In his Letter,The Liberating Power of Education, Harley argues that education has always had a tension between the practical or technical application of skills and the broader appreciation of a liberal approach to knowledge. Our contemporary aversion to teaching ‘the best that has been thought and known’, he argues, represents a long-standing fear of what the masses might do with unbridled access to education. Teaching is an act of faith, he says, one which must be free to produce new and exciting ideas.
Download a free PDF, or buy, Harley’s Letter from the Academy of Ideas
Chair: Dennis Hayes
(Copies of our Salon booklet will be available free to all those attending)
Date, Time and Venue: Thursday 10 March, 18.30 (for 19.00), in the Brunswick Inn, Derby.
Tickets (£3 plus fee) on Eventbrite.
Harley has worked in education publishing for over 20 years and is an organiser of the Academy of Ideas Education Forum. He writes and lectures on learning through the ages and blogs at historyofeducation.net. He has written about pre-state education from Ancient Greece to the Industrial Revolution for the Routledge History of Education (forthcoming).
This event is organised by the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) in partnership with the Standing Committee for the Education and Training of Teachers (SCETT),Deventio Education and the East Midlands Salon.
Increasingly it seems that it is harder than ever before to be a teacher. Almost weekly there are news headlines warning of unprecedented numbers of teachers leaving the profession and of the difficulties of being able to attract new recruits.
Why is this “brain drain” from the teaching profession taking place? Certainly pay and conditions should not be overlooked, especially at a time of tightening budgets, and nor should limited resources. But research suggests that teachers are also feeling like their role is changing. Some argue that teachers are no longer at the heart of schools and that they are becoming technicians, expected to deliver lessons by the manual, with their performance measured and directed by inappropriate numerical targets.
Is the nature of the 21st century classroom such that this shift is inevitable? Or can teachers begin to regain autonomy and build the profession of teaching? Can innovations in technology and resources help teachers better achieve this? How should performance and targets be set and measured in schools?
Join a panel of educationalists to reflect on this important topic that aims to get to the heart of what the role of a teacher is – and should be – today.
Speakers include would be and new teachers as well as leading teachers and educationalists:
- Professor Dennis Hayes, Professor of Education, University of Derby; Honorary Secretary of the Standing Committee for the Education and Training of Teachers (SCETT)
- Dr Nick Daniel, A New Teacher
- Damien Roberts, Director and Co-Founder, Derventio Education
- Ged Rae, Lead Principal at Nottingham Academy
- Beverley Henshaw, a Student and intending Teacher
Chair: Patrick Hayes, Director of BESA
Date, Time and Venue: Tuesday 23 May at 7 PM in the Hallmark Hotel Midland, Derby.
FREE – BUT PRE-BOOKING ESSENTIAL ON EVENTBRITE
NB The discussion will start at 7 PM followed by a drinks reception at 8.30 PM kindly sponsored by Derventio Education.
This event will also be the Midlands launch of the SCETT book The Role of the Teacher Today (£3.50)
Campaigns such the NUS backed ‘Why is My Curriculum White?’ and #DecoloniseEducation promise to overturn ‘the “Whiteness”, Eurocentric domination and lack of diversity in the curricula…which frames the West as sole producers of universal knowledge’. There is growing support for making courses, faculties, reading lists and ‘core’ subjects more culturally diverse to take account of the diverse backgrounds of an expanded student population. It is argued that ‘White’ curricula are responsible for feelings of ‘isolation, marginalisation, alienation and exclusion’ among non-white students. Continue reading
The East Midlands Salon is taking a summer break but will be back in the autumn with a whole new programme. We begin with a special event in September:
Wednesday 28 September – What is the role of a Salon in the 21st Century? Continue reading
Initial teacher training underwent significant, perhaps fundamental, reform under the previous Coalition administration. A practical experience-based approach was favoured. Former Education Secretary, Michael Gove, argued that teaching should be understood as a ‘craft’ that was ‘best learnt as an apprentice observing a master’. Following this, funding shifted decisively to school-led programmes, in the belief that these would provide a common-sense alternative to the overly theoretical or ideological approach of many university-based programmes.
So what knowledge, skills and experiences do new teachers need? Does it help be understand teaching as a craft, a science, perhaps even an art? What balance should be struck between theory and practice? Do we need a new College of Teaching to act as a professional gatekeeper? And with increasing numbers of Academies now employing unqualified teachers, do teachers really need formal certification beyond their first degree? Continue reading
On Tuesday 17 March at 7:00PM in Hallmark Hotel Derby, Midland Road, DE1 2SQ Derby, the East Midlands Salon is hosting a discussion entitled ‘Reclaiming freedom in education and society’
Liberal education and the progress of knowledge depend on tolerance of the widest possible diversity of ideas and expressions of those ideas. As Mill described in On Liberty, revolutions in ideas depend on tolerating even the most countercultural arguments, and personal growth depends on confronting even the most seemingly false ideas. Continue reading
In October 2014, the East Midlands Salon hosted a discussion entitled ‘What is a university for?’
Universities are distinct institutions that engage in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding without fear or favour. Historically universities have been seen as custodians and conduits for the best of intellectual thinking within and on behalf of society. This consensus view of what universities are for has been challenged by government and funding bodies concerned with the ‘impact’ of research and its benefits to wider society and the economy.
At the same time we have seen a complementary emphasis on the student as ‘consumer’ and a growing concern with ‘student experience’ and ‘student satisfaction’. Are we seeing the end of the university as a public good and its replacement by commercial forces or a shift in focus for the greater benefit of everyone in society?
The May 2014 Salon was a discussion of Education Secretary Michael Gove’s war against ‘The Blob’ – his name for left wing teachers and teacher trainers.