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
Comprehensive schools were conceived as a beautiful dream by ardent educationalists; they were frequently delivered in confusion, and developed for the most part in a mêlée of indifference, during which many of those who should have been fully engaged looked instead only for sectional advantage. The relationship of school to community is inevitably convoluted; […]
Children grow, both physically and mentally, at different rates; many a child rated as bright or dull has confounded the experts not only in later life but even within a few years, or even months. What all children need is to have their intellectual curiosity so fired up that they will go on learning long […]
The “Janet and John”1 nuclear family of the post-war years was quickly overtaken by those who were born in the Great War2, schooled during the slump, conscripted in the Second World War, and rationed for years afterwards. They would not willingly forego the security and comforts now within their grasp, in the hope of some […]
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 […]
Children born in the early 21st century will be heirs to more than fifty years of extraordinary technical and economic developments which have fundamentally changed the way the England of their grandparents once lived. Does this mean that history has nothing useful to tell them, for life is apparently easier, the choices more extensive, 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 […]
[Please scroll down to listen to an audio version of this thesis] The education of children is the most important task parents, or a nation, have to undertake; on them the future well-being of the world depends. Through the combined influence of home, community and school, education has to create men and women capable of […]
To embrace humanity is to embrace life. To talk about life we have to first agree that life is something we want to live.
The most complete statement of the Initiative’s ideas
My sons are far better read in contemporary literature than I am, and if it were not for their frequent references to the power of the minimalist writing of Cormac McCarthy (All the Pretty Horses etc.) I would not even have noticed the release in Britain last Friday of the film version of his novel […]
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