Susan Engel argues that money has become the driving force in the way we think about education, profoundly damaging our schools and our children. She asks what would happen if we made happiness, rather than money, the graduation prize. She describes the eight dispositions children should acquire in school that would prepare them to lead full lives: immersion in complex and meaningful activities, purpose, curiosity, thoughtfulness, mastery, standing for others, appreciating difference, and reading for pleasure. Engel describes what teachers and children would do each day in such a school, and outlines a new kind of assessment. If we put these dispositions at the center of the educational process it would radically alter things for children, teachers and parents and promote a better society for all. One of the world’s most prominent intellectuals, Amartya Sen, discusses the origin for the book title, The Country of First Boys.
Time and again Amartya Sen, Nobel laureate and polymath, has stimulated our thoughts and world-view through his ideas. In his new collection of cultural essays Sen examines social justice and welfare, by addressing some of the fundamental issues of our time like deprivation, disparity, hunger, illiteracy, alienation, globalization, media, freedom of speech, injustice, inequality, exclusion, and exploitation.