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
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 proper education of the young does not consist in stuffing their heads with a mass of words, sentences, and ideas dragged together out of various authors, but in opening up their understanding to the outer world, so that a living stream may flow from their own minds, just as leaves, flowers, and fruit spring […]
Children need to learn to think, to make connections, to work together, to take risks, to discover their own talents. They need to read about all kinds of things and explore different media. They need a curriculum that is broad, balanced and differentiated.1 Born in 1564, and so thirty years younger than his […]
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 […]
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 […]
“What task could be more agreeable than to tell of the benefits conferred on us by our ancestors, so that you may get to know the achievements of those from whom you have received both the basis of your beliefs, and the inspiration to conduct your life properly?” It’s all too easy to assume […]
Our lives are drenched with information. With so much that we could think about it’s inevitable that we shut most of it out of our consciousness for fear that our brains will crash through overload. So selective can be our focus that we can easily miss the blindingly obvious. Give ourselves time to think and […]
Humans are a story-telling species. Faced with a multiplicity of facts and ideas which we may only imperfectly understand, we use stories to create frameworks that help us to transmit the sense of what we understand to other people. Our culture is contained within the stories we tell. The thing which humans need more than […]
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] Learning is not so much about being taught, as it is the consequence of having to think something out for yourself. As such, learning is a reflective activity. By drawing upon our past experiences to understand and evaluate new ideas we are able […]
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