I was a contributor to two academic books, each one on the subject of school exclusions. In "Positive Alternatives to School Exclusion" I was also a researcher and a case-study leader. This particular book won the prestigous NASEN Book Award in 2001.
"Positive Alternatives to School Exclusion looks at what schools can do to build more harmonious communities and engage students - particularly those at risk of exclusion - more productively in all areas of school life. It describes the Positive Alternatives to School Exclusion Project, a multi-phase, collaborative initiative based at the School of Education, University of Cambridge.
Drawing on the perspectives of staff and pupils, the authors provide detailed case studies of the approaches and strategies being adopted in a variety of settings (primary, secondary and FE) to foster inclusion and reduce and prevent exclusion. It also identifies a number of different frameworks, drawn from the case studies, which can be used by practitioners working in other settings to support their own reflection and development work. Particular importance is placed, throughout the book, on valuing the domain of personal experience in the life of the school community. The authors explore this theme in detail, suggesting ways in which it might become a priority focus of further development work in schools."
RoutledgeFalmer, London 2000
"Encountering Disaffection", published in the Republic of Ireland by the Irish Association of Pastoral Care in Education, "offers a range of perspectives and approaches towards winning hearts and minds in our schools."
IAPCE, Dublin 2002
John Hunt Publishing are the publishers of my book about my experiences living in rural Ireland. (There are some photos from that time on the Photographs page of this site)
“Simon left his comfortable middleclass life and moved to the Irish Republic when an old girlfriend of his, who lived there on a smallholding with ducks, hens and goats, became very ill. The book has a strong pastoral element: the places and animals are crucial; it has an anecdotal and episodic structure. There are stories of healing, mediumship, dowsing, of shamanistic events; it does not preach, but shows his developing into someone whose drive and experiences became interaction with many different forms of spiritual energy: he learned to live with equal comfort in the material and spiritual worlds. This is told in a pragmatic, autobiographical way, with a light touch and some humour,so that those who read it may identify with at least some of what he experienced and also learn from it. There is plenty for those just starting out on their own spiritual journey; it is also consolidation for those already begun; for both it points to other possible routes and directions. “
publishing date: end of March 2014 (Click for link to publisher’s site)
“Simon’s beautifully-written tale is breathtakingly evocative of rural Irish life – the sounds, smells, colours, pace, and bucolic atmosphere are lovingly summoned to vibrant life on the page.
Yet this is no ordinary tale of pastoral living. It is Simon’s shamanic encounters with Herne and other denizens of liminal realms, and the deceptive ease with which he walks between the worlds, that makes this a remarkable account of a life-changing experience: one that forces us to question our own relationships with other beings and the very nature of reality.”
Grahame Gardner, President of the British Society of Dowsers.
Rowan Wolf’s review posted on her site , Journal of Uncommon Thought
“Spirited Nature is the evocative tale the author's, Simon Gordon Wheeler, path of learning to connect with the nature. The tale takes us to a small Irish farm where Wheeler joins his partner. The events that occur would be considered ″common″ events in virtually any rural environment – something in itself which is a vanishing feature of ″modern civilization.″ One of the things that signifies the book is Wheeler's attempts at quieting his mind and ego to allow himself to be part of this world around him rather than an actor upon it.
Other reviewers have referred to the path that Wheeler follows as ″transformative.″ I am not sure that is the word I would use. He was in a real sense returning to a time when humans actually listened to the world in which they lived, and realized that the so-called ″natural″ world is enspirited. In many ways, what Wheeler shares is the peeling away of the layers of separation that have become part and parcel of humans entrapped in this technological world, and then connecting with the enspirited world around him.
Wheeler's interpretation of those experiences could be framed a number of different ways, but he conveys old archetypes in some regard. Regardless of how one tries to characterize some of the spirits of nature, we can generalize this conceptualization to working with the forces of the land rather than against them.
He also connects deeply with the creatures for whom he is guardian. This too is a process of listening and working with them, rather than trying to control them. His experience brings an appreciation of the wisdom and lives of what we too often assume are ″simple″ beings.
Regardless whether one identifies the book as spiritual or not, it is beautifully and colorfully written. His writing paints pictures in one's mind. The book is a good read from both regards: the story of his personal connection with the enspirited world; or as a wonderfully descriptive writing of rural Ireland.”
19th March 2014
This is such a beautiful and touching book
2 Jan. 2015
By Sandra F. Ingerman - Published on Amazon.com
This is such a beautiful and touching book!
Simon Gordon Wheeler helps us to enter into the magic of nature. There are so many teachings to be gained by reading this brilliant book.
Simon Wheeler’s book is an inspiration. It has staggering knowledge and vision. I feel as if every cell in my body has been profoundly affected. This magnificent book is full of mystery. I strongly urge everyone to read it.
Brian Blessed, actor, director, mountaineer, explorer, adventurer and author.