A Progressive Education?: How Childhood Changed in Mid-Twentieth-Century English and Welsh Schools – Manchester University Press – book

A Progressive Education?: How Childhood Changed in Mid-Twentieth-Century English and Welsh Schools

Laura Tisdall | Manchester University Press

2019-11-13

A Progressive Education? argues that ideas about both childhood and adolescence were transformed in English and Welsh schools after WWII. Covering the period 1918 to 1979, this book shows 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. It has been suggested that the dominance of ‘progressive’ education after 1945 led to a backlash against permissive attitudes to pupils in both Western Europe and the United States. But British child-centred education, in alliance with developmental psychology, actually shaped a more restrictive and pessimistic image of childhood. Drawing on an extensive range of sources that illuminate teaching practice, from school logbooks to oral histories, this book will be crucial not only for historians and sociologists of modern Britain, but for education professionals and policy-makers.

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