Michael FD Young – Bringing Knowledge Back In: From Social Constructivism to Social Realism in the Sociology of Education
What of more modern works? I used to recommend the “blistering indictment” of the flight from traditional liberal education that is Melanie Phillips’s All Must Have Prizes, to be read alongside Tom Bentley’s Learning Beyond the Classroom: Education for a Changing World, which is a defence of a wider view of learning for the “learning age”. These two books defined the debate in the 1990s between traditional education by authoritative teachers and its rejection in favour of a new learning in partnership with students.
Allan Bloom – The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students
Jean-Jacques Rousseau – Émile or “on education”
Pierre Bourdieu and Jean-Claude Passeron – Reproduction in Education, Society and Culture
Professor of Education, University of Derby
Paul H Hirst – Knowledge and the Curriculum For the essay which appears as Chapter 3 ‘Liberal Education and the Nature of Knowledge’
John Henry Newman – The Idea of a University
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Neil Postman – The End of Education: Redefining the Value of School
Jerome Bruner – The Process of Education
James Davison Hunter – The Death of Character: Moral Education in an Age without Good or Evil
Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner – Teaching as a Subversive Activity
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What are “out” of my list are textbooks and guides to classroom practice. What are also “out” are novels and plays. But there are some great literary works that should be read by every teacher: Charles Dicken’s Hard Times – for Gradgrind’s now much-needed celebration of facts; D. H. Lawrence’s The Rainbow – for Ursula Brangwen’s struggle against her early child-centred idealism in the reality of St Philips School; and Alan Bennett’s The History Boys – for Hector’s role as the subversive teacher committed to knowledge.
Michael Oakeshott – The Voice of Liberal Learning In particular for the essay “Education: The Engagement and Its Frustration”
Michael FD Young – Knowledge and Control: New Directions for the Sociology of Education
Tom Bentley – Learning Beyond The Classroom: Education for a Changing World
Frank Furedi – Wasted: Why Education Isn’t Educating
Richard Stanley Peters – Ethics and Education
I hope I have produced a list of books, displayed here in alphabetical order, that are held to be important by today’s teachers. I make no apology for including the book I wrote with Kathryn Ecclestone, The Dangerous Rise of Therapeutic Education because it is an influential critical work that has produced considerable controversy. If you disagree with this, or any other of my choices, please add your alternative “ book article about education canonical” books on education.
These are the three great books because each is sociologically whole. They each present a description and arguments for an education for a particular and better society. You do not have to agree with these authors. Plato’s tripartite education for a just society ruled over by philosopher kings; Rousseau’s education through nature to establish the social contract and Dewey’s relevant, problem-solving democratic education for a democratic society can all be criticised. That is not the point. The point is to understand these great works. They constitute the intellectual background to any informed discussion of education.
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Hannah Arendt – Between Past and Future , for the essay “The Crisis in Education”
Alison Wolf – Does Education Matter? Myths about Education and Economic Growth
Sybil Marshall – An Experiment in Education
Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis – Schooling in Capitalist America: Educational Reform and the Contradictions of Economic Life
John Locke – Some Thoughts Concerning Education
Anthony O’ Hear – Education, Society and Human Nature: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education
Carl Rogers – Freedom to Learn: A View of What Education Might Become
Brian Simon – Does Education Matter? Particularly for the paper “Why No Pedagogy in England?”
ED Hirsch Jnr. – The Schools We Need And Why We Don’t Have Them
Kathryn Ecclestone and Dennis Hayes – The Dangerous Rise of Therapeutic Education
Much time and money is spent on teacher training and continuing professional development and much of it is wasted. A cheaper and better way of giving student teachers and in-service teachers an understanding of education would be to get them to read the 50 great works on education.
Alexander Sutherland Neil – Summerhill: A Radical Approach to Child Rearing
Robin Barrow – Giving Teaching Back to the Teachers
Nell Keddie – Tinker, Taylor: The Myth of Cultural Deprivation
Paul E. Willis – Learning to Labour: How Working Class Kids Get Working Class Jobs
Alfred North Whitehead – The Aims of Education and other essays
Paulo Freire – Pedagogy of the Oppressed
The book article about education 50 great books on education
A critical take on education and schooling
The books I have identified, with the help of members of the Institute of Ideas’ Education Forum, teachers and colleagues at several universities, constitute an attempt at an education “canon”.
Harold Entwistle – Antonio Gramsci: Conservative Schooling for Radical Politics .
Michael W. Apple – Official Knowledge: Democratic Education in a Conservative Age
I have often argued that I would not let any teacher into a school unless – as a minimum – they had read, carefully and well, the three great books on education: Plato’s Republic, Rousseau’s Émile and Dewey’s Democracy and Education. book review journal article