The word 'mere' is used in the title of this book in its Middle English sense as an adjective 'nothing less than, complete'. This book is about schooling for a fair and vibrant society; it is about an education of hope, education that completes a person.
In 'The Magician's Nephew' (1955), the first in C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series, Digory and Polly are dragged back through time into a world that is "devoid of life and barren of vegetation". Such a world is not a safe place for children and young people. When C.S. Lewis wrote that the task of the modern educator is 'to irrigate deserts' he was making the point that it is teachers who 'inculcate just sentiments' (Lewis 1978/1943, p.13) and enable the moral sense of their students to flourish.
Mark A. Pike supports C.S. Lewis’ belief in the role of educators and has written 'Mere Education' to show how we might go about it so that 'the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose' (Isaiah 35:1).