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Equipping future generations to shape a better world Who are we?

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Facing an Inconvenient Truth and Doing something about it

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 […]

Thesis 98 – Upside Down and Inside Out

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.   […]

Thesis 91 – Teachers, Professionals or Parrots?

“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 […]

Thesis 85 – Does Every Child Matter

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 […]

Thesis 84 – Tyranny of Numbers

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.   […]

Thesis 83 – Schools for Sale

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 […]

Thesis 76 – Prime Ministers as Headteachers

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 […]

Thesis 74 – Faustian Bargain

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 […]

Thesis 69 – Fair Deals for All

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; […]

Thesis 68 – Dare to be Wise

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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