“Nothing has changed,” Theresa May was fond of saying, just as it was clear that things, in fact, had changed. The Dept. For Education in England has felt the need to release new guidance on how to tackle politically sensitive topics in an ‘impartial’ way. Teachers’ Unions are uncomfortable, saying this guidance might impinge on … More Teachers Should Not Teach Opinion as Fact
Creating a culture of speech in your classroom means having everyone doing it, not simply those that are willing – do not let students ‘hide’. Andrew Fitch, from the book: Trivium in Practice In a piece for the TES, Jonathan Simons, head of Education for Policy Exchange, wrote about the importance of debating: To debate, participants … More The Importance of Debate in Schools
Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions David Hume Try as we might to be rational beings, devoid of emotions, especially in times of crisis it is in times of crisis when we can’t help but notice we are nothing of the sort. When we experience visceral reactions to events … More Schools and Freedom of Speech
“As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death” Gangsta’s Paradise: Coolio “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…” Psalms 23:4 King James’ Version The other day I was working with some teachers coming to the end of their training, the conversations were rich and rewarding and I have a … More The Importance of Teaching ‘High Culture’
Schooling changes lives. That is the claim. Without having attended school our lives would be different, how different we do not know but, clearly education makes a difference. A liberal arts education is an education for freedom. This seems laudable but what does it mean? Freeing a person through knowledge, insight, and initiating them into … More Schools Should Not Teach the End of History
Remember that you are a human being with a soul and the divine gift of articulate speech: that your native language is the language of Shakespeare and Milton and the Bible; and don’t sit there crooning like a bilious pigeon. Henry Higgins to Eliza Doolittle. Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. It is also the language of … More Voices Joined, Not Silenced.
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