The liberating power of education

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.

About Harley

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 He has written about pre-state education from Ancient Greece to the Industrial Revolution for the Routledge History of Education (forthcoming).