1. Going back is the way forward.
After decades of decline, it’s time to learn from the simple, effective methods that produced mass literacy and social mobility in Britain at the turn of the last century.
2. We’ll take the best of the past.
We don’t need blackboards, canes or grammar schools, but we do need to master subjects using memorisation, and we do need to pass on literate culture to everyone.
3. Don’t be afraid of the ‘T’ word.
Knowing the past gives us strength to move into the future. Being stranded in the present leaves us disorientated and vulnerable to fads, fashions and snake-oil salesmen.
4. Memory is the mother of wisdom.
If it’s not in your long term memory, you can’t think clearly with it, any more than you can express yourself well in a language you don’t speak fluently.
5. Mind and voice, paper and ink . . .
And nothing else, until it is scientifically proven to promote thinking, remembering and articulating more effectively than the methods that produced Shakespeare, Dickens, and Churchill.
6. Character counts.
Self discipline and hard work count for more than anything else in the long run.
7. General knowledge first.
A broad schema well learned makes sense of all that comes later.
8. Intelligence is not fixed.
The more you learn, the smarter you get.
9. Everyone can be articulate and knowledgeable.
There are no difficult words, and no difficult facts: only the ones you know, and the ones you don’t know. Language and knowledge are available to the whole human race.
10. Bad ideas kill schools.
Because we want the best for our pupils, we will fight tooth and nail against progressive ideas that destroy the teacher’s authority and belittle the value of knowledge. This is a battle for the intellectual life of those in our charge.