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
The early 1960s were for Britain a rare moment of opportunity; post-war prosperity had created a more homogenous, more socially ambitious and optimistic people, yet culturally and educationally the country still remained divided by an education system designed at other times to serve a very different kind of people. The provision of technical schools […]
A tripartite system of secondary schools puts the child first. The different kinds of schools are to be designed to suit different children, not different social groups, or the incomes of their parents. No child should be forced into an academic education which bores it to rebellion, merely because that type of grammar school education […]
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 […]
Children deserve the very best education if they are to learn how to improve themselves and their communities. Their education must be geared to the world in which they live, prepare them for a full life, and help them to become adaptable. Above all else education must reach every child. Unlike 1914 Englishmen didn’t […]
“Our education, like our civilisation, is penetrated with an unintelligent utilitarianism, which makes us feel that we ought to be doing something ‘useful’; useful subjects are indispensable, but the prior task of education is surely to inspire, to give a sense of values and the power of distinguishing in life, as in lesser things, what […]
Under pressure teachers may make things too easy for their pupils by relieving them of the necessity of finding things out for themselves. By dint of brilliant teaching they succeed in almost eliminating the learning process, so that pupils come to depend on the teacher, not on themselves. The more accomplished such teachers are in […]
Education may be likened to a journey of discovery — to travel hopefully is often more rewarding than to arrive. If children are given the idea that they need high-level skills only for work, then we’ve got it all wrong. They’re going to need even higher level skills to perform every day in a democratic […]
In a country lacking any sense of internal social cohesion, the introduction of new national education policies, designed to promote efficiency and to settle many old scores, may well create as many new problems for future generations as the old problems it sought to legislate out of existence. As Queen Victoria lay dying it […]
To educate is an act of social commitment both to children as individuals, and to the future society of which they will be part. It is also a personal transaction between teacher and child that has to be based on trust and integrity. So, who has the primary responsibility ─ the parent, the community, local […]
Schools, as relatively self-contained communities made up of people of diverse character and ability should, in the way that they are organised, seek to reflect the dynamics of the less structured natural communities into which young people will inevitably graduate as adults. Schools will be at their most successful when they saturate children with […]
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