To explain well the principles of pedagogy to a broad public challenges our literary capacities. In order to inform the public, one needs clarity on the who, how, what, where, why, and when of educating
PUF, Presses Universitaires de France, publishes an excellent series — Que sais-je?, What do I know? These pocket books, regularly updated, succinctly synthesize virtually every area of serious intellectual inquiry. Oxford University Press has more recently begun a similar series, consisting of numerous Very Short Introductions. Such work serves more important purposes than mere popularization, for it gives the educated public, which comprises a diversity of specialists, a working sense of themselves as a collective whole. Through such works, each specialist can relate herself and her work to what is going on in other specialties: thereby an aggregate of autarkic inquiries becomes a web of inter-connected persons and ideas. Our task here is to explain what we know, to keep it up-to-date, and to do it in a way that allows specialists, those in the field and those not in the field, to share the same understanding.