Edward Thring of Uppingham (1821-87) is the man most often credited with founding HMC in 1869. 150 years ago he published Education and School, a book which pleaded passionately for
filling young minds with “Life Power”, rather than merely cramming them with facts. In striking contrast to the stereotypical Victorian headmaster, he rejected a classics-only curriculum and
championed independent learning and a huge range of academic and technical subjects, music and sports, along with large play-areas and gardens.
Thring’s great mantra was that “everybody learning to use time well is the one secret of a good and healthy moral life”. His fear was of a world in which teachers had time only to teach lessons, thus becoming “ill-tempered machines”, too busy to “share in and promote [pupils’] joys and hear of their last new discovery”. His distinctive vision for a highly respected teaching profession inspired its
members and he championed the true nature of teaching and learning; the importance of the pupil’s perspective and the value of a broad education. For all this, we owe him much more than we have previously realised.
Read more in issue 3 of Insight (p28)