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Sara Atwood to give annual Ruskin Lecture

This year’s annual University of Roehampton Ruskin Lecture at Whitelands College will be given by author Sara Atwood, a specialist in the renowned Victorian critic and philanthropist John Ruskin’s educational work.

Posted: 5 May 2015

image for news story Sara Atwood to give annual Ruskin Lecture
Parkstead House, at the University of Roehampton's Whitelands College, will host the annual Ruskin Lecture. John Ruskin is pictured inset.

John Ruskin believed education meant: “Leading human souls to what is best, and making what is best out of them.”
Ruskin’s methodology was anchored by his understanding of education as an ethical, transformative, communal process. It set forth a vision for the future which drew its strength from essential, enduring wisdom. 

It was this vision that Ruskin hoped to share with the teacher trainees at Whitelands. He was a great supporter of the College, and our archives now hold a number of artefacts which he presented. The University also awards a poetry prize named in his honour each year.

Considering his ideas in light of the challenges of modern education, Sara Atwood will explore how Ruskin might help society rediscover the foundational elements of education. That is, those things we all need to know regardless of time, place, economic or social status and which are of greater value than the acquisition of facts and figures. Her talk is entitled ‘An enormous difference between knowledge and education: What John Ruskin can teach us’.

A member of the Guild of St George, Ms Atwood’s book, Ruskin’s Educational Ideals (Ashgate 2011), is a study of Ruskin’s educational principles and practice. Her work appears frequently in the Ruskin Review and Bulletin. She acted as guest editor for a special issue on Ruskin of Nineteenth-Century Prose (Autumn 2011). 

The Ruskin Lecture will take place in the Gilbert Scott lecture theatre at the University of Roehampton’s Whitelands College, on Thursday 14 May, tickets are free but places are limited, so please book quickly. 

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