Tag Archives: Daisy Christodoulou

Public Intellectual is not a dirty name – Suzannah Lipscomb at Swindon Festival of Literature

17 May

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Given the reaction of the tabloid and ‘quality’ press front pages during the election, you may be forgiven for thinking that today’s public intellectuals are Katie Hopkins, Jeremy Clarkson and Russell Brand.

Happily, you’d be wrong on two counts and you can argue the toss with me about Russell. The term ‘public intellectuals’ sit uncomfortably with the British public, too self-congratulatory. The French are fine with it. But, boy, do we need them.

According to historian Susannah Lipscomb at the Swindon Festival of Literature last Friday, public intellectuals are the clever people who emerge from quiet libraries; they don’t endlessly research a particular point that only five other people care about.

They arm themselves with encyclopaedic knowledge, for sure, have a long hard rumination about all of it – then they get out there, tell people what they know and have an opinion about it: “They use knowledge and learning to change our shared world,” says Suzannah. Continue reading

Educational myths – Daisy Christodoulou at the Swindon Festival of Literature

12 May

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Daisy. Cute name. Comprehensive school accent. Jeans and a ponytail. Young. And a secondary school teacher who found time to write a book, a clever book – Seven Myths About Education – full of well supported, understandable arguments. All very welcome and refreshing.

Her conclusion, it seemed to me, is that Knowledge is a Good Thing. And teaching knowledge for knowledge sake is not only a good thing but essential. Continue reading