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Thesis 92 – Roots of Democracy

Humans thrive amidst webs of social relationships.  Our innate self-centredness is tempered by the social skills learnt within the family; families prosper when they are supported by others within recognisable and lively communities, while dynamic communities are the bedrock on which democracy has to be built.   An over-dose of individuality (important as that is […]

Thesis 83 – Schools for Sale

Wanted… Sponsors for City Academies, a new form of state secondary school independent of local authority control.  A bargain too good to miss!  Two million pounds sponsorship will release a twenty-five million pound government grant.  Sponsors of three academies will be offered a fourth free-of-charge.1   To hear this in 2005 sounds bizarre.  And it […]

Thesis 62 – Learning Makes Sense

“Our education, like our civilisation, is penetrated with an unintelligent utilitarianism, which makes us feel that we ought to be doing something ‘useful’; useful subjects are indispensable, but the prior task of education is surely to inspire, to give a sense of values and the power of distinguishing in life, as in lesser things, what […]

Thesis 57 – Dangerous Complacency

Education may be likened to a journey of discovery — to travel hopefully is often more rewarding than to arrive.  If children are given the idea that they need high-level skills only for work, then we’ve got it all wrong.  They’re going to need even higher level skills to perform every day in a democratic […]

Thesis 54 – Preparation for Democracy

Schools, as relatively self-contained communities made up of people of diverse character and ability should, in the way that they are organised, seek to reflect the dynamics of the less structured natural communities into which young people will inevitably graduate as adults.   Schools will be at their most successful when they saturate children with […]

Thesis 53 – Death of the Craftsman

What has gone wrong, an ever-increasing proportion of people now ask themselves, that “we have no time to stand and stare?”  A cult of efficiency, based on the commodification of time, seems to have so pervaded our way of living that we are in danger of losing our natural connection to the beauty and majesty […]

Thesis 51 – The Sky is the Limit

Necessity may well be the mother of invention but, in dynamic and expanding economies, no sooner are people’s immediate needs satisfied than they want still more.  It appears that the wider the differential between the rich and the poor, the greater is the incentive both for the poor to work ever harder to emulate those […]

Thesis 41 – March of Progress?

There is no safe depository for the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if it is thought that they be not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion.1   A vigorous, if somewhat alternative, […]

A Complete and Generous Education

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.

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