Overschooled but Undereducated: How the crisis in education is jeopardizing our adolescents


  • 02/12/2009
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The Institute of Economic Affairs invites you to attend:

An IEA Book Launch

‘Overschooled but Undereducated:
How the crisis in education is jeopardizing our adolescents’

(published by Continuum International)

by John Abbott

Wednesday 2nd December 2009

6.30pm – 8.00pm

(with brief remarks by the Author at 7.00pm)

2 Lord North Street, Westminster, SW1

(door on Great Peter Street)

Click To Buy –
‘Overschooled but Undereducated’

‘This remarkable work… is at the same time profoundly scholarly and eminently accessible. It is nothing less than a tour de force, and it is a privilege to recommend it unreservedly.

Sir Gustav Nossal, former President of the Australian Academy of Science

‘I read this book with great interest and almost entire agreement.’

Dr Eric Anderson, former Headmaster and Provost of Eton College

England once led the world into the industrial age through merging the genius of the few with the applied creativity of countless self-taught apprentices/craftsmen. We now seem to have forgotten the adolescent’s instinctive need “to grow up” by so learning to do things for themselves that they emerge as responsible, skilful and thoughtful adults. Instead of fostering this innate creativity, formal schooling has sought to neutralise the impact of adolescence thereby depriving youngsters of the strength to take difficult decisions and pick up the pieces if things go wrong. Properly supported adolescence is an invaluable opportunity, not a threat to social stability. Understand that and it changes everything.

John Abbott, President of the 21st Century Learning Initiative since 1995, once taught Geography at Manchester Grammar School. He became Chairman of the Expeditions Advisory Centre at the Royal Geographic Society and represented secondary education on The Engineering Council. In 1972 he became Headmaster of the 420 year old Alleyne’s School in Stevenage and in 1979 established what was to become Britain’s first ever fully computerised classroom. In 1995 he was invited to Washington to set up The 21st Century Learning Initiative to create a synthesis of research into how humans learn which was emerging from the biology, cognitive science and social sciences. He has lectured widely around the world. Overschooled but Undereducated is his most recent book.


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