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A Failure of Democracy: A Current Postscript

A Failure of Democracy: A Current Postscript English Education at the start of the 21st Century[1] John Abbott, in a discussion with his assistant of five years Jim Robinson, reflects on the political and philanthropic landscapes, and the rise of globalised solutions… Jim Robinson (JR): I came to work with the Initiative in September 2010, […]

Overschooled but Undereducated

As 2006 ended I recognised the need to collect all the ideas and experiences I had gathered from research, and everything I had learnt from discussions around the world since publishing the Policy Paper (1998), by explaining what I meant by ‘overschooled but undereducated’.

Understanding the Research: The Synthesis, 1996

If we apply the wrong model of learning for the best of reasons, we will never get the results we seek

Thesis 92 – Roots of Democracy

Humans thrive amidst webs of social relationships.  Our innate self-centredness is tempered by the social skills learnt within the family; families prosper when they are supported by others within recognisable and lively communities, while dynamic communities are the bedrock on which democracy has to be built.   An over-dose of individuality (important as that is […]

Thesis 37 – Landscapes of Our Minds

Our bodies and minds are not of recent origin.  They are the direct consequence of millions of years of surviving, and evolving, in landscapes and in climates different to present-day England.  The preferences of our distant ancestors, and their ways of looking at life, still condition many of the decisions that we, and our most […]

Thesis 36 – A ‘Can-do’ Society

“Do not imagine that the knowledge, which I so much recommend to you, is confined to books, pleasing, useful and necessary as that knowledge is… The knowledge of the world is only to be acquired in the world, and not in a closet.  Books alone will never teach it to you; but they will suggest […]

Thesis 25 – Early English School

“The knowledge of past events has further virtues, especially in that it distinguishes rational creatures from brutes, for brutes whether men or beast, do not know… about their origins, their race, and the events and happenings in their native land”.1   The conquering Normans rapidly displaced the original nobility and replaced English bishops by Frenchmen.  […]

Thesis 24 – Emergence of the English

The life of nations, no less than that of men, is lived largely in the imagination.  History is continuously being edited to empower the story each generation wishes to believe about itself.1   The Romans were in britain for nearly four hundred years, and when they withdrew in 407 they left behind a well-farmed land […]

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