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
If not since the beginning of time, at least over the past half dozen millennia, older generations concerned about the future wellbeing of their societies have pondered the question (and the mystery) of how young people learn. So profound was Confucius’ observation two and a half thousand years ago; “tell me and I forget, show […]
The pace of change is now so great that it is no longer enough for schools simply to transfer to the next generation the wisdom of earlier times; they have to start a dynamic process whereby pupils are weaned of their earlier dependence on institutions, and given the confidence to manage their own learning1. […]
“I had a teacher once… no oil painting he, with sagging stomach, Roman nose and Hapsburg chin. He taught us both ‘A’ level history and English, but he was equally passionate about cricket, medieval art and music. We never knew what would happen in each lesson, he simply fascinated us and sent us scampering away […]
All children deserve the chance to grow up in a loving, secure family. They could have the chance to fulfil their potential if society reduced levels of educational failure, ill health, substance abuse, teenage pregnancies, abuse and neglect, crime and anti-social behaviour among children and young people1. The Report “Every Child Matters”2 was stimulated […]
As a status-seeking species, humans like to know where they stand. Comfortable at discovering that some are not doing as well as us, those who are doing better we explain away as an anomaly. The more access we have to data, the more fascinated we have become with statistics, and how to manipulate them. […]
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 […]
Education is a most slippery concept to define, especially when it is used in conjunction with either a political or religious expectation. When politicians claim that education is their number one agenda item, we should ask, persistently, education for what? As in all bold statements the devil may too often be found only in the […]
Teaching, like good parenting, is a demanding task for it is part intuition, and part expertise. It’s extremely hard to know when you’ve got it right. Parents and teachers delight in seeing the results of their labours, but often the most precious fruits of their work are those they may never actually see1. Politicians […]
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; […]
The idea that talents are learnt for the service of others and not given, and that knowledge should bring humility and a sense of involvement in mankind, are just as necessary correctives to the arrogance of a meritocrat in a highly technological world, as they were when the grammar school was founded long ago; without […]
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