The Slow School Movement

The Nature and Purpose of Education

I was interested today to read Maurice Holt’s The Nature and Purpose of Education online, where he talks about the ‘slow food movement’ and makes some good sense. His argument, developed from the slow food movment, with its emphasis on quality and flavour over ‘fastness’ takes the perspective that standardised tests and targets are like the hamburger: a fairly worthless product with little nutritional value and says:

Since education is essentially about equipping our children with the ability to act responsibly in a complex society, the idea of a Slow School follows very readily from the metaphor of Slow. It brings to mind an institution where students have time to discuss, argue, and reflect upon knowledge and ideas, and so come to understand themselves and the culture they will inherit. It would be a school that esteems the professional judgement of teachers, that recognizes the differing interests and talents of its pupils, and works with its community to provide a rich variety of learning experiences.



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