Harold Rosen: Writings on Life, Language and Learning 1958 to 2008

Lecturer: John Richmond

Harold Rosen was a leader of thought in the world of English teaching in the second half of the twentieth century. He wrote that

“English is nothing less than a different model of education: knowledge to be made, not given; knowledge comprising more than can be discursively stated; learning as a diverse range of processes, including affective ones; educational processes to be embarked on with outcomes unpredictable; students’ perceptions, experiences, imaginings and unsystematically acquired knowledge admitted as legitimate curricular content”.

He and his colleagues forged and sustained a new understanding of the purpose and possibilities of the subject English within the school curriculum. Beyond the constituency of people teaching English in secondary schools, Harold’s teachings, writings and activities illuminated many more people’s understanding of the relationship between language and learning in any context, whatever the age of the learner and the content of the learning.

This lecture supports a recent collection of Harold’s writings, Harold Rosen: Writings on Life, Language and Learning 1958–2008 (UCL IOE Press), and is delivered by the book’s editor, John Richmond, who was a friend of Harold’s. The book contains over 50 pieces of Harold’s educational writings, interspersed with some of his stories and poems. These are grouped into three themes: The politics of language and English teaching, the role of language in learning, and story.

Thursday 6th July, 5.00