In 335 BC, Aristotle, the philosopher and tutor to Alexander the Great, returned to Athens. Given that he was not Athenian, Aristotle was unable to own property in the city. Instead, he rented some buildings in a large, sacred grove known as the Lyceum.
The Lyceum already had a long history as a place of discussion and debate. Here, almost certainly, the Athenian assembly had convened before the construction of their official meeting place, the Pnyx hill, in the fifth century BC. Socrates taught his controversial philosophy here, and Isocrates, Plato’s great rival, frequented the Lyceum to pass on his revered rhetorical skills. Other philosophers, such as Prodicus of Chios and Protagoras, taught here, too. As soon as Aristotle moved into the Lyceum, he established his famous peripatetic school, which was to become a major centre of research and philosophical discussion for almost three-hundred years.
It is appropriate, then, that this academic blog is named after that dynamic and very special part of eastern Athens. Like the Athenian Lyceum, our Lyceum sets out to be a lively forum in which the teachers, scholars, practitioners and academics attached to Windlesham House School can engage with, discuss, and debate key pedagogical issues, as well as publish studies on topics which relate to their particular areas of expertise.
This blog seeks to build upon Windlesham’s tradition of being at the forefront of pedagogic innovation. Indeed, Windlesham House School has always occupied a unique place in British education. Founded in 1837, it was one of the country’s first ever Prep Schools and, in 1967, it became the first Prep School to become fully co-educational. Lyceum symbolises Windlesham’s position as one of the country’s leading schools, as well as our passion for providing a world-class education.
Our hope is that this blog may set sail the curiosity of those who have an interest not only in the enclosed basin of preparatory schools, but in the wide open seas of education as a whole.