Real Action: our Educational Philosophy
The educational philosophy of Real Action is based upon the principle that all children must have access to what the nineteenth century philosopher and poet, Matthew Arnold, famously called ‘the best that has been thought and said’ (Culture and Anarchy, 1869). Arnold believed that the best knowledge was not the property of an elite few, but something shareable, public and accessible to all.
We believe that children from all backgrounds can be taught, and can learn every subject in a curriculum based on the best knowledge. We believe that a child’s background does not require a watered down or restricted education for them to achieve their educational potential.
It is literacy that we believe is the key foundation that enables children to access and acquire knowledge, understanding and communication, to best effect. Mastering literacy enables wisdom, expressiveness, achievement and enjoyment.
Mastery of literacy provides everyone with access to information, our world’s cultures, imaginative thinking, critical thinking, originality, independence of thought, spirit and action. It is, we have discovered, most swiftly and effectively taught by the ‘Butterfly’ methodology, created and developed by Irina Tyk, and adopted and applied – to great effect – by Real Action. The Butterfly method empowers the individual with the pleasure of perceptive understanding, expressiveness, creativity, verbal reasoning. It enables achievement, mastery of knowledge, access to the classics of our culture – and all that follows…
And in the Covid-dominated times in which we live in 2021, literacy mastery is our key enabler, our provider of the way forward through the Butterfly Education Resurrection: it is to this that our charity is currently dedicated.
Our Vision - The Right to Read, The Right to Know
This is what we envisage: no child, of any background, should be educationally doomed. On the contrary, they should be educationally empowered. We believe all children have the right to read. Indeed we can demonstrate that, with our Butterfly literacy teaching, virtually all can gain mastery of literacy.
Year after year we provide evidence that suggests that 'disadvantaged' children need not be educationally outperformed by their non-'disadvantaged' peers. In fact we find that the opposite can occur. Our vision is positive. It overturns national assumptions.
Is to demonstrate that social and economic disadvantage need not result in educational disadvantage.
We aim to sever the connection between family disadvantage and educational disadvantage. We must educationally empower as many children as possible.
The children we teach reflect the city we live in. They come from a diverse range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. They are also among the most socially and economically disadvantaged in the country - another reflection of this city where extreme wealth coexists with extreme levels of poverty. Yet their paths in life are not determined by their disadvantage. Many, we discover, go to university. They succeed!
Currently in the UK poor literacy, which comes hand in hand with poverty, blocks social mobility. It conserves social disadvantage. And we should not forget that Britain’s 15-year-olds’ literacy levels come at number 22 among developed nations (OECD Pisa)
But does it have to be this way? We don’t believe so. We believe that we have the answer to tackle the UK’s literacy problem. And if our children are literate they will be set on a course for fulfilling lives.