Cultural Mobility

Describing our viewpoints on the world, Mary Midgley used the analogy of an aquarium with a number of murky windows through which people could peer. If we think of the aquarium as a whole as ‘reality and truth’ and each window being a perspective through which we can gaze upon that reality, we can begin … More Cultural Mobility

Some Problems with Cultural Capital and Social Mobility

Initially appealing, at least to me, the idea of cultural capital has begun to worry me. Though not coined by someone who admitted to being a Marxist, Pierre Bourdieu did draw quite heavily on Marxist thinking when it came to expounding his thesis. It is about power. Simply put, if you speak posh, go on … More Some Problems with Cultural Capital and Social Mobility

Creativity and Collaboration

“In the popular imagination,” writes Tim Blanning in his wonderful book ‘The Romantic Revolution’, “Beethoven was the romantic hero par excellence: the lonely, afflicted, uncompromising, utterly original genius, ‘a man who treated God as an equal’…” This vision of creative minds echoes down the centuries. The tortured artists in their garret, often poor, wearing black, … More Creativity and Collaboration

Creating a Classroom Culture: The ‘Centre’

Every subject is different, it has its own rhythms and constraints around which a positive classroom culture can be created. Getting changed for PE, putting on lab coats, getting out exercise books and pens, all these seemingly mundane rituals are an essential part of creating a positive working atmosphere. In the drama room I have … More Creating a Classroom Culture: The ‘Centre’

History of Thought

In these days of very little time or space on a timetable it is still heartening to know that some schools are trying to make a space where children can be taught in a way that celebrates education for its own sake. Paradoxically this approach might have benefits beyond education, as Stefan Collini puts it: … More History of Thought