Making Minds : What's Wrong with Education - and What Should We Do about It? book cover
1st Edition

Making Minds
What's Wrong with Education - and What Should We Do about It?

ISBN 9780415414111
Published August 23, 2007 by Routledge
208 Pages

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Book Description

Making Minds is a controversial critique of our education systems. The author is a school leader ‘at the forefront of scientific and technological advancement in schools’ who, as an American, ‘felt comfortable taking on the British establishment’ (The Times Educational Supplement).

Making Minds is written for general readers- especially parents- as well as educational professionals. The book examines the underlying limitations that have been accepted in education over the past two thousand years. The author challenges common assumptions about education through evidence-based, political, ethical, and emotional arguments, as well as examining case studies such as university admissions and the autism ‘epidemic’.

Making Minds describes a more productive scientific approach to learning, drawing on recent research findings, particularly in the US and UK. The author illustrates how new research methods, new technologies, and very recent discoveries in neuroscience that will, in the end, allow us to make minds.

Table of Contents

Introduction  1.In the beginning  2.Education as segregation  3.Globalizing learning  4.Education as prejudice  5.Learning from our mistakes  6.Education as politics  7.Free learning  8.The future of learning with technology  9.In the end  Notes  Index

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Paul Kelley is head teacher at Monkseaton High School. He is a well-known media commentator on education. Having been involved in education on both sides of the Atlantic and in India, he is well suited to offer a balanced, informed and international perspective on the state of education today.


'[Kelley will] probably always be remembered as Laura Spence’s head . . . accepted by top universities all over the world- even offered a scholarship at Harvard- she was turned down by Magdalen College, Oxford where tutor notes said she might not fit in ‘as with other comprehensive school pupils’. The ensuing furore prompted a broadside from the then Chancellor Gordon Brown [now Prime Minister] against university elitism, calling the decision ‘a disgrace’. Spence ultimately justified her headteacher’s confidence- an outstanding athlete as well as a top-class academic.' -The Independent (different articles), also reported in New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek International

'Dr Kelley's is a lateral kind of guy, a real one-off.  He is a free-thinking intellectual, very different from the managerial heads that have grown up under new labour.' -David Reynolds, Professor of Leadership and School Effectiveness at Exeter University

 'He has been influential in countering the crises in modern languages and maths teaching in schools, working with The OU to cover the needs of both children and teachers across the country.' -

'Many people in the OU may not have met Paul Kelley but they have heard of him. He has acquired a kind of legendary status. This is a man who is approached on one day by the Prime Minister’s Education Strategy Unit and who on another allows himself to be put in the stocks and pelted with wet sponges by his pupils to raise money for charity. Legendary or not, his achievements are undoubtedly making a difference to British education, and for those, we honour him today.' -

'Could science be about to change the way children learn? [Kelley] is hoping to answer some of education’s biggest questions.' -James Westhead, Education Correspondent, BBC TV News

'[Kelley] hopes to improve education everywhere by carrying out experiments inspired by brain research.' -The Economist

'[Kelley is] at the forefront of scientific and technological advancement in schools.' -The Times Educational Supplement

'[Kelley’s] achievements are undoubtedly making a difference to British Education.' -Dr. Elizabeth Manning, The Open University

'[Challenging] the way politics, prejudice and received wisdom shape what goes on in school.' -Mary Braid, The Sunday Times

'…a scathing attack on the current test and exams regime . . . food for thought.' -Richard Garner, The Independent

'…making the British Establishment foam at the mouth.' Francis Beckett, The Independent

'Paul Kelley, educational innovator and charismatic American headteacher.' -Mary Braid, The Sunday Times