How childhood changed in mid-twentieth-century English schools

A Progressive Education? argues that concepts of both childhood and adolescence were transformed in English and Welsh primary and secondary modern schools between 1918 and 1979, and that, by putting childhood at the centre of the history of education, we can challenge the stories we tell about how and why schooling itself changed. A ‘progressive’ or ‘child-centred’ education began to emerge theoretically in the United States and Western Europe from the late nineteenth century, claiming to rewrite curriculums to suit children and young people’s needs, wants and abilities. Existing work suggests that progressivism both rose and retreated in Britain in the 1960s and 1970s, when a right-wing backlash against permissive teaching and the deschooling movement led to the imposition of central state control over education. However, the child-centred pedagogies that became mainstream in English and Welsh schools after 1945 rested on a fundamentally different vision of childhood. Unlike utopian deschoolers, post-war child-centred educationalists assumed that the achievements of mass democracy and the welfare state must be carefully preserved. Children needed to be socialised by adult educators to ensure that they acquired the necessary physical, intellectual, social and emotional maturity to become full citizens. Teachers, far from enthusiastically advocating child-centred methods, perceived them as a profound challenge to their authority in the classroom, and implemented them partially and reluctantly. Child-centred education, in alliance with developmental psychology, thus promoted a much more restrictive and pessimistic image of childhood and youth as it came to dominate mainstream schooling after the Second World War.

Community engagement and lifelong learning

In this broad sweep, Mayo explores dominant European discourses of higher education, in the contexts of different globalisations and neoliberalism, and examines its extension to a specific region. It explores alternatives in thinking and practice including those at the grassroots, also providing a situationally grounded project of university–community engagement. Signposts for further directions for higher education lifelong learning, with a social justice purpose, are provided.

Series: Irish Society

This book provides a definitive examination of higher education: exploring its nature and purpose, and locating it in the context of the state and the market. It presents new research on an elite group: senior managers in universities. They are relatively powerful in relation to their students and staff but relatively powerless in relation to wider neo-liberal forces. Written in a clear, student friendly, accessible style, and drawing on policy analysis and interviews with those at the top three levels of university management, it provides an in-depth analysis of the structures, cultures and practices at that level and locates these in a cross national context. Through the eyes of these senior managers, we are able to understand this gendered world, where four fifths of those in these positions are men, and to consider the implications of this in a world where diversity is crucial for innovation. Despite the managerialist rhetoric of accountability, we see structures where access to power is effectively through the Presidents’ ‘blessing,’ very much as in a medieval court. We see a culture that is less than comfortable with the presence of women, and which in its narratives, stereotypes and interactions exemplifies a rather 19th century view of women. Sites and agents of change are identified: both in the universities and in the wider international policy context. Essential for undergraduate and postgraduate students and their lecturers in education, management, sociology policy and gender studies, it will challenge them to critically reflect on management and on higher education.

Teaching practice and local change

Until the 1980s, the control of the curriculum and of teaching methods in England and Wales theoretically lay in the hands of teachers themselves, a principle that many believed had been firmly established by the 1944 Education Act, despite increasingly frequent challenges from the late 1960s onwards. 1 This was mediated significantly by the influence of headteachers and inspectors, and by

in A progressive education?

‘ “Give the child freedom,” is the insistent cry of the New Education’, wrote Homer Lane in Talks to Parents and Teachers in 1928. ‘[B]ut then its exponents usually devise a “system” which, although based upon the soundest of principles, limits that freedom and contradicts the principle . . . I look to the child himself to initiate the methods that govern his development. No

in A progressive education?

 17 2 Changing conceptions of lifelong education/​learning Introduction T his chapter will focus on the development (Wain, 2004, pp. 1–​90) of lifelong education (LLE)/​learning (LLL). This constitutes the key aspect of contemporary European universities’ work being analysed in this book. The chapter will discuss the development of the concept from its promotion by UNESCO and later formulations and emphases, most of which reflect OECD and EU agendas. The implications of the discursive shift from LLE to LLL will be considered, as will the relationship between

in Higher education in a globalising world
Open Access (free)

Education 4 ➤ The background to education after World War II ➤ The principles of the 1944 Education Act ➤ The change to comprehensive schooling ➤ Analysis of Conservative policy in the 1980s ➤ The importance of the 1988 Education Act ➤ The effects of the National Curriculum, testing and league tables ➤ New Labour policies on education Until World War II the involvement of the state in British education has been variable and, at times, has even seemed reluctant. Being fundamentally a liberal culture, there has been a fear that state intervention might

in Understanding British and European political issues
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How educational systems operate in divided societies is an increasingly important question for conflict resolution. Traditionally seen as an institution which reflects social differences, more recent views of education are that it has the capacity to generate significant social change, by identifying sources of conflict and by developing strategies to ameliorate them. As a result

in Conflict to peace
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Public good or finishing school?

Introduction Since you are presumably actually reading this book, and not merely scanning its pages before settling it on your shelves, nestled between Ayn Rand's Fountainhead and Dan Brown's DaVinci Code , to impress visitors, it is probably safe to assume that literacy, and even numeracy, are not overwhelming obstacles in your daily life. Imagine if that were not the case. Imagine not being able to read street signs, drug prescriptions or even a ballot. A National Center for Education Statistics adult

in Neoliberal lives

Non-utopian progressive educationalists in inter-war and post-war England and Wales argued that education needed to be designed to suit the nature of the child. In order to maintain this assertion, they sought scientific validation for their claims about children’s nature. By making the relatively novel findings of developmental psychologists central to their project, they

in A progressive education?