Yaron Brook Speaks at Seven Elite UK High Schools
Over a period of six days last month, Yaron Brook, ARI’s executive chairman, spoke to more than 700 students at seven of the most prestigious schools in Great Britain. This speaking tour comes on the heels of the announcement in February that the 2017 UK curriculum for A-Level Politics taught in secondary and pre-university schools includes Ayn Rand as a key thinker. In the schools that adopt the new curriculum, students will study Rand and her ideas for the first time.
Between February 27 and March 4, Yaron spoke at the following schools: Eton, Harrow, Winchester, Westminster, Headington, Radley and Oxford High School. These schools are representative of the educational elite of Great Britain—they are from where many of tomorrow’s political, business and intellectual leaders will come.
Eton, for example, is described by the BBC as “Britain’s most famous boys’ public school [a private boarding school], having educated nineteen prime ministers, several members of the royal family and high-profile countrymen.”
At Eton, Brook spoke to fifty-five members of the student politics club, one of whom was already an active Ayn Rand reader. The discussion was vibrant and the students were intrigued by Rand’s radical ideas on morality and politics.
The opportunity to introduce Rand’s philosophy to such bright and engaged high school students is a central part of ARI’s mission.
At every school, Brook left a box of Ayn Rand books for the library. Both faculty and students were excited about the prospect of reading her works for the first time.
The talk at Radley College, another all-boys boarding school, in Oxford, was attended by two hundred students. The talk can be viewed here. You will notice how engaged the students are and how involved they are during the Q&A.
In central London Brook spoke to 150 students at Westminster, the only co-ed school of the seven. This was Brook’s second talk at this school, and the faculty and students were excited to have him back.
Following Brook’s talk at Headington, an all-girls school in Oxford, one of the girls sent an email thanking him for a stimulating speech. She commented on how compelling Brook’s arguments were for freedom and laissez-faire capitalism, and asked for further reading recommendations to assist in her philosophical investigation. This is a perfect outcome.
Overall, Brook reports a very successful trip and it is particularly exciting in the context of the UK’s new curriculum.
A big thank-you to professor and author Mallory Factor for arranging these successful events, and to ARI contributor Mark Tanase and others who contributed to make it all possible.
All the schools are eager to have Brook and other ARI scholars return and continue the discussion. Our goal is to return on a two-year cycle and expand to other schools of this caliber, ensuring the top minds of tomorrow are not only aware of, but educated in how Rand’s ideas impact the culture. But we can’t get there without your help. Donate now to help us achieve that goal.