Stillness – what’s wrong with chapel?

One of the mini-essays I’m planning is a profile on Anthony Seldon. Is he our generation’s Thomas Arnold? One thing is for certain: there is no man in independent education today who is better at dominating the headlines. Yesterday, he was promoting his Conference on Mindfulness by commenting on stillness in schools: He said that …

The Independent Curriculum

I have been following the Independent Curriculum (or, to give it its full title, the “IC Programmes for Learning”) for a number of years now. Its parent company, Galore Park, have done prep schools a good service by publishing traditional, knowledge-rich text books (including the 1905 Classic Our Island Story) written by excellent independent school …

Mini-Essay: The Abolition of Man

It is a frequent lament of liberal education enthusiasts in this country that they must so often turn to the United States for inspiration. So it was that, via the US education think-tank the ISI, I first came across C S Lewis’ slim, digestible book on education, The Abolition of Man. Few books have had …

Mindfulness – gathering momentum

I have been meaning to research Mindfulness in more detail this year. Like “Neuro-linguistic Programming” (NLP), the word has a rather synthetic quality – but I shall endeavour to read more before commenting.  All I can say for now is that it is gathering momentum in many UK boarding schools. See this letter published in The …

Michael Gove in 5 minutes

I was asked by a friend to give him a quick summary of Michael Gove’s policies. Here it is: Free Schools – most important – and other systemic changes Gove has made it possible for any primary or secondary school to become an academy. There has been HUGE take up, despite what the unions were …

Sir Ken Robinson – Do Schools Kill Creativity?

As soon as a friend or acquaintance becomes interested in education, it is not long before they send me Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk: Do Schools Kill Creativity? Accompanied with subject-lines like ‘Been kept up all night by this…’ or ‘SO TRUE!!’. Once a fellow believer, my short time in education has convinced me of …

James Paul Gee

I recently came across James Paul Gee through David Smith. He is exactly what I was looking for: an eloquent champion of the beneficial role of computer games in learning. You can see him in two great talks here and here. Wikipedia entry here. Three points that resonated: “School is all manual and no game.” …