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
Adolescence a Critical Evolutionary Adaptation (French) 13th January 2005 Can the Learning Species Adapt to Schooling (French) 10th June 2005 Children, Families, Social Capital and Learning (French) By Terry Ryan Peter Puget and the Grain of the Brain (French) 9th March 2004 When Will We Ever Learn (French) April 2004
In the first three years of the last decade I struggled, amidst a diary full of speaking engagements and numerous conferences, to write a book with the title of Master and Apprentice: Reuniting thinking with doing. It was a good book, the MSS of which I still turn back to when I need to reclaim parts of an argument, but the publisher found it too long and, in his view, “too broadly based, requiring too much additional thinking on the part of a reader.”
Remember that line of Confucius’s epigram? “Let me do, and I understand”. That’s what our young people desperately need.
This Paper has been written in response to an increasing concern that formal education, especially at the secondary level, is failing to meet the needs and expectations of young people for an appropriate induction into adult life and responsibilities.
Over the past six months or so, I’ve found myself considering my options for what I should do after completing my PhD thesis. An academic post, perhaps? Teaching? A job in any of the other myriad of careers that interest me? All these options appeal to greater or lesser degree, but none of them feel as if they fit quite right. Not at this particular point in my life, at any rate. Ever since I can remember—but with some notable exceptions—I’ve either been in school or working in professional situations, wholly directing my mind towards broadly intellectual or specifically academic ends. Now I can feel that part of me beginning to tire, to cry out for some variation, a fallow period in which it can recover its strength and vigour.
The English government’s approach to education has, historically, been piecemeal.
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