About the Author

Spring 2015 055I taught English language and literature at secondary level (ages eleven to eighteen) for a number of years, before coming to work for the Inspiration Trust, where I am currently Assistant Principal at Great Yarmouth Charter Academy.

I’ve worked in all sorts of places, ranging from state comprehensive to boarding school. But I still remember fondly the one in which I first worked, a very ordinary non-selective comprehensive school (although it was grant-maintained) with a strict headmaster and a well-organised discipline system.

I’m very good at passing tests and writing essays: I got top grades in almost all of my school exams (art was the exception). Then I gained a first class degree from Manchester University, and a master’s with distinction and a PhD from the University of Leeds.

Why include all of these academic credentials? Well, I wouldn’t want you to think that I am criticising modern education just because I have sour grapes. I’ve done very well out of it, and lots of people patted me on the back over the years for being such a high achiever. And yet, however many certificates I’ve accumulated, the formal education I received was fragmentary and unsatisfactory in many ways. In my professional life, I am aiming to provide pupils with something more coherent and satisfying, both intellectually and morally.

In some ways, I could be said to be continuing, in my humble way, the work of my grandmother Betty Radice, who realised that people were struggling to understand many things they read because of their ignorance of classical literature and history. So she wrote Who’s Who in the Ancient World to help out these poorly educated moderns.


8 thoughts on “About the Author

  1. Hello Anthony

    I’ve read some of your writing – I arrived here via your piece on behaviour. I’m interested in your either/or approach to the world of education, the death of history and all that. I’m sure your understanding of the history of cognitive science is thorough and to me the drive to make psychology a science and the path from behaviourist rigour to something that includes the learner is interesting and demonstrates the both/and possibilities as psychology began to become more nuanced and continues this development with positive psychology coming along. The attempt to maintain the mechanical model of the brain takes a lot of effort and I can see how you are pouring your energy into shoring up this explanation. The problem with behaviour is that there’s nothing we can touch, there’s no organic cause we can reveal for most of human behaviour and the process of invention of new mental diseases is running out of control. If you haven’t come across Tomas Szaz’ book ‘The myth of mental illness’ i’d like to recommend it – he talks about the connection between the use of history (he calls it historicity) and the conversion of human suffering into illness in medical terms. Just to reassure you I’m Dr. Geoffrey James Ph.D. (UEA), M.A. (Education) B.Sc. (Joint Hons) Zoology and Botany, Post-grad Diploma in SEN, PGCE (Secondary science and SEN) RSA Dip Adult Literacy, etc.
    I’d welcome your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ‘The problem with behaviour is that there’s nothing we can touch, there’s no organic cause we can reveal for most of human behaviour’ – you appear to be saying that unless something is purely material, it is not real and cannot be investigated using reason. This is the Kantian divide which has placed human nature beyond the reach of reason.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I came across your blog quite by accident while doing some research online regarding Reading Recovery. While I’m not a teacher (I am a teacher’s aide in the United States) I’ve always been deeply interested in education and am concerned about many of the trends I see in education – both what is expected of teachers and what is expected (and often not expected) of students. I look forward to reading all your past blog posts as the little I’ve read so far has struck a chord with me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: The New Traditionalism: Kodaly and Hirsch Compared | The Traditional Teacher

  4. Thanks. One part of teaching literature that I love is introducing students to things they didn’t know about. My Year 13 class is getting to grips with Chaucer and it’s great fun to get them in to the world of the writer. However, the general lack of knowledge about history, literary heritage and language does make this quite slow and painful. The focus on more utilitarian (by which I mean the presumption of a career path) I think is getting in the way of schools teaching knowledge and this, I think is hampering the development of skills. One cannot be evaluative or analytical if one has nothing to evaluate or think about?


  5. Dear Anthony
    I think I approve of your attitude, having two children who have taught worldwide & can contrast very different styles.
    I have been deeply affected by listening to Professor Jordan Peterson on You tube who has developed a huge following among young people with his advice on how to live a meaningful life.
    Do try him.
    Dick Atkinson
    RCC !


  6. I haven’t got anything profound to say about education theory as I’m a recently qualified teacher. I just wanted to say thank you for your generosity in making your resources freely available. I’ve spent this morning reading your model essays on An Inspector Calls and they have significantly deepened my knowledge. This, in turn, will inform my teaching. Brilliant!


Thoughtful and reasonable discussion is always welcome.

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