featured articles: informal education, lifelong learning and social action

support pages for Heather Smith and Mark K. Smith's book: the art of helping others


3: being wise

further reading
the art of helping others: home and forum



Aristotle on knowledge.

Happiness. What makes us flourish - and what does not? We explore the theory, practice and possibilities of putting happiness at the centre of helping and teaching.

Conversation and dialogue. 'Dialogue', Freire says, 'is the encounter between men, mediated by the world, in order to name the world'. Here we explore this idea - and its roots.

cover: the art of helping othersParker J. Palmer: community, knowing and spirituality in education. Parker J. Palmer's explorations of education as a spiritual journey and of the inner lives of educators have been deeply influential. We explore his teachings and contribution.

Donald Schon: learning, reflection and change. Donald Schon made a remarkable contribution to our understanding of the theory and practice of learning. His innovative thinking around notions such as ‘the learning society’, ‘double-loop learning’ and ‘reflection-in-action’ has become part of the language of education. We explore his work and some of the key themes that emerge. What assessment can we make now? 

Elliot Eisner, connoisseurship, criticism and the art of education. Elliot W. Eisner has deepened our appreciation of artistry and the development of connoisseurship and criticism. Here we examine his contribution

further reading

Eisner, Elliot W. (1998) The enlightened eye: qualitative inquiry and the enhancement of educational practice. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Merrill. A helpful exploration of connoisseurship and criticism in the context of research and teaching.

Haidt, Jonathan (2007) Happiness Hypothesis: Putting Ancient Wisdom to the Test of Modern Science. London: Arrow. This is a clear, insightful and inspiring exploration of basic questions around what we should do, how we should live and whom we should be. He shows how ideas around virtue and morality have narrowed, and why ancient ideas may hold promise.

Schön, Donald (1983) The Reflective Practitioner. How professionals think in action. London: Temple Smith. An influential and very well-written book that still repays reading. Schön examines the nature of professional knowledge, professional contexts and reflection-in-action. He looks at the move from technical rationality to reflection-in-action. However, one of the stand-out features of the book is his entertaining use of case studies to explore professional judgement.