Elementary education in Caernarvonshire 1839-1902
An attempt is made in this thesis to assess the impact of religious, political, economic and social factors on the development of elementary education in nineteenth century Caernarvonshire. At the same time educational developments are assessed in a wider context; the growth of education in the county is related to national policy evolution. In particular, educational impulses locally are related to national policy generators. Only thus can the distinctive features of elementary education in the county be fully appreciated. Chapters one and two give the economic, social and religious background of the county, and analyse its educational patterns up to 181+0. Chapter three examines the impulses to educational action nationally and locally in the crucial 1840s and their impact on educational progress to 1870. Chapters four and six outline policies nationally and locally to provide a system of schools and enforce attendance. Chapter five shows the vital significance of the 1870 Act and school board controversies in the county's educational politics. Finally, Chapters seven and eight discuss teacher training, and the school curriculum from the 1840s to 1902 as mirrors of national policy and local practice. The thesis ends with a concluding summary. The thesis shows that the growth of elementary education in the county was extraordinarily complex, involving the interweaving of religious, social and political aspirations, and the complication of linguistic distinctiveness. It also shows the impossibility of satisfactorily assessing national policy without reference to variations in local practice both in policy-making and administration, and in the classroom.