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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, […]

What’s a Serious Academic Doing Meddling with Animated Documentary Graphics?

It had been a good three-day conference for the three hundred and twenty or so students at Atlantic College in South Wales. Billed as giving both the introductory talk, and the concluding lecture, I was to be the outside parts of an obviously rich and varied sandwich. But so stimulating had that conference been that […]

No small matter

The spectacular rise in standards of living in recent years within the English-speaking nations, especially amongst the English themselves, has created an extraordinary paradox. The busier and wealthier we have become the less time we seem to have for each other. This has created a crisis in how we educate our young people. It is […]

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 95 – Don’t Panic, Think Straight

You don’t have to go into the dark, but if you want to see the stars in all their glory you have to dare to go deep into the desert, away from the light pollution of civilisation.  Only then, when your eyes become acclimatised to real darkness, can you begin to appreciate the sheer brilliance […]

Thesis 68 – Dare to be Wise

The idea that talents are learnt for the service of others and not given, and that knowledge should bring humility and a sense of involvement in mankind, are just as necessary correctives to the arrogance of a meritocrat in a highly technological world, as they were when the grammar school was founded long ago; without […]

Thesis 63 – Fundamentally Flawed

Children deserve the very best education if they are to learn how to improve themselves and their communities.  Their education must be geared to the world in which they live, prepare them for a full life, and help them to become adaptable.  Above all else education must reach every child.   Unlike 1914 Englishmen didn’t […]

Thesis 61 – Questioning Intelligence

“Am I just thick”, asked a thirteen-year-old girl, “or am I only good at those things that really interest me?”  Her friends grinned; “She’s very good at annoying the boys”.  And then, “Does my brain get better through use?”, quizzed a third.  “What sort of use?”, interjected a fourth1.   What makes us the thinkers […]

Thesis 54 – Preparation for Democracy

Schools, as relatively self-contained communities made up of people of diverse character and ability should, in the way that they are organised, seek to reflect the dynamics of the less structured natural communities into which young people will inevitably graduate as adults.   Schools will be at their most successful when they saturate children with […]

Thesis 45 – Helping Yourself

“Doing it for your self” is a deeply engrained human instinct, something built up in the human genome over millions of years that increases our ability to survive.  It’s about resilience, the determination that the more you can do for yourself, the more in control of your future you believe yourself to be.   As […]

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