Laurie spent his childhood in Battersea, but was sent to live with his welsh grandfather in Swindon when his father caught polio.

Shortly after his return home, he was evacuated due to the war with his grammar school, he was away from home for 5 years. He always remembered standing at Clapham Junction Railway
station clutching his small case with his mum’s sandwiches in his pocket, not knowing where he was going nor when he was coming home.

He did well in school in maths and physics and chose to do a degree in Electrical Engineering before doing his National Service as an officer in The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, REME. There he took up boxing and became a lightweight army champion.

On being demobbed he studied psychology at Birbeck College London; after gaining his PhD he worked at Tavistock Clinic before being appointed research professor at Brunei University. His sabbatical was spent visiting famous research institutes in the USA which transformed his approach to Psychology.

In 1969 he founded the Centre for the Study of Human Learning (CSHL) as a Post Graduate Teaching and Research Institute, welcoming students worldwide. He led research in real situations, rather than in the laboratory, in schools and colleges as well as industrial and commercial organisations, with the MOD, Royal Mail and some government services.

He developed a radical and original approach to the psychology of human learning, bringing his engineering, cybernetic and humanistic approach promoting ‘freedom to learn’ with a methodology known as Self Organised Learning, SOL and a system of Learning Conversations. Laurie was an inventor and tool-maker creating bespoke techniques, many computer-based for each research enterprise testing these out with his students and building on his SOL methodology continuously.

Laurie authored 5 books, over 100 papers and the CSHL Website. He acted as a visiting professor in the USA, Australia, India and Europe supported by grants from the British Council.

He was a fellow of the British Psychology Society BPS, and Royal Society of Medicine. His mission was to empower individuals, teams and organisations to enhance their capacity to learn and
empower themselves as learners thus becoming more fulfilled and improving the quality of their activities.

Laurie was a passionate researcher who was valued by his eminent colleagues including Gordon Pask, Don Bannister, Miller Mair, George Kelly and Carl Rogers, sadly all now deceased. Above all his students loved him for his sense of fun, care and commitment to each of them and he will be much missed.

Laurie you will live on in the being and becoming pf many, including Sheila whose life was transformed by working alongside you for over 30 exciting years.

Dr. Sheila Harri