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
Prepared by Terry Ryan for the International Conference “Media and Education” in Poznan, Poland in April, 1998.
A Presentation Given to the Polish National Academy of Sciences in April, 1998
Manish Jain, of the People’s’ Institute for Rethinking Education and Development in Udaipur, India, and a colleague of the Initiative, recommended this essay by Shri Daval Chandra Soni to us.
The past 15 years have witnessed dramatic changes to the face of capitalism, and these changes have had great implications on the way most people live and raise their children. This paper is a review of many of these changes and trends.
The dismal performance of American 12th graders on the Third International Mathematics and Science Study is naturally disheartening. Even in a pool that lacked the usual high-scoring Asian countries, American students managed to score near the bottom.
The following article will be of interest to anyone drawn to the power of ideas and how “intellectuals” use them over the course of time to influence the public debate about issues of economic and social policy. The economic ideas expressed in the article itself will probably excite a certain amount of controversy; we neither endorse nor reject them. We are interested in what the author has to say about the interaction of ideas, intellectuals and society.
Ron Brandt is former Assistant Executive Director at The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and an award-winning journalist. He worked with the Initiative in the 1990s, and in early 1998 he wove the basic themes of our work into the following platform. It is still representative of the spirit of the Initiative in 2000. […]
For more than a decade politicians, business leaders and educational leaders have assumed that their education systems needed reform, not re-design. On both sides of the Atlantic reformers have insisted that young people can be successfully prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the Knowledge Age by getting systems of education designed for the Industrial Age to work more efficiently and towards a higher standard. In taking this stance, much of the emerging body of research into the nature of human learning that challenges the underlying principles of the systems that reformers have taken for granted has failed to be fully appreciated.
Being an English academic working with researchers outside the United Kingdom offers me the opportunity to relate British events to what is happening in other countries. Distance certainly lends a sense of perspective, if not always enchantment!
This article was prepared by John Abbott for The Independent newspaper in Great Britain. The article appeared in Information Technology and the Comprehensive Ideal published in London in 1997.
Most school reform in Britain, as in America, has had limited impact because it simply assumed that learning and schooling were synonymous; schools have falsely been seen as being independent of the larger socio-economic structures of which they are an intrinsic part.
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