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
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 […]
Instead of Mankind having been separately created, as described in the Book of Genesis, Darwin’s theory of evolution suggested that all life forms currently found on our planet came into being through a gradual process of genetic differentiation and selection under environmental pressure, over immense periods of time. In “The Origin of Species”1 Darwin […]
“You are all of you in this land brothers”, Plato told the Greeks, “but when God formed you he added gold in the composition of those who were qualified to be Rulers; he put silver in the Auxiliaries; and iron and bronze in the farmers and the rest”.1 The mid-Victorians thought differently to […]
Apprenticeship was an education for an intelligent way of life, a mechanism by which young people could model themselves on socially approved adults so providing a safe passage from childhood to adulthood in psychological, social and economic ways.1 Adolescents are neither children, nor adults. No longer content simply to be sat down and talked […]
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 […]
“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 […]
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 […]
With the advent of consciousness humans started to ask the apparently unanswerable questions, questions that take us to the supreme heights of human achievement, and into the depths of despair. Not for us the unreflective life of a dog, or even possibly a chimpanzee; we humans try to solve the riddle of existence by posing […]
[Please scroll down to listen to an audio version of this thesis] As our distant ancestors started to make better use of their brains so, over long periods of time, human brains got larger so forcing the skull to get bigger. So large did the skull become that the birthing process became more difficult and […]
[Please scroll down to listen to an audio version of this thesis] Humans Love to talk. It’s conversation that helps the youngest brains to grow, and the oldest brains to remain agile. The more we talk the larger becomes our vocabulary (the average Englishman has a vocabulary of some seventy-five thousand words). As an […]
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