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
It is nearly forty years ago that, as a newly appointed Head, an older colleague gave me a piece of priceless advice. “Divide the morning’s mail into two piles, the urgent and the important. Immediately deal with the important and leave the urgent until later in the day when you will probably find that somebody else has sorted it out.”
As the General Election edges closer two Reports, “Liberal Education and the National Curriculum” published by Civitas, and the University of Bristol’s Transition from Primary to Secondary School are likely to catch the attention of politicians.
Pray for Copenhagen Today, the 7th December 2009, the leaders of 192 countries converge on Copenhagen in an attempt to prevent climate change from ravaging the planet. These people come to Copenhagen amidst claims, and counter-claims, that this is a man-made problem, as opposed to a natural phenomena. Public opinion in most countries, though decreasingly […]
A personal reflection The wedding of a son or daughter stirs parental memories as nothing else can. As guests congregate you come face-to-face with different chapters of your child’s life, and you are reminded of your own early life together. Being a story-telling species our minds struggle to draw all these pieces together into a […]
Safeguarding without safeguards My friend is a remarkably fit and shrewd 85-year-old still able to make most valuable comments at the governing body of a secondary school. A General Practitioner for more than 40 years he has ‘seen it all’ but is never judgemental yet always full of sound advice, particularly on general health issues […]
Voices from the past It was in 1987, as we set up Education 2000 (the precursor to the 21st Century Learning Initiative) that I was facing a tough time in trying to get people to think outside the box. One day a friend sent me this comment from Edmund Burke (1729-1797): “Those who carry great […]
A test of resolution Turbulent times call for strong nerves. Walking along the canal to my office early last week I was admiring the heron standing on the opposite bank, its beak poised to thrust into any fish swimming its way. Overhead several seagulls, encouraged inland by the lack of fish in the Bristol Channel […]
Being taken seriously I am having to take a short break from the tedium of “topping and tailing” letters to be sent out to every MP with the Briefing Paper in three days time. After writing Dear so-and-so, and signing “yours sincerely” six hundred and sixty times, my writing is almost indecipherable. Having to concentrate […]
For all those reading the Briefing Paper for Parliamentarians, or the Book Overschooled but Undereducated, it may be helpful to explain The Initiative’s understanding of what it takes to bring about change. These ideas will become ever more relevant as the country gets closer to the General Election.
This Paper has been written in response to an increasing concern that formal education, especially at the secondary level, is failing to meet the needs and expectations of young people for an appropriate induction into adult life and responsibilities.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.