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
Despite their emphasis on moral integrity, public spirit and manliness of character, the public schools insisted on the preservation of the classics as the main core of their teaching. By so doing the Victorians separated the children of the elite from those of all other classes, and created an efficient, segregated and unique system of […]
“The Great Exhibition has taught me so much I never knew before”, enthused Queen Victoria, “has brought me in contact with so many clever people I should never have known otherwise, and with so many manufacturers whom I would scarcely have met unless I travel all over the country. Some of the inventions were very […]
The Industrial Revolution was the most fundamental transformation of human life in the history of the world. The British have been profoundly marked by the experience of our economic and social pioneering, and remain marked by this ─ even, it seems, in genetic terms ─ to the present day.1 The cotton industry2 best exemplifies […]
Too often we underrate our brains and our intelligence. Formal education can become such a complicated, self-conscious and over-regulated activity that learning is widely regarded as something difficult that the brain would rather not do. That is wrong, for learning is the brain’s primary function, its constant concern, and we all become restless and frustrated […]
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 […]
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 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 […]
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 […]
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