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Educating with Purpose: The heart of what matters

Educating with Purpose: The heart of what matters

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The past decade in education focused on what works. The decade ahead must focus on what matters. In his second book, Stephen Tierney argues that it is time for the purpose of education to move to the centre of the debate.


Why we educate is a question from which all else evolves. A question for all times, it will resonate deeply with those who have experienced the Great Pause caused by the global pandemic in 2020. And it is a question that we need to answer, because that purpose will determine what schools and the education system as a whole will do next.


Proposing that the telos of education must be a life well-lived, Tierney argues for a re-purposing of education. He provides the theory of four philosophies of education - personal empowerment, cultural transmission, preparation for work and preparation for citizenship - alongside a powerful critique that challenges the current orthodoxy.

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The past decade in education focused on what works. The decade ahead must focus on what matters. In his second book, Stephen Tierney argues that it is time for the purpose of education to move to the centre of the debate.

Why we educate is a question from which all else evolves. A question for all times, it will resonate deeply with those who have experienced the Great Pause caused by the global pandemic in 2020. And it is a question that we need to answer, because that purpose will determine what schools and the education system as a whole will do next.

Proposing that the telos of education must be a life well-lived, Tierney argues for a re-purposing of education. He provides the theory of four philosophies of education - personal empowerment, cultural transmission, preparation for work and preparation for citizenship - alongside a powerful critique that challenges the current orthodoxy.

About the Author

Until 2020, Stephen was CEO of the Blessed Edward Bamber Catholic Multi Academy Trust, a trust in Blackpool including Christ the King and St. Cuthbert's Catholic Academies and St. Mary's Catholic Academy. He chairs the Headteachers' Roundtable Group.

Additional Information

Author Stephen Tierney
ISBN 9781913622091
No of pages 240
Format Paperback
Publication Date 14 Aug 2020

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