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Photo by Wendi Andrews
Essay/
Education
An inconvenient child

My six-year-old son was suspended as a danger to others. His crime? A disability you could find in any classroom

Michael Graziano

Photo by Frederick Florin/AP/Getty

Essay/
Teaching and learning
The growth mindset problem

A generation of schoolchildren is being exhorted to believe in their brain’s elasticity. Does it really help them learn?

Carl Hendrick

Photo by Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty

Essay/
Teaching and learning
The examined life

Students are working harder than ever to pass tests but schools allow no time for true learning in the Socratic tradition

John Taylor

Think five. Photo by Matt McClain/Washington Post/Getty

Essay/
Education
The five-paragraph fetish

Writing essays by a formula was meant to be a step on the way. Now it’s the stifling goal for student and scholar alike

David Labaree

Detail from a contemporary fake miniature, purporting to be from the 17th century, depicting Ottoman-era scholars observing the night sky through telescopes. Allegedly from the Istanbul University Library. Photo by DEA/Getty

Essay/
History of science
Forging Islamic science

Fake miniatures depicting Islamic science have found their way into the most august of libraries and history books. How?

Nir Shafir

Cruising the boulevard in Los Angeles, California, August 1980. Photo by Bruce Dale/National Geographic/Getty

Essay/
Childhood and adolescence
The end of adolescence

In the 20th century it offered a bridge from the innocence of childhood to the responsibilities of adult life. Not any more

Paula S Fass

Confident, idealistic, hard working... what’s not to like? Photo by Thomas Peter/Reuters

Essay/
Childhood and adolescence
Growing-ups

Living with your parents, single and with no clear career. Is this a failure to grow up or a whole new stage of life?

Jeffrey Jensen Arnett

College days, 1948. Photo by Peter Stackpole/Getty
Essay/
Education
Rise of the humanities

Professors worry about the ‘crisis in the humanities’. But more people than ever, especially women, are studying them

Peter Mandler

Artwork by G Clausen. Photo by SSPL/NRM/Pictorial Collection/Getty

Essay/
Education
Classics for the people

A Classical education was never just for the elite, but was a precious and inspiring part of working-class British life

Edith Hall

Plaque depicting warrior and attendants (16th-17th century), Edo peoples, Benin kingdom, Nigeria. Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Essay/
Global history
Africa, in its fullness

The West focuses only on slavery, but the history of Africa is so much more than a footnote to European imperialism

Toby Green

Students at the University of California, Berkeley, attend graduation ceremonies amid protests against the Vietnam War c1968. Photo by Ted Streshinsky/Corbis/Corbis/Getty

Essay/
Education
A wild muddle

The ethical formation of citizens was once at the heart of the US elite college. Has this moral purpose gone altogether?

Chad Wellmon

A young girl walks home beside a security fence enclosing the school in Philadelphia, October 2006. Photo by Mark Stehle/AP/PA

Essay/
Education
The school of failure

The worst public schools do one thing very well – they teach poor black kids how to stay in the American underclass

D Watkins

‘Aristotelian education, like its Platonic predecessor, is almost lifelong.’ In the reading room of Widener Library, Harvard University, 1974. Photo by Constantine Manos/Magnum

Essay/
Education
The well-educated person

If we took Aristotle seriously we would revolutionise our educational systems to enable citizens to learn throughout life

C D C Reeve

All photos courtesy of the author
Essay/
Ethics
The outsider

As a philosopher, I can’t conceal my class. But I prefer the counsel of my grandmother to platitudes about ‘impostor syndrome’

Amy Olberding

A class is held in fornt of a Miro painting at the Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio, USA in 1968. Photo by David hurn/Magnum
Essay/
Education
In praise of Dewey

He knew how to protect democracy – not by rote and rules but by growing independent-minded kids. Let us not forget it

Nicholas Tampio

Warships in a Heavy Storm (c1695), by Ludolf Bakhuysen. Courtesy Rijksmusuem, Amsterdam

Essay/
History of science
When pirates studied Euclid

How did the sailors of early modern Europe learn to traverse the world’s seas? By going to school and doing maths problems

Margaret Schotte