Dr Anthony Radice (pronounced Ra – DEE – chay – it’s Italian) teaches English language and literature at secondary level (ages eleven to eighteen) in England. He’s worked in all sorts of schools, from a grim and chaotic comprehensive to a plush and civilised boarding school. But he still remembers fondly the one in which he first worked, a very ordinary non-selective comprehensive school (although it was grant-maintained) with a strict headmaster and a well-organised discipline system.
Dr Radice is very good at passing tests and writing essays: he got top grades in almost all of his school exams (art was the exception). Then he 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? Dr Radice wouldn’t want you to think that he is criticising modern education just because he has sour grapes. He did very well out of it, and lots of people patted him on the back over the years for being such a high achiever.
And yet there are so many holes in his knowledge, which he has been gradually filling since completing his formal education. He wants his pupils to have far fewer holes by the time they finish. He wants them to have a sound general education that will allow them to enter into the world of culturally literate reading and writing, and enjoy their participation in it for the rest of their lives.
In carrying out this mission, he feels he is continuing, in his humble way, the work of his 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.