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Title: The enlightened curriculum : liberal education in eighteenth-century British schools
Author: Moore, Terrence O.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1998
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This dissertation addresses three important aspects of intellectual and cultural history: the history of Enlightenment, the history of education, and the history of the formation of a British national identity. The culture of the English-speaking Enlightenment serves as the intellectual background of education reform in Britain. Eighteenth-century British moralists defined their age against the previous century of religious wars, of idle disputation in the academy, of a lack of concern for the useful and polite arts, and in turn favoured toleration, politeness, and commerce. New ideas of moral and social improvement manifested themselves in the creation of a new ideal type of individual: someone who was neither the warrior nor priest nor courtier of old, nor the industrialist of the future, but in a sense all of these combined and deprived of their most extreme features. The enlightened individual was, to use Locke's quartet of values, virtuous, industrious, polite, and learned. In order to ensure the ascendancy of this type of individual, and to form moral and polite individuals who would be "happy in themselves and useful to others", enlightened thinkers turned their attention to moulding the rising generation through education. The influence of this philosophical discussion on the changes in the British school curriculum over the course of the eighteenth century constitutes the overacting theme of my study. I trace the philosophical demand for education reform that began with Locke and continued through the Scottish moral philosophers to its actual impact on schools and the subjects of study. Using works of educational theory, schoolmaster treatises, private diaries, and school textbooks, I show how enlightened pedagogues cultivated the Lockean and Scottish aims of education by developing the corresponding "branches" of the liberal arts. Each branch of education was meant to form a part of the young mind: the sense, the taste, the imagination, the passions, and the reason.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available