featured articles: informal education, lifelong learning and social action

support pages for Heather Smith and Mark K. Smith's book: the art of helping others

1: living life well


further reading
home and forum: the art of helping others



Aristotle and knowledge. Brief reviews of Aristotle's thinking.

Carl Rogers, core conditions and education. Best known for his contribution to client-centered therapy and his role in the development of counselling, Rogers also had much to say about education and group work.

Parker J. Palmer: community, knowing and spirituality. cover: the art of helping othersParker J. Palmer's explorations of education as a spiritual journey and of the inner lives of educators have been deeply influential. We explore his teachings and contribution.

Selfhood. This page explores the nature of the self. We look at four different models of selfhood - which is a far from easy task. It is difficult to take a step outside what we take for granted.

Caring. n this article Nel Noddings explores the nature of caring relations and encounters in education and some of the difficulties educators have with them. She also looks at caring relations as the foundation for pedagogical activity.

Nel Noddings, caring and education. Nel Noddings is well known for her work around the ethics of caring, however, she has also added significantly to theory and practice more broadly in education. Here we explore her contribution.

Happiness. What makes us flourish - and what does not? We explore the theory, practice and possibilities of putting happiness at the centre of education and helping.

further reading

Fromm, Erich (1957) The Art of Loving 1995 edn. London: Thorsons. Now marketed as a ‘classic of personal development’, this book is very different from most of the other books that inhabit the personal growth shelves in bookshops. Erich Fromm’s exploration of love is an exercise in social theory. He asks ‘is love an art?’, goes on to examine the theory of love, and then explores love and its disintegration in contemporary western society. A final chapter examines the practice of love. While written from his distinctive humanistic perspective, the book looks to various religious sources to help make sense of love.

Layard, Richard (2006) Happiness. Lessons from a new science, London: Penguin. Highly readable exploration of the nature of happiness and what makes us happy (and unhappy). In the process Layard undermines the supposed link between wealth and happiness and explores what can be done.

Palmer, Parker. J. (1998) The Courage to Teach. Exploring the inner landscape of a teacher’s life, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. This book is a modern classic. It draws together a number of the themes that Palmer develops elsewhere in his writing around the premise that good teaching (and helping) cannot be reduced to technique, but comes from the identity and integrity of the teacher.