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”? […]

Affordable independent schools

(First published in the Autumn Newsletter for the CRE) The latest news from the Independent Grammar School, a new affordable independent school in Durham reads as follows: “We have been delighted that, without advertising as such, we have had almost 100 expressions of interest.  That confirms our view that there is a real demand for […]

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 […]

IQ – a short and (over)simple FAQ for parents and teachers

There is something distasteful about IQ. Leaving aside the fact that it is often used by those who want to make race-based claims about merit, it reduces the educational project to the merely quantitative, crowding out other virtues. However, these objections should not mean that IQ be buried – as it has been largely since […]