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
Emphasis was placed on community involvement and responsibility; the utilisation of technology in an open and more dynamic forms of learning; re-orientating the curriculum and preparing young people for adulthood in times of rapid and complex change; through both formal and informal learning.
“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 […]
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. […]
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 […]
Humans thrive when perched on the border between order and chaos. Too much order and we become complacent, and hardly bother to monitor ourselves; too much chaos, and so much of our energy is used simply surviving that we hardly think about new ways of doing things. Good teachers hold their pupils on this precarious […]
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 […]
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 […]
“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 […]
The Rich and the Poor in mid-nineteenth century England were as two separate nations. Each was as ignorant of each other’s habits, thoughts and feelings, as if they were dwellers in different continents, or inhabitants of different planets; formed by different breeding and not even governed by the same laws.1 It was Benjamin Disraeli2 […]
What a person achieves through their own efforts they most value. Where individuals, through the nature of the economic system in which they live, cannot earn sufficient to provide for the proper education of their own children, then the future well-being of that society, as well as that of their children in particular, will be […]
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