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 […]

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 […]

Charlotte Mason vs Christian Classical approach

This blog is in danger of becoming merely a groupie for the Charlotte Mason Poetry blog… but can I recommend this interview with a teacher (and homeschool mother) who was attracted to the Christian classical tradition of Dorothy Sayers et al before realising its shortcomings and finding Charlotte Mason instead: http://charlottemasonpoetry.org/from-classical-teacher-to-charlotte-mason-educator/ Ms Whiteside is especially […]

“Meeting the Mountain”

Another beautiful letter unearthed by the great people of the Charlotte Mason Poetry blog, by Elsie Kitching. My favourite quotes below.. “There was a time—has it quite passed yet?—when the attempt at science made by a late Head master of Winchester was to offer an annual prize for the best collection of the wild flowers […]

Episode # 6 – Nigel Talbot Rice, Headmaster of Summer Fields (1975-1997)

In Episode 6 of my Education podcast, I interview the famous Summer Fields Headmaster Nigel Talbot Rice. Listen on Soundcloud – Part 1 here and Part 2 here. Or on YouTube – Part 1 here (and below) or Part 2 here. Or subscribe to the podcast via iTunes here. Nigel joined prep school teaching upon leaving Oxford. He started his […]