Newman in action

We should admire what Newman achieved in Oxford and Dublin and learn from his efforts to reform education in those two cites, because his achievement shows the extent to which he was able to adapt his thinking to meet the requirements of a very specific time and place, while holding on to what is at the heart of education. His practical engagement shows that he was not just capable of turning out fine phrases and appealing aphorisms, but of setting up, running and reforming educational establishments in ways that are both novel and in keeping with a recognised tradition. Unlike many modern commentators who merely catalogue social ills, Newman diagnoses problems, supplies reasons for why things have gone wrong, and then offers practical remedies.

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