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
For me, 1997 marked 35 years of involvement in education and training. Those 35 years have seen the most dramatic and unprecedented period of change in history. World commentators are saying we are into a once in one or two hundred year change process, more dramatic than that which saw the advent of the industrial society. We use the term ‘revolution’ to describe that period in our history. As we move out of the industrial age into the new age of information technology another revolution is occurring.
Review of The Unschooled Mind: How Children Think and Schools Should Teach, by Howard Gardner. (New York: Basic Books, 1991). Prepared by Ray Dalton for the 21st Century Initiative. Resume Howard Gardner is Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and affiliated with the Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Veterans’ Administration Medical […]
Most adults — especially those who have little contact with today’s adolescents — will be shocked and upset by Patricia Hersch’s portraits of eight teenagers growing up in Reston, Virginia. Yes, kids have always rebelled, taken risks, and done stupid things, but these young people don’t just make little mistakes; they use drugs, get drunk, have sex, steal from local stores, and regularly lie to their parents. Not all of them do all these things, but most do enough to make the reader ask how this can be happening. Reston is a planned community inhabited by the well-to-do and well-educated, and these boys and girls are not delinquents but typical kids.
Education, so politicians in many lands are quick to claim, is at the top of the political agenda – the “number one” item. Yet, for most people, education seems a strangely boring topic. Like religion, people sense that it’s important, but prefer to leave it to others to practice or think about. Search a bookshop and you are most likely to find the education section in some dark, out-of-the-way, corner, and most of the books on the shelves will be about specialised topics of little general interest. Few education books make it to the front of the shop, and even fewer are promoted as best sellers.
The President of the Initiative, John Abbott, gave the Keynote Speech at the 18th Annual South East Asia Teachers’ and Counselors’ Conference in Jakarta in late November. I, as John’s research assistant, had the good fortune to attend the conference with him, and this afforded me the opportunity to speak with many of the 800 delegates and presenters from international schools throughout the region. I quickly discovered people wanted to talk about what John had said in order to “make sense of it” in their own working and living environments, and subsequently these various encounters caused me to think anew what the Initiative was saying.
In a particularly interesting article Nicholson describes the evidence for new models of management that the scientific discipline of evolutionary psychology is now offering business. Evolutionary psychology has its roots in a convergence of findings from fields as diverse as anthropology and neuropsychology, and a number of its findings are controversial.
Opening Address given by the Provost of Trinity College at the Dental Educators Conference on 16 September 1998
Dr. Sylwester produced this piece in response to discussions about metaphors of cognition he had recently with colleagues at a conference, and has agreed to show it to the Initiative’s readers. We feel fortunate to be able to share it with you, and invite your comments.
We are on the crest of a new wave. First the Agricultural revolution. Next the Industrial Revolution. Then the Information Age. The rapid changes that will follow in the coming millennium are based on ingredients from all that had gone before. These ingredients are kneaded into a new existence with the ferment of creativity and the patterns of the new age will evolve.
This paper links recent thinking and research on learning and educational quality to strategies for providing learning opportunities to all children, and particularly those who are “disadvantaged”. This includes girls, and all children who are impoverished, ethnically and linguistically marginalized, or who have developmental delays and disabilities. We believe it is critical to link the consideration of educational quality explicitly to learning, and to draw on what we know about the process of learning in order to transform current education policy and practice to achieve Learning for All in the next century.
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