Educating Tomorrow (Book Review)

Educating Tomorrow: Learning for the post-pandemic world
Chris Brown and Ruth Luzmore. 2021. Emerald Publishing. ISBN 978-1-80043-663-3. 200 pages. US$23.99 (softback).

Does a post-pandemic world provide us with a blank slate for change in society overall and education in particular? That is a question Brown and Luzmore ask in Educating Tomorrow.

Can education emerge as new and improved in the post-pandemic future? Can we take the global challenges we now face and make a better tomorrow? Brown and Luzmore also address these questions in Educating Tomorrow. Their thoughts provide great food for thought.

Brown is a professor at Durham University (UK) and Luzmore is a primary school teacher in London and PhD student at Durham. Their perspective in Educating Tomorrow reflects ideas related to how England’s educational system could change in the future due to not only the aftermath of the pandemic but also due to global environmental and democratic changes.

To give an idea of the scope of topics covered, consider how the authors summarize in a table the purpose of education over time (p. 71 to 73). As a sampling from the table, in ancient Greece, there is no formal public education. During the rise and fall of Rome, the table shows a  “widespread system of education with the purpose of preparing boys of wealth to enter the government” (p. 70). During the industrial revolution,  “private education continues for those who can afford it” (p 72). In what the authors calls the welfare state, there is a “radical change in offer of education until age 16” (p. 72).

If you (or your students) enjoy thinking about topics covered in a chapter such as a Brief History of Education from Ancient Greece to the Enlightenment (p. 39) or From Universal Basic Income to Aristotle and Back (p. 101), this would be a good read for you.

Only time will tell if there are changes in society and education in a post-pandemic world, and we can, of course, hope for changes that could be considered a better world in the future.

Reviewed by Jeanette Evans 
A version of this review is scheduled to appear in Technical Communication.