Universities in the Middle Ages focused on three skills to develop the intellectual abilities of students, one - grammar, two - logic, and three - rhetoric. In this well-researched and fascinating work discover how these three tenets are as relevant in education today as they were eight hundred years ago.
Martin Robinson has taught for twenty years in state schools in London, as a teacher, head of department, head of faculty, assistant head teacher, and AST. He's now an entrepreneur, company director, and playwright interested in developing creativity in schools.
Education policy and practice is a battleground. Traditionalists argue for the teaching of a privileged type of hard knowledge and deride soft skills. Progressives deride learning about great works of the past, preferring soft 21st century skills such as creativity and critical thinking. By looking at the great thinkers from Ancient Greece to the present day and through interviews with opinion formers, policy makers and practitioners, including Alain de Botton, Daniel T. Willingham, Matthew Taylor and Elizabeth Truss MP, this book explores whether a contemporary trivium (Grammar, Dialectic and Rhetoric) can unite institutions, teachers, politicians and parents in the common pursuit of providing a great education for our children in the 21st century.
Martin Robinson sets out on a quest to discover the kind of education he wishes for his daughter and we all learn a great deal in the process. I love his writing: wise, well informed, provocative, thinking-out-loud. Robinson engages his reader from first to last. A terrific feat.
Melissa Benn, writer and author of School Wars: The Battle for Britain’s Education
Trivium 21c is essential reading for all educators and observers of the seemingly endless public debate about education who wish to go beyond simplistic polarities and find a way to integrate and relate in a historical context seemingly contradictory approaches.
Ian Bauckham, Head Teacher and President,
Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) 2013-14
In schools today a focus on contemporary relevance too often trumps educational depth. Martin Robinson makes a compelling case that turning instead to the tradition of the liberal arts can open the minds of a new generation.
Marc Sidwell, co-author of The School of Freedom, Managing Editor City A.M.
For the open-minded reader there is much to learn. I agree with Robinson that for students to acquire a sound blend of knowledge, questioning expertise, and communication skills (i.e. the trivium) is the basis of a great education.
Dr Jacek Brant, Head of Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment (CPA), Senior Lecturer in Business Education, Institute of Education, University of London
Anybody interested in education, citizenship, or how we want our children to learn would find this a thought-provoking read.
Sunder Katwala, Director of British Future, the independent think tank
After 20 years working in London in state schools as teacher, head of department, AST, senior leader and QCA associate with a focus on creativity Martin Robinson is now a parent, writer and consultant with an interest in how the arts should influence education.
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