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 […]

Episode #5 – Jason Fletcher, founding Headmaster of Heritage School Cambridge

In this interview, I talk with Jason Fletcher, founding Headmaster of Heritage School in Cambridge. Heritage is the only school I am aware of that is committed to (and actively promotes) a Charlotte Mason education in the UK. In our conversation, Jason explains its unique pertinence to the educational priorities of our times. Listen on […]

Charlotte Mason – who was she, and what is her relevance?

Who was Charlotte Mason? Charlotte Mason (1842 – 1923) was a teacher and educational writer who lived and worked all over the UK. Orphaned at 16, she taught both as a governess and as a classroom teacher. Despite suffering ill health for much of her life, she founded a teacher training college at Ambleside for […]

Education Philosophy – 3 FAQ

(First published on the Keystone blog here.) Parents today take a more active interest in their children’s education than the generation or two that preceded them, so that it’s not unusual for those of us working in education to be asked our views on a “growth mindset” one day or the “outdatedness of the 19th […]

Don’t blame “factory education”

[P]hrases like “the industrial model of education,” “the factory model of education,” and “the Prussian model of education” are used as a “rhetorical foil” in order make a particular political point – not so much to explain the history of education, as to try to shape its future. Much enjoyed this revisionist piece on the […]

History of Prep Education Podcast # 3 – Interview with Mark Johnson

In Episode 3 of my History of Prep Education project, I interview Mark Johnson. Mark (known to all his pupils as MRJ) attended prep boarding school himself aged 6 (!). As a teacher, he taught at Summer Fields for 17 years, becoming Deputy Headmaster, before becoming Headmaster of Cheam in 1998 – a post he […]

Children and the Use of Technology

(I published this piece on the Keystone blog a few months ago, and reprint it below.) One topic often discussed in my conversations with parents is the impact of technology on family life. Context – how common is technology in children’s lives? The pervasiveness of technology in children’s lives is undisputed. The Connected Kids Report […]

Kidzania and the growth of a child’s imagination

My office happens to be near Kidzania, the “Educational Entertainment Experience” that has recently opened in Westfield, so it has been the subject of some speculation amongst the Keystone team. I have spent the past few days reading more about it, and confess to some unease about its educational vision. Kidzania is built over a […]

Daisy Christodoulou on Educational Myths

I was delighted to see that the magnificent Daisy Christodoulou, who featured quite a lot in my recent mini-essay on the curriculum, contributed an article to last week’s Spectator. Her point that some of the trendiest education ideas are actually rather old hat was very well put: “…one popular buzzword at the moment is ‘21st-century […]

Mini-Essay: The Curriculum

In almost a decade of answering questions from parents about boarding schools, I have never been asked about a school’s curriculum. And yet it is hard to think of a feature that has more of a bearing on a child’s education. This short essay makes a case for why the curriculum is quite so important, […]