Curiculum Vitae

Birth and Family

1955: Born as the second of three children of Annemarie and Hans Näf-Clémann in Luzern, Switzerland. Some months after my birth I was diagnosed with a severe visual impairment which led to total blindness 1968.

Formal Education

1959-1974: kindergarden, elementary school and gymnasium in Basel.

1974: Graduation from high school (Gymnasium).

1974 and 1979: Undergraduate student at the University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, USA.

1979: Bachalor of Arts from the honor's college of the University of Oregon (education and political science).

1976-77 and 1980-1983: Student at the University of Basel and Zurich (special education, psychology, english, history etc.).

1977 ongoing: Various trainings and workshops in applied methods of psychotherapy, counseling and group leadership (bioenergetics, music therapy, technics of communication and conflict resolution, theme centered interaction (TCI)).

1983: Lizenziat (MA) (in education and psychology<) from the university of Zurich

1984-1985: Student at the conservatory of Luzern, Switzerland, class for music teachers (clarinet).

1994-1996: Student at the University of Berne, Switzerland.

1996: PHD in history of education from the University of Berne.

2009: Training for international volunteer work, Volunteer Services Overseas, VSO (

Work experience

1975 and 1977-78: Resident teacher at the Ecole d'Humanité, Hasliberg-Goldern, Switzerland,, teaching english, german, history, music and drama and being "family head" of a group of 6 to 8 girls and boys from 12 to 16 years.

1976-1977: Part time teacher at the School of the Blind in Basel (7th to 9th grade, including braille reading skills).

1980-1982: Part time clarinet teacher with the "Musikverein Riehen".

1982: Internship at the "Psychotherapiestation Basel", a small home for mentally disturbed children in Basel, Switzerland.

1984/1985: Part time teacher at the teacher training college of Luzern, Switzerland (developmental psychology, classroom management and educational philosophy).

1984/1990: Regular workshops in the field of adult education with various institutions focussing on communication skills and conflict management; part time teaching position at the "Guggenbühlschool of Gymnastics" in Basel.

1985 ongoing: Articles and essays in books, journals and newspapers on issues of education, history of education, homeschooling, blinndness and more (all publications in German; for a complete list of publications see

1985/1988: Research around the issue of alternative education and alternative schools in Switzerland.

1988: Publication of "Alternative Schulformen in der Schweiz" ("Alternative Education in Switzerland", 1990 2nd edition).

1986: Organisation of the first national meeting of swiss alternative schools in Luzern, Switzerland; publication of the first Newsletter of Swiss Alternative Schools (continued until 1990).

1987-1994: Co-organizing hte subsequent (annual) meetings of the swiss alternative schools; co-founding the Swiss Association of Alternative Schools; coeditor of the association's journal "Endlich!"; member of the "european Forum for Freedom in Education", and other national and international organisations fostering diversity and freedom in education; speaker at various educational conferences and simular events; regular articles in books and newspapers.

1989 ongoing: "Overcoming limitations". Workshops dealing with issues of disability.

1989-2004: Organisation of the "Geheeb-Archive" of the Ecole d'Humanité,, as part of an extensive research project about the life and work of Paul and Edith Geheeb-Cassirer, partially funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation,

1998-1999: Part time teaching job at the University of Berne, Institute of Education.

1998 and 2006: Publication of volume I and II of the biography of Paul and Edith Geheeb-Cassirer by Beltzverlag (, Weinheim, Germany.

2000 ongoing: Helping in the creation and the administration of the "Forum Ausbildung Sehbehinderung", FAS (Forum Education and Visual impairment), Responsabilities amongst others creation and maintenance of the fas-website.

2003: Creation, promotion and maintenance (until 2006) of the mailinglist focussing on the legal and political situation of handicapped people in Switzerland.

2004-2010: Member of the board of the Swiss Library for the Blind and Dyslexic (

2006: Creation and maintenance of, a plattform for people interested in issues of deschooling, and my own website,

2007-2008: Resident teacher at the Ecole d'Humanité,, teaching french, history and german literature and leading a school "family" (simular to 1975 and 1977-1978).

2012 ongoing: President of DarsiLaMano (; coaching of and fundraising for (amongst others) Ecole de l'Unité in Butembo, RDC (

Travels and work abroad

1974 and 1979: Student in the USA.

1987: 10 week trip per bus through the USAA.

1990-2000: Several two to three week visits to former East Germany, Poland and Rumania.

1996-1997: On a container boat accross the Atlantic; Six month visit to the US; stays in the "Short Mountain Sanctuary", TN, the Ojai Institute, CA, and other places of interest.

2001: Three weeks in Tanzania with visits to several rural schools.

2004-2005: Six month per bus and train through turkey, Iran and Pakistan to India with visits to several schools and simular places of interest.

2005-2006: Four months in India, Japan and the US, visiting amongst other places the "People's Institute for Rethinking Education and Rethinking Development" in Udaipur.

2010-12: Two extensive tripss through Africa (Mauretania, Mali, Senegal, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Niger); contact with the Mauretanian Association of the Blind and simular organisations in Senegal, Burkkina and Gambia; volunteer teacher and (from march to september 2011) volunteer rector of the Panafrican Peace University in Uvira, Democratic Republic of Congo).

2012-13 (planned): 4 to 6 month stay in Makalundi, Niger; community development and livelyhood project.


Music, crafts, travelling, sailing, skiing, reading and more.

©Martin Näf 2009, Letzte Änderung 20. Juni 2012

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