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A Memoir of Education and Social Mobility

By: Andy Hargreaves

Foreword by: Nicola Sturgeon

Social mobility—the chance, through education, to achieve greater success than one’s parents—is a compelling issue of our time. Beginning in 1950s Northern England, this revealing memoir links Andy Hargreaves’s experiences of social mobility to today’s challenges of inequity and immobility.

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A memoir on social mobility and schooling written to inspire a rethink about learning for all today

Social mobility—the chance, through education, to achieve greater success compared to one’s parents—is one of the most compelling issues of our time. In Moving, renowned professor, government adviser, and global change agent Andy Hargreaves shares candid, poignant, and occasionally hilarious personal experiences of social mobility. Deeply revealing, emotionally direct, and intellectually insightful, the book begins in 1950s Northwest England and takes readers up to Hargreaves’s university education in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Hargreaves openly shares how class movement has affected him throughout life, links his narrative to classic and contemporary research and realities, and calls on society to reverse the increasing levels of social immobility and inequity worldwide.

  • Learn, through the author’s research and firsthand account, how issues surrounding mobility, equity, and education in the 20th century are still reflected in 21st-century life.
  • Understand the obstacles of socially mobile students as they negotiate schoolwork, poverty, cultural collisions, and personal hardship.
  • Witness how Hargreaves’s experiences of testing, selection, ADHD, inspiring and uninspiring teaching, whole-child inclusion, and elitist exclusion are still alive and well in education today.
  • Study three alternative scenarios for the future of social mobility that highlight the best ways to address both mobility and equity and to deal with the strains experienced by students who succeed in becoming mobile.

Additional Information

Product Code: BKF953, EKF516

ISBN: 9781951075019

“A nuanced and heartfelt account of his early years by one of the leading educators of our time. One comes to appreciate the motivations for Andrew Hargreaves’s lifetime mission of improving educational opportunities for less-privileged persons, as well as the approaches that he has taken in pursuit of that essential undertaking.”

Howard Gardner, Hobbs Research Professor of Cognition and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

“What really makes this book stand out is that Andy can look at education not only from the point of view of someone who benefited from a first-class education but also as a teacher who worked in a range of schools and saw firsthand the impact that poverty can have on educational attainment. … Young people have the right to a first-class education, and the most fundamental element of that is ensuring that we have an outstanding and empowered teaching profession. That is why Andy’s work as a leading educator and proponent of educational improvement is so important.”

Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland

“You will not read a more personal, passionate, and powerful account of social mobility. Hargreaves’s moving life story offers universal lessons for us all. The boy from Accrington did good!”

Lee Elliot Major, professor of social mobility, University of Exeter

“Brilliant! Using humor, poignant storytelling, and scholarly argument, Andy Hargreaves presents us with his personal journey from humble roots as a young boy in northern England to his current status as a world-class educational leader in explaining the concept of social mobility. This book is a must-read for all individuals who want to understand the role of education in effecting social change such that there are reduced disparities in this world and greater equity and equality of opportunity for everyone. I am personally drawn to Andy’s memoir due to similar geographic and educational beginnings in northern England. Everyone reading this book will see a part of themselves in Andy’s story and reflect on the narrative to consider how they might ensure a better life for all.”

Steve Cardwell, president, Learning Forward

“Sociology in the flesh becomes sociology in the soul. Andy Hargreaves becomes both subject and object in this magnificent autobiography of growing up in small-town northern England in the 1950s and 1960s. It combines the grit of the underdog with the alchemy of evolution. Truly inspiring with a dose of wonderment.”

Michael Fullan, professor emeritus, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto

“A delightful account of Andy Hargreaves’s childhood, family, working-class community, and education. It shows the importance of schooling in opening new worlds to him, and how the love that surrounded him helped him grow into the person he is today. Andy’s metamorphosis has lessons for American educators about equity and social mobility, of never giving up on any child regardless of his or her origins.”

Diane Ravitch, research professor, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University

“A moving story of a young life full of challenge, learning, and discovery that illustrates the power of education to create or obstruct people’s pathways to equity and upward mobility. There is no other book like it. I loved it.”

Steve Munby, former CEO, National College for School Leadership, Nottingham, England

“A mesmerizing tale and a candid introspection of the struggles and courage for social mobility of an accomplished scholar and global change leader that will resonate with so many around the world. Moving is filled with insights about how education can both perpetuate the status quo and move individuals out of their disadvantaged conditions by birth. A must-read for all interested in reversing widening social inequity through education.”

Yong Zhao, Foundation Distinguished Professor, School of Education, University of Kansas

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