Education: A Very Short Introduction (2nd edition)

ISBN : 9780198859086

Gary Thomas
168 ページ
111 x 174 mm
Very Short Introductions
  • Explores the evolution of education since the Ancient Greeks, and analsyses the forces influencing it
  • Considers contemporary controversies over progressive versus formal teaching
  • Explores the work of the important education theorists, including Piaget and Vygotsky
  • Considers how curriculums globally can be shaped to meet the needs of a rapidly moving world

Since the early Egyptians human beings have formalised the business of learning, setting up a designated environment of some form to pass knowledge and learning on to groups of students. In this second edition of his Very Short Introduction, Gary Thomas explores how and why education has evolved as it has, examining the ways in which it has responded over the centuries to various influences in politics, philosophy, and the social sciences. Focussing on education today, he considers especially the controversies over progressive versus formal teaching, and also examines education worldwide, assessing the accelerating trend on both sides of the Atlantic of the move to charter, academy, and 'free' schools.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically accelerated moves to online learning in schools and universities, and in this new edition Thomas looks again at curriculums and what shape they should take in a rapidly changing world. He asks why action on race, gender and social inequality has borne so little fruit thus far, questioning the oft-made claim of education to be a force for social mobility, and offering an analysis on how education may develop over the coming century.


2:Oil and water: the formal and the progressive
3:The traditions unfold: ideas into practice
4:Big ideas from the 20th century
5:Analysts and theorists: what did they ever do for us?
6:The curriculum
7:School's out!
References and further reading


Gary Thomas is Professor in Education, University of Birmingham, having previously worked as a teacher and as an educational psychologist. His teaching and research have focused on inclusion, special education, and the methods used in social science research. He has written more than 20 books and over 100 articles on his research work in education, which has been funded by UK Research Councils, the Nuffield Foundation, the Leverhulme Trust, charities and national and local government. He has been the editor of several major journals in education, including Educational Review and the British Educational Research Journal.

"Its stimulating, readable approach...make[s] sense of the principles, themes and connections in the continuing complex story of how contested ideas around education are put into policy and realised in practice." - William Scott, Professor Emeritus, University of Bath