This chapter considers the place of education in the struggle for social change. Taking inspiration from cultural and feminist historians, Gerrard argues for the need to explore beyond institutional histories of the state in order to understand the role of education in social change. Responding to contemporary policy paradigms that often represent working-class students as ‘failing and disaffected’ (a representation compounded by the politics of race), Gerrard suggests the need to examine the social history of educational agency and initiative. Taking this up, this chapter then introduces the two social histories of radical education that are the focus of this book: the Socialist Sunday School (est. 1892) and Black Saturday/Supplementary School (est. 1967) movements.
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