‘A Quiet Education’ Overview

19 Feb 2020

I’m both delighted and very nervous that ‘A Quiet Education: Challenging the extrovert ideal in our schools’ is out today and available from both John Catt Education and Amazon. It is a topic that I am hugely passionate about and feel privileged to have had the opportunity to write about and share with others.

I will happily confess that writing this book was partly an act of therapy. I set off on a mission to unpick what it means to be quiet, unassuming and introverted in the extroverted world of schools – and I did so because that is entirely my own temperament.

I wanted to think about the many ways in which education could benefit from quiet virtues and skills. This was, in part, due to my frustration over the fact that quiet qualities are often overlooked – not just in education, but in the wider world. More needs to be done to keep quieter and more introverted teachers from feeling overwhelmed, from burning out, from being misunderstood by colleagues and from ultimately leaving the profession.

I am very grateful to a huge amount of people who have contributed to the book coming together. Each chapter finishes with what I have called ‘Quiet Reflections’, which are case studies from a wide range of people involved in education. I have been so lucky that the following people have understood what I have been trying to bring together with the book, and written such thoughtful pieces to be included: Sophie Minchell, Tom Sherrington, Joe Moran, Ellie Resner, Mary Myatt, Dan Rodriguez-Clark, Tom Rees, Adrian Bethune, Kulvarn Awal, Aidan Severs, Christopher Barnes, Peps Mccrea, Mark Enser, Doug Lemov, Zoe Enser, Jonathan Firth, Dave Grimmett, Miranda McKearney.

The book is so much richer for their input. Alongside that, the many other voices of the many students and teachers who contributed to the book demonstrate just how powerfully present the advocates of quiet are in schools. Speaking to them has reminded me how richly complex we all are, and how vital it is to seek to genuinely understand and listen to others, especially those of different temperaments.

For children growing up in a divided and demanding world, this sensitivity and compassion is more necessary than ever. Schools should strive to be the most diverse and accepting of environments, helping to equip all young people with the self-confidence they need to thrive in education and beyond.

The book is split into three sections: Quiet for Students; Quiet for teachers and leaders and Quiet and introspective skills:

If you are interested in reading more, this is the introduction, this is the chapter on avoiding burnout and this is the chapter on quiet leadership.

I am very conscious that people who buy these books are those who are passionate about developing and learning, and using their own hard earned money to do so. If you do decide that the book is for you, I hope you enjoy it and thank you for supporting the quiet mission. Please do get in touch and let me know what you think – both good and bad, all feedback is very gratefully received!

Thank you for reading.




Jamie Thom

English teacher, host of @TES English teaching podcast. Author of 'Slow Teaching.' MEd in Practitioner Enquiry, doctorate student #StrathEdD. Runner.

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