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Title: The struggle for moral education in English elementary schools, 1879-1918
Author: Wright, Susannah Lisbet
ISNI:       0000 0001 2411 2857
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis examines moral education in English elementary schools from 1879 to 1918. It investigates why there was widespread interest in character formation in the elementary school at this time but not support for one particular sort of programme. It investigates how moral education was perceived, approached, and implemented by the education department, the general public, School Board and Education Committee members, and teachers in schools, offering a comprehensive and detailed investigation into these issues. Much of the study focuses on one distinctive approach to moral education in this period - secular moral instruction. A range of sources are interrogated, allowing access to the different, but sometimes overlapping, perspectives of policy-makers, educationalists, the organisations and individuals who promoted moral education (particularly the Moral Instruction League, George Dixon and FJ Gould), authors of teaching material, and inspectors and head teachers in schools. Chapters One to Three have an England-wide focus. Chapters Four to Six discuss local studies of Birmingham and Leicester which allow a detailed analysis of educational policy-making, activism and practice in schools. This thesis concludes that moral educators were energetic, skilful at promotion, and engaged in innovative curriculum development. Nevertheless, they faced a range of ideological, political and practical barriers and were ultimately unable to translate generalised interest in character formation and the moralising function of the elementary school into widespread support for their programmes of moral education, or to ensure that statements of interest were translated into effective activity in schools. The issues they grappled with are being worked through still in relation to moral education and citizenship in English schools: the struggle for moral education continues today.
Supervisor: King, Steve ; Stewart, John Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral