Front Cover of The Bitter Root

The Bitter Root: Educating the Wayward Scholar

Praise for teaching book by St Luke’s alumnus

Alumnus James Andrews is celebrating the publication of his book ‘The Bitter Root: Educating the Wayward Scholar’. The book takes its name from a quote by Aristotle: ‘the roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.’ For James, those roots are clearly founded in discipline and his book is about the ancient and, mostly, good-natured battle between teacher and wayward scholar.

Using evidence from a diverse range of historical and literary sources, such as Machiavelli, Dr. Johnson, Peter the Hermit and William Cobbett, ‘The Bitter Root’ suggests that a view from the shoulders of yesterday’s giants will reveal far more insight into the education of children than many of today’s complicated educational theories.

After graduating from St Luke’s in 1998 with a PGCE in Geography and English, James worked in teaching for twelve years in a variety of state comprehensive schools in the South-West.

‘The Bitter Root’ has already received much acclaim in educational circles.  The Times Educational Supplement wrote of ‘a charm and literary erudition that is rare in books on education’ whilst the eminent historian Dr. David Starkey championed the book at an Education Select Committee in Westminster as “one that every member of this Committee should look at.”  The NUT has called it ‘bog standard brilliance.’

James’s book is published by Haven Books and is available from bookshops and Amazon.  Extracts of his book can be read on The Bitter Root website.


Date: 20 October 2011

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