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Alexander: The Demon King by Warwick Ball

Was Alexander’s greatest single contribution to civilisation his own, or was it the creation of the Persian empire that he destroyed? Alexander undoubtedly created a great empire, but he destroyed an even greater one: Cyrus’ empire lasted nearly 300 years, Alexander’s collapsed upon his death.

And it is important to remember that Alexander did not conquer all of western Asia as his reputation has it: he conquered a ready-made empire Cyrus and his successors had already conquered it for him long before: ‘Not an inch of territory conquered by Alexander had not been held before him by the Achaemenians.’ Read more

Education History: A Brief History of Ragged Schools

Ragged schools is a name commonly given after about 1840 to the many independently established 19th century charity schools in the United Kingdom which provided entirely free education and, in most cases, food, clothing, lodging and other home missionary services for those too poor to pay.  In many ways the movement embodied the notion of education as human development.

 

Often they were established in poor working class districts of the rapidly expanding industrial towns. Lord Shaftesbury eventually came to be the chairman of Ragged schools and championed the movement for thirty nine years.  Several different schools claim to have been the first truly free school for poor or ‘ragged’ people but free education is a tradition which spans time and culture.

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The History of the RSA by Jamie Cooke

Jamie Cooke came along to Leith on the 12th of June 2012 to talk a bit about the history of the RSA.  A great guy who is always running around setting something up or making something happen.  On that night he was telling us what he puts his life into, a great history…

Background:  The Royal Society for the encourage of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) is an enlightenment organisation committed to finding innovative practical solutions to today’s social challenges. Through its ideas, research and 27,000-strong Fellowship it seeks to understand and enhance human capability so we can close the gap between today’s reality and peopl’s hopes for a better world. Read more

The Peer Led Teaching of the Ragged Schools

Before education was free for everyone in Britain, there were Ragged Schools. Beginning in the 18th century, philanthropists started Ragged Schools to help the disadvantaged towards a better life. During the 19th century, more people began to worry about neglected children and more schools were opened. These early Ragged Schools were started by merchants and communities and staffed by volunteers.
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