Mere Education


Mere Education 9780718893255

Mere Education

C.S. Lewis as Teacher for our Time

By Mark A. Pike


ISBN: 9780718893255

Due for release: 26/09/2013


2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of C.S. Lewis. Drawing upon a wide range of fiction and non-fiction by C.S. Lewis, both well known and relatively unknown, Mark Pike applies this remarkable author’s educational vision to current issues in schooling that are of critical importance for parents, students, teachers and school leaders.

C.S. Lewis was one of the twentieth century’s greatest Christian apologists and a ‘prophetic’ teacher. In some of its darkest days, during the Second World War, he taught the people of a whole country through his radio broadcasts and criss-crossed Great Britain giving talks and answering questions on military bases about the meaning and purpose of life. Mere Education shows how schooling may be undertaken in the light of that meaning and purpose.

Fifty years after the death of C.S. Lewis, Mere Education clearly describes the boundaries he perceived that are needed to defend schooling from an incoming tide of ideological assumptions that threaten to erode and undermine excellence. The word ‘mere’ is used in Mere Education, as Lewis used it, as an adjective meaning ‘pure, unalloyed or unadulterated’. Drawing upon the educational vision of C.S. Lewis Mark Pike’s Mere Education shows how excellence may be nurtured in homes, classrooms and schools. The result is a much-needed reappraisal of modern education.



Introduction: Mere Education

Part 1: The Hinge of the Wardrobe Door: Core Values, Character and Christianity.

Chapter 1. Character Education: Learning for Life;

Chapter 2. Christian Education: Liberating Faith, Hope and Love;

Chapter 3. Spiritual Education: Walking on the Beach – with a Map.

Part 2: The Furniture of the House: Schooling Children.

Chapter 4. Liberal Education: Living Well in a Liberal Society;

Chapter 5. Sex Education: Self-Control and Sales Resistance

Chapter 6. Biblical Education: The Basis of Liberty

Part 3: Professor Lewis: Cultural Interpreter for Educators.

Chapter 7. Cultural Education: Understanding the Foundations

Chapter 8. Citizenship Education: Moulding Minds;

Chapter 9. Democratic Education: How to Avoid ‘dumbing down’.

Part 4: The Professor’s House: Leading on School Ethos and Excellence in Teaching.

Chapter 10: Teacher Education: How to be an Excellent Teacher;

Chapter 11: Leadership Education: How to be an Excellent Leader;

Chapter 12. Future Education: A Prophecy



Scripture Index



About the Author: Dr Mark Pike Ph.D is a Reader (Associate Professor) in Educational Values and Pedagogy, in the School of Education at the University of Leeds, England where he researches, teaches and writes widely on the values underpinning practice related to childhood, school leadership, teaching and learning, the curriculum and education policy. Mark has written two previous books and numerous articles in leading international journals on education. He was a high school teacher and leader for over a decade and now works with teachers and school leaders on improving practice.

About the Publisher: The Lutterworth Press has been trading since the eighteenth century and is one of the longest established and best-known independent publishers in the United Kingdom. It has been associated with James Clarke & Co. since 1984.

Praise for Mere Education:


“Mere Education is a well-argued and highly readable book that recognizes the centrality of character in schooling. It will command attention on both sides of the Atlantic and like all of Pike’s work, will be of interest to educators from a wide range of backgrounds. It offers a refreshing vision of education, a bracing statement of faith, a much-needed challenge to the political correctness of our age, and a compelling testimony to the timelessness of the truths that Lewis set forth with such clarity and cogency.”

Thomas Lickona,

Professor of Education, State University of New York at Cortland; author of Character Matters and Educating for Character

“C.S. Lewis, celebrated Christian apologist and children’s author, is here claimed as Christian educator. For some this positioning of C.S. Lewis will be truly prophetic.”

Revd Canon Professor Leslie J Francis,

University of Warwick

“This remarkable book not only provides the first systematic study of C.S. Lewis’s thinking about education, derived from his extensive output of novels, letters and other prose writings, but does so in a way that highlights its relevance to contemporary schooling. It will appeal to anyone with an interest in Christian culture and educational standards, as well as to C.S. Lewis aficionados around the world.”

J. Mark Halstead,

Emeritus Professor of Education, University of Huddersfield

“Mark A. Pike’s Mere Education reminds us that Lewis possessed a sophisticated philosophy of education that provides a robust challenge to current approaches. As Pike reveals, Lewis articulated and defended the important moral, political and intellectual virtues we share as human beings, but he also wisely identified the distinct contributions that Christianity can and must make to a philosophy of education that completes a robust vision of human flourishing.  In light of current educational trends, Lewis proves an invaluable critic, guide, and prophet.”

Perry L. Glanzer

Professor of Educational Foundations; Resident Scholar, Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion, Baylor University

“Inspirational, inclusive, challenging, and potentially transformative, Mark Pike’s Mere Education offers a healthy discussion towards holistic liberal education.”

Monika B. Hilder,

Associate Professor of English, Trinity Western University,

author of The Feminine Ethos in C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, and Surprised by the Feminine: A Rereading of C.S. Lewis and Gender

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s