Tag Archives: education

How schools came to serve the state

Arguing for changes to the structure of ‘schooling’ we employ in countries like New Zealand and the USA, Peter Gray provides a history of what we know as schools, beginning with an explanation of child-rearing in hunter-gatherer societies, then explaining the … Continue reading

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The educable animal

Peter Gray describes humans as ‘the educable animal’ (p.112) and I found this really interesting, because humans are also described as the storytelling animal… but storytelling is one way in which we meet our educational needs (in terms of education … Continue reading

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Another interesting point from Peter Gray – on how we perceive children

I found this notion of the shifting relationship between mankind and ‘nature’ and how it shapes our notions of child-rearing thought-provoking: “Finally, I’d like to suggest an additional reason for the difference between hunter-gatherers and subsequent societies in child-rearing methods. Agriculture … Continue reading

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the confusion of academic ability with intelligence

“For years academic ability has been conflated with intelligence, and this idea has been institutionalised into testing systems, examinations, selection procedures, teacher education and research. As a result, many highly intelligent people have passed through education feeling they aren’t.” (p.18) … Continue reading

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education affects our image of ourselves and others

“Education is vital to the success of our working lives, to our children’s futures and to long-term national development. More than this, it stamps us with a deep impression of ourselves, and of everybody else, that’s hard to remove. Success … Continue reading

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The educated person: 1. is widely knowledgeable and 2. knows ‘something’ in depth

Kieran Egan asserts: “Nearly everyone who has tried to describe an image of the educated person, from Plato to the present, includes at least two criteria: first, that educated people must be widely knowledgeable and, second, that they must know something … Continue reading

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School – that business of sitting at a desk among thirty or so others

Okay, so he wrote it some 15 years ago, but what Kieran Egan had to say in his The Educated Mind (1998) still seems relevant and readable! He wrote: “Education is one of the greatest consumers of public money in the Western … Continue reading

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On the Science and Culture of Learning – Kieran Egan

According to Kieran Egan, the reason “why so many research findings seem to have had no discernible beneficial impact on education is that most of the research on learning, development, and so on is not about education.” (p.182) Concluding his educational … Continue reading

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Herbert Spencer – according to Kieran Egan

“Men dress their children’s minds as they do their bodies, in the prevailing fashion” ~ Herbert Spencer, 1928 Explaining Herbert Spencer’s influence on education over the last century, Kieran Egan writes: “Although John Dewey’s educational ideas are widely known today, … Continue reading

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“Why the school has been a largely unsatisfactory institution”

“If we want to improve our schools, it is with the abstract and awkward realm of ideas that we must begin.” ~ Kieran Egan (p.x) “Beginning with ‘the abstract and awkward realm of ideas’ might not sound so bad” Egan … Continue reading

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