1st Edition

Education, Social Reform and Philosophical Development Evidence from the Past, Principles for the Future

By Richard Pring Copyright 2022
    182 Pages
    by Routledge

    182 Pages
    by Routledge

    Reflecting on the meaning and purpose of an education at the mercy of political changes and innovation, this book considers the social, historical, religious and cultural contexts that define education systems. With a particular focus on how historical contexts shape the nature of education and its relevance to wider society, it explores the history of education in relation to social reform, economic relevance and raising standards.

    The first part of the book describes the developing system of education within England and Wales from the 19th century, with reference to the growing consciousness of the need for ‘education for all’. The second part identifies key philosophical influences on the evolving understandings of education, and thereby of the developing policies and arrangements made in the light of those understandings which they generated. Finally, the third part of the book revisits the ‘aims of education’ in the light of the historical development and the philosophical critiques.

    This book will be of great interest to academics, researchers, postgraduate students and policy makers interested in the history of education and the moments that have defined it.

    Summary of Chapters

    Introduction: Historical understanding and philosophical reflection

    Part I. Historical evolution of education – its meaning and its provision

    Chapter 1, Developing pattern and meaning of education from early 19th century

    Chapter 2, Apprenticeships and practical learning: lessons to be learnt

    Chapter 3, Primary and secondary education for all

    Chapter 4, Further education and youth service

    Chapter 5, The shifting sands of qualifications

    Chapter 6, Higher education: its changing nature

    Chapter 7, Religious Influence: Education and Faith Schools

    Chapter 8, Changing political control

    Part II. Prelude: Philosphical Assumptions and Critical Questions

    Chapter 9, Summary of changing concept of ‘education’

    Chapter 10, Utilitarianism, Idealism, and Socialism

    Chapter 11, Positivism, Post-Modernism and Wisdom of the Market

    Chapter 12, Pragmatism

    Chapter 13, Respect for truth: problems of political discourse

    Part III. Conclusion

    Chapter 14, Aims of education: human flourishing and development of persons


    Richard Pring is Emeritus Professor of Education, and was formerly Director of Department of Educational Studies, University of Oxford, UK.