“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 […]

Episode # 7, Hugh Gammell, House Master and ex-Registrar, Charterhouse

In Episode 7 of my Education podcast, I interview Hugh Gammell. Listen on Soundcloud – here Or on YouTube – here. Or subscribe to the podcast via iTunes here. Hugh was educated at Cheam School, Marlborough College and then read History at Cambridge. He taught History in a Grammar School in Watford before joining Charterhouse in […]

A Liberal Education (1929 style)

Listened yesterday to a tremendous edition of the Charlotte Mason Poetry Podcast, which featured a speech by Horace West Household, the Director of Education for Gloucestershire at the North of England Education Conference in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1929. Can you imagine a Regional Schools Commissioner in 2018 using the same beautiful language or whose vision of a […]

Charlotte Mason Retreat | Lake District | May 2018

A quick post to promote what looks like a glorious opportunity to reflect on Charlotte Mason’s work AND hear from the peerless Malcolm Guite in the splendour of the Lake District later this month. To quote from the website, Charlotte Mason Institute’s English Lake District Retreat The Afternoon of 30 April – the Morning of 4 […]

A Pedagogy of Perception

“The wise man sees a different tree from the fool.” William Blake When you look at a tree, what do you see? Imagine that we ask this question to a class of teenagers as they near the end of their schooling. What would they say? Would Blake say that they had answered “wisely” or “foolishly”? […]