Professor James Tooley tells of his personal journey through the world of private education in the developed world
Everyone from Bono to UNESCO is looking for a silver bullet to bring schooling within reach of the poorest children on Earth. James Tooley may have found one.
While researching private schools in India for the World Bank, and worrying that he was doing little to help the poor, Professor Tooley wandered into the slums of Hyderabad’s Old City. Shocked to find it overflowing with small, parent-funded schools, he set out to discover if they could help achieve universal education. So began the adventure lyrically told in The Beautiful Tree , the story of Tooley’s travels from the largest shanty town in Africa to the mountains of Gansu, China, and of the children, parents, teachers and entrepreneurs who taught him that the poor are not waiting for educational handouts. They are building their own schools and learning to save themselves.
Named after Mahatma Gandhi’s phrase for the schools of pre-colonial India, The Beautiful Tree is not another book lamenting what has gone wrong in the Third World. It is a book about what is going right, and it offers a simple lesson: both the entrepreneurial spirit and the love of parents for their children can be found in every corner of the globe.
‘Surprising…engaging…a moving account of how poor parents struggle against great odds to provide a rich educational experience to their children.’ , Publishers Weekly
‘This is a great book; iconoclastic, refreshing, well-written, and careful. Tooley’s detective work reveals a major undiscovered planet: private schools for the poor.’ William Easterly, author, ‘White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good’
‘With this important and passionately written book, James Tooley has joined the late Milton Friedman as a name to be reckoned with in support of ‘market solutions’ for providing quality education to poor children.’ Hernando de Soto
Published by the Cato Institute, ISBN 978 1 933995 92 2, 302pp, HB
The Global Education Industry by James Tooley
Government Failure: E G West on Education by James Tooley and James Stansfield
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