.

MaureenMaureen Cooper is the founding director of Awareness in Action, an organization dedicated to helping people accomplish sustainable well-being in their lives, with their relationships and in the work environment. This comes about by developing awareness through integrating meditation and compassion as part of their response to everyday situations. Her latest book, The Stress Workbook, is a ground-breaking effort that brings together the best of modern science and the wisdom of the world’s ancient contemplative traditions into a practical manual for thriving in today’s fast-paced world.

AmarjotAmarjot Butcher. With a degree in Computing and a background in IT training, Amarjot enjoyed 5 years working as personal assistant to Maurice Coles.  Supporting the CEO's vision of a compassionate world involved in engaging with local and international partners to develop projects such as ERASMUS, National Lottery Compassionate Comics and helping develop his TEDx talk.  Amarjot was significantly involved in editing Education for Survival: The pedagogy of compassion and has since gone on to work with other authors. 



ColinColin Diamond, currently CoED’s chair of trustees and Professor of Educational Leadership, has long worked in the field of educational leadership. He has been a Head of Faculty, Associate Headteacher, Local Education Authority Adviser, Assistant Director and Director of Education/Children’s Services. He led improvements in two local authorities, taking them from government intervention to strong performance.


MickMick Waters, as well as being a headteacher, teacher trainer and founding trustee of the CoED Foundation, has held several senior leadership roles in Birmingham and Manchester local authorities. He was also Director of Curriculum for the national Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, which co-created one of the world’s most progressive and dynamic national curriculums. He recently led an Independent Review of School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions for the Welsh Government, with some exciting new proposals for teachers’ careers and professional learning. This followed on from his work helping the Welsh Government to produce new Professional Standards for Teaching and Leadership

About the Host


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Marilyn Turkovich, Executive Director of the Charter for Compassion began her work with CFC in 2013, as the education director. Marilyn's background has been primarily in higher education and most specifically in directing teacher training programs for the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, and chairing Columbia College-Chicago's master's program in multicultural and global education. She has done a considerable amount of curriculum writing through the years, much of it related to international and cultural topics. Marilyn worked with Independent Broadcasting Associates on a series that aired on National Public Radio, BBC and the Australian Broadcasting organization. There was a period of time in the 1990s, when she worked in organizational development and specialized in instructional design work, strategic planning and leadership development. She also wrote and developed training on race and social justice initiatives.

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