Happy New Year! It was gratifying to see that Trivium Schools got a mention in the Guardian in a piece entitled: ‘What’s in store for education in 2015?’ It would be great to see the trivium network grow in influence over the next year. The network currently numbers thirty schools from both independent and state sectors and it would … More Trivium Schools 2015
Not many teachers would want to wander into the staff room after a particularly robust seminar and be presented with a coffee cup full of steaming hot hemlock, ‘drink this you corruptor of youth!’ No, best to keep quiet in the classroom and not ask too many questions… But how wise are you? Admit it, you … More The Socratic Method, Teaching the Trivium: Dialectic
Although I don’t like to talk about it I’ve got a soft spot for Gradgrind. Not exactly a sympathetic character, I know, but let’s look beyond his, er, how shall we say… foibles… for a minute and look at his emphasis on Facts. “Fact, fact, fact!” repeated Thomas Gradgrind.” THOMAS GRADGRIND, sir. A man of realities. A … More Where Gradgrind Got It Right; Teaching the Trivium: On Grammar
The Magi, magicians and astrologers three, the wise mysterious men of their age, followed a star to see what wonder might unfold. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. A child is born. What future shall we behold? What gifts can lift burdens and enable a flourishing life? And when they had opened … More Bearing Gifts We Traverse Afar: A Trivial Christmas Wish
Plato saw dialectic as a way of refining opinions to reveal truth. Aristotle saw dialectic as remaining in the world of ‘opinion,’ (with logic being the way to reveal truth). In the ‘Topics’ Aristotle talks of dialectic as probable ideas being discussed in a spirit of enquiry, with the result likely to be opinion rather than certainty. To Aristotle … More On Dialectic: Dissoi Logoi – Teaching the Trivium
… to 1977. The filth and the fury… Never mind the bollocksed grey seventies, the two glorious summers of 76 and 77 did not sate my teenage angst. Sex and Pistol were frightening a whole nation and bringing it to its knees. Little did we know that the bastions of the establishment: the church, media, … More From the sublime… On Beauty, Eloquence, Grit and Resilience
“Obsessing about quality is a way of subjecting the work itself to relentless generic pressure; workers given over to this passion can dominate or detach themselves from others less driven. Both are dangers…” Richard Sennett: The Craftsman Whilst writing Trivium 21c I came across the work of Richard Sennett, I would recommend his writing … More Master* Teachers: Community and Expertise
(One of the arguments for a College of Teaching is that it will raise the status of teaching as a profession. Do I want teachers to have higher status as a profession? No…) From the oldest profession to the newest ones ‘professionalisation’ takes its toll. Wage slavery sucking the life blood out of the … More Is Teaching A Profession?
Some interesting and controversial tweets by Dominic Cummings this afternoon: He tweeted, that, in essence, Michael Gove did not want to take a confrontational line with teachers but he was encouraged to do so by David Cameron and his Downing Street Spads. DfE wanted Gove to build alliances outside Tory Party but Cameron and some … More Was Gove only ‘Obeying Orders’?