Do I want a Victorian education?

Clio et cetera

Some of the more aggressive critics of this blog often make the case that I am arguing here for a ‘return’ to a ‘Victorian’ educational model, perhaps aspiring to re-create a ‘golden age’ in which education worked well and from which late-twentieth-century progressivism took us away. I want in this post to set out a few clarifiers.

First, there never was an educational golden age in which the kinds of things I argue for in this blog existed. I have absolutely no desire to return to the past, and indeed if I were to give an overall judgement for our system, I would say it is better than it has ever been in the past. Our education system is not ‘broken’, for this implies that it was once ‘not broken’. People disagree over our future trajectory and there are crucial debates to be had here which require lots of hard…

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