Episode #5. Jason Fletcher, Headmaster of Heritage School


Manage episode 193542854 series 1526676
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In this interview, I talk with Jason Fletcher, founding Headmaster of Heritage School in Cambridge. Heritage is the only school I am aware of that is committed to (and actively promotes) a Charlotte Mason education in the UK. Jason explains its unique pertinence to the educational priorities of our times. We discuss, * The fight against apathy and disenchantment * The founding of Heritage * Charlotte Mason - her history and philosophy * The tragedy of apathy, and what Heritage does to tackle it. * How exam preparation distorts ‘true education’ * Living ideas / books vs "Twaddle" * The natural attractiveness of knowledge * Narrative history and the importance of giving children a “plausible story” about the past * The teaching method of Narration: how it distinguishes itself from spoon-feeding and how it helps children improve their attention (which is in 'crisis') * The role of the teacher - “masterly inactivity” * Christian education and working across faith boundaries * The Christian view of the Person - the "mystery of the person" - vs Locke’s blank slate * Education as “the Science of Relations” * Growth mindset * Optimism and anti-reductionism * Heritage's approach to behaviour and discipline; how to create a calm school. * The importance of aesthetics in a school * Jason's anti-bureaucratic style of leadership in the school - e.g. in guidance on lesson planning and reporting * The Book of Centuries * Cross-disciplinary / interdisciplinary education - how to do it properly and how not to do it. * Nature Study and Nature Walks in the Seasons; environmental education. * Charges of "Retreatism", Luddism or Romanticism. How does Charlotte Mason prepare children for the 21st Century? Answer: the importance of the will. The “directed life”. * How counter-cultural Heritage is in its promotion of the "richer things" vs technology * e.g. Smartphones vs dumbphones. iPads vs attention and ruminating on the text; going against the tide. Watch the interview on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJCbwR34i-w Or subscribe on iTunes here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/will-orr-ewing/id1268575614?mt=2 USEFUL LINKS * The Charlotte Mason supporters I dimly mentioned were: Anne Clough, the first principal of Newnham College, Cambridge; Dorothea Beale, principal of Cheltenham Ladies’ College; and Frances Buss, headmistress of the North London Collegiate School. * There is more about Charlotte Mason here: https://willorrewingblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/13/charlotte-mason-who-was-she-and-what-is-her-relevance/ * Heritage's website: http://www.heritageschool.org.uk/ * Jason's mother in law's book that began the Heritage story: https://www.amazon.co.uk/CHILDRENS-SAKE-MACAULAY-SUSAN-SCHAEFFER/dp/1433506955/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1513092022&sr=1-1 * The Tech-Wise Family mentioned towards the end: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tech-Wise-Family-Everyday-Putting-Technology/dp/B0742KD6P9/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1513100919&sr=8-1&keywords=tech+wise+family * The PNEU: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parents%27_National_Educational_Union * An example of Narration in action at Ambleside Schools in the US: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVNf7aB9EXo&list=PLSyapsJ5Zs5N2qxwtqeEekYQM0G64vCDE

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