Trivium 21st Century: Preparing Young People for the Future with Lessons From the Past

Trivium 21st Century: Preparing Young People for the Future with Lessons From the Past


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781781350546
Publisher: Crown House Publishing
Publication date: 09/17/2013
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 1,270,911
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Martin had taught for 20 years in State schools in London, as a teacher, head of department, head of faculty, assistant head teacher and AST. Now an entrepreneur, company director and Playwright and interested in developing creativity in schools.

Ian Gilbert is one of the UK's leading educational innovators, speakers and writers with twenty years experience working with young people and educationalists around the world. He is the founder of Independent Thinking Ltd, the editor of the Independent Thinking Press and the author of a number of titles including Why Do I Need a Teacher When I've Got Google?. His book The Little Book of Thunks won the first education book award from the Society of Authors for 'an outstanding example of traditionally published non-fiction that enhances teaching and learning'.

Read an Excerpt

Foreword by Ian Gilbert

It’s difficult to read the news these days without seeing some story on education being played out in governments, think tanks, conference rooms,
staff rooms, classrooms or even streets somewhere in the world. And
rightly so. Education is both a mirror of society as it is now and also, crucially,a reflection of what that society will become. What we do with the
minds of our young people today will be come back to help us – or haunt
us – for decades to come.

Or, in the words of Christa McAuliffe, the teacher on board the ill-fated
Challenger space shuttle expedition in 1986: ‘I touch the future … I teach’.

Often, though, when education is being talked about there is no agreement
as to what, specifically, is actually being discussed. For example, when
teachers talk about education, they are more often than not referring to a
process in which they teach and children learn. All being well. When the politicians and strategists talk about it, however, they are often referring to
the system within which that teaching and learning process operates. Parents may mean something else altogether, one perhaps more related to discipline, employment chances, and life skills. And the young people themselves? Well, often they never get the chance to voice an opinion about just what exactly they are spending the major portion of their first 20 years or so doing.

Yet beyond the world of processes and systems – or maybe underpinning them – there is another debate too, one that goes on often unnoticed and has vexed some of the greatest minds for millennia. It is the question of what we want schools and schooling to achieve for our children, of what having ‘an education’ entails, of what ‘being educated’ actually means?

It is a debate over which the ancient Greeks battled and that still fills the
letters pages of national newspapers and the comments sections on news websites and blogs today. And it is a debate that is very much at the heart of this fascinating and important book.

Through a combination of extensive historical research, face-to-face dialogue
with some of the main protagonists currently in the debate and his personal experience both as a teacher and as a parent, desperately trying to find the right sort of education for his daughter, Martin weaves a complex and compelling story. It is a journey that stretches back to the ancient Greeks and the ‘fork in the road’ they encountered that evolved into the Trivium of the medieval world and that rages in the 21st century educational diaspora of academies, charter schools, free schools, national and common core curricula, standardized testing and assessment, and practically every aspect of educational policy and discussion worldwide.

If you are involved in education in any fashion – from teacher to parent to
governor to educator to inspector to policy maker – and you have an opinion
about what ‘an educated person’ should look like, then you have joined the debate. What’s more, that opinion means you will have taken sides, whether you know it or not. This book will help you make the right choices for the right reasons and, who knows, may even help us create the sort of consensus that will bring all sides together. In doing so, we can all help forge an education system and an education process that genuinely does what we want it to do – bring the very best out of, and put the very best into, every child.
Ian Gilbert
Hong Kong

Table of Contents

Foreword by Ian Gilbert
Introduction: An Unexamined Life is not Worth Living
1 A Trivial Pursuit?
2 The Trivium
3 Our Dramatis Personae: The Grammarians, the Dialecticians, and
the Rhetoricians
4 The Liberal Arts: A New Curriculum is Born
5 The Rise of the Rational: The Fall of the Trivial?
6 Trivium: A Clash of Cultures
7 A Crack in Everything: The Imperfect Arts
8 Grammar: From Rules of Language to Cultural Capital
9 Dialectic: Logic, Dialectic, and Logos
10 Rhetoric: Communication, Citizenship, and Community
11 We Have a Montaigne to Climb
12 The Professors
13 The Grammarians vs the Dialecticians
14 The Contemporary Trivium
Postscript: A Bit of Trivia
Bibliography and Reading List

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