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History of Education

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History of Education This essay attempts to discuss the area of childhood through the ages. The concept of childhood was firstly found by a French historian called Aries. Aries studied childhood through the ages but it was argued that "his thesis under-estimated the nature of childhood within changing household structures of family forms"(Gelis,1986: Stone1974). Aries believed that during medieval society children were no more than little adults. There was no realisation of childhood. They were treat as little adults as soon as they could walk and talk. Between the 15th and 18th Century children became more a sense of amusement for adults, there was no regard for childhood and no understanding of the development of children. The only educational dimension of childhood at this stage was by 'churchmen or gentlemen of the robe.' This secured control over children's 'depravity' with emphasis on discipline and knowledge of theology, humanities and sciences. This was initially only accessed by the upper classes. During the first decades of the 19th Century Children were used as cheap labour, the period of time was called the industrial revolution. The state at this time could not offer any form of state education, as the huge amount of finance for such a venture was not available. Vain attempts were made to set up parish schools but they came to nothing. Education was not at this point seen as important. Children were forced to worked in poor conditions and work very long hours. They were widely employed in textiles, mining, agriculture and domestic service. ...read more.


Dawinism and the Eugenics Movement. Attention began to be focused on health. Due to children being in one place, studies were easily achieved covering all school age children. Hendrick noted that the school provided opportunities 'to doctors who, in common with sociologists, psychologists, educationalists and philanthropic reformers, used the classroom as a laboratory in which to produce scientific surveys of the pupils.' Schools would now have regular medical inspections. The ability to create and sustain a healthier child was now possible, this was for the good of the nation. Health issues were scientifically proven and in 1906 the liberal government introduced the Child Welfare Act. This meant improved conditions for ordinary people. There was now a medical service and free school meal's for the poorest families. Many studies on children began and child psychology was used, proving child welfare was now of the utmost priority. The 1908 Children's Act passed a bill to separate child offenders from adults by introducing borstals and juvenile courts. The Child Guidance Council had the responsibility to treat 'maladjusted', 'difficult' and 'delinquent' children. This created a growing national concern for mental health and general childhood mental health problems. The child Guidance Clinic identified maladjusted children and assisted the families in developing conditions within which it could be avoided and 'cured.' This was backed by state funding because of the realisation of children being a vital key in the future of the empire, it was realised they will grow up to pay taxes and look after the country. Urwin and Sharland (1992) ...read more.


In 1908 an Act was passed to abolish imprisonment for children under 14. The children's departments of local authorities were abolished in 1971. Taken from, Pat Young 'Mastering Social Welfare'(1995) Local Authorities now made them become part of the new generic' social work department. All previous separate social services were now merged into one. These covered health, the elderly, the physically and mentally impaired, the psychiatrically ill and children and families. Some local authorities found this difficult to apply so reverted back to specialist social work provision. Since the implementation of the 1991 NHS and Community Care Act, the local authority social workers assess situations of children and families in need and arrange for them to receive packages of care. This is an example of mixed economy care' introduced by the Conservative Government. The idea is care should be provided by both the public sector, private and voluntary provision. Many public local authority care homes closed down due to the huge growth in private care. Childcare provision in today's society is huge and growing steadily. There are many facilities such as day care, holiday clubs and after school clubs. Britain's educational history shows us that in 1860 many parents would have resented their children attending school. From around 1960 onwards parents would be appalled for their child not to receive a full education. In 1830 education cost our country nothing compared to today when it is the most expensive social service. The 1870 Education Act was the first and probably the most important step towards a full system of public education. Ref: Ninteenth Century Education - Eric Midwinter Ref Children, childhood and English Society 1880-1999 - Harry Hendrick. Tracy Wimbles HNC Childhood Studies Unit 3 01/05/2007 Task 1 1 ...read more.

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