Private Education & Public Benefit

Institutions inextricably bound up with their localities. National treasures with long histories of public service. Sites of collective memory and ritual, loyalty and love. What’s a communitarian not to love about private schools? Regrettably all too much. Read the full piece at The Critic.

“The world felt big”

The autodidact is a rare creature these days. I really enjoyed listening to this Talking Politics interview with Tara Westover, who grew up in rural Idaho as one of seven children in a strict Mormon family. Her father did not allow her to go to public school, but she taught herself, ending up studying at […]

What sort of knowledge..?

From H W Household’s Reminiscences about Charlotte Mason, courtesy of Charlotte Mason Poetry: What sort of knowledge? Well, they want to hear of Odysseus and Nausicaa, to read the immortal stories of Herodotus, and Plutarch’s Lives; they want to listen to the tale of Thermopylae and Salamis and to learn how democracy raised Athens to her […]

Montaigne on Education

Jacques Barzun’s wonderful book, From Dawn to Decadence, has been a companion for more than a decade. Dog-eared, covered in indecipherable marks and notes, its front cover long since torn away, I dip in whenever I can and always emerge refreshed. I’ve just re-read this great passage on Montaigne’s views on education and thought I […]

Knowledge is the road to joy

 It is understandable that, in the fierce heat of contemporary squabbles, heads and educationalists prefer to talk up the more empirical benefits of a knowledge approach; but, by doing so, they leave the implementation of a knowledge-based approach open to those who would happily squander its joy for its effectiveness. I was really delighted to […]

A beautiful speech by H W Household

I have written about Household before. Thanks again to the excellent archival work of the team at Charlotte Mason Poetry, I have just read another of his speeches from the time when he was Director of Education for Gloucestershire in the 1930s. So much of what he says still rings true today. I would love […]