This short monograph was written by Neil Richards, a Trustee of the 21st Century Learning Initiative in response to the publication of Tony Little’s book, An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Education.
Battling for the Soul of Education
Moving beyond school reform to educational transformation:
The findings and recommendations of 3 decades of synthesis
Download from battlingforthesoulofeducation.org
The Greeks were the beginning of nearly everything of which the modern world likes to boast. They were the first people to think seriously about the purposes of education. They were passionately interested in architecture, poetry, drama, music, physical fitness and rhetoric; they formulated theories of mathematics and justice, and they gave the world the […]
The Romans were to the Greeks what today’s young venture capitalists are to middle-aged professors of moral philosophy. They just didn’t think in the same way, or hold similar values. While the Greeks were exhausting themselves in costly wars the determined, no-nonsense farmers of Latinium progressively transformed themselves into merchants, and then into soldiers so […]
Of the three roots of western civilization ─ Greece, Rome and Palestine ─ it is the influence of the Jews which is the most extraordinary. A tribe of desert nomads seeking land of their own between the great kingdoms of Assyria, Babylon and Egypt, these were a people whose struggles against adversity had convinced them […]
“Our DNA does not fade like an ancient parchment. It does not rust in the ground like the sword of a warrior long dead. It is not eroded by wind or rain, nor reduced to ruin by fire and earthquake. It is the traveller from an antique land that lives within us all”.1 The […]
The life of nations, no less than that of men, is lived largely in the imagination. History is continuously being edited to empower the story each generation wishes to believe about itself.1 The Romans were in britain for nearly four hundred years, and when they withdrew in 407 they left behind a well-farmed land […]
“The knowledge of past events has further virtues, especially in that it distinguishes rational creatures from brutes, for brutes whether men or beast, do not know… about their origins, their race, and the events and happenings in their native land”.1 The conquering Normans rapidly displaced the original nobility and replaced English bishops by Frenchmen. […]
At rare and unpredictable moments a revolutionary concept fundamentally changes the underlying assumptions that had previously held an assortment of beliefs together. This is known as a Paradigm Shift1, a totally new mindset that reshapes relationships so that nothing can ever be seen in the same way again. Travellers in England early in the […]
The Reformation was the beginning of the transformation of a society based on faith in authority, to a society based on the authority of the individual’s own faith ─ from a society where there had been a high level of faith in a central dogma to, after many a bloody struggle, a new form of […]
In recent years it has been said ruefully that the English naturally excel in invention, the Japanese in manufacturing and the Americans in salesmanship. Why are the English like this? It seems it all goes back to the Reformation, to the very first book ever written in England about education, which argued that as a […]
There is in education a law of delayed action, by which seed sown and long forgotten only grows in late years. Teachers like to see results from their efforts, and direct them accordingly, but the most precious fruits of a good teacher’s work are those that he is never likely to see.1 If the […]
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