Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
A Progressive Education?How Childhood Changed in Mid-Twentieth-Century English and Welsh Schools$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Laura Tisdall

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781526132895

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7765/9781526132901

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

The ‘backlash’ against progressivism

The ‘backlash’ against progressivism

(p.215) 7 The ‘backlash’ against progressivism
A Progressive Education?

Laura Tisdall

Manchester University Press

This chapter considers the ‘backlash’ against ‘child-centred’ education in the 1970s, and questions whether education in England and Wales was ever truly progressive. This did not mean that child-centred ideas ceased to have any impact upon concepts of childhood and adolescence; instead, the child-centred remodelling of youth was increasingly internalised, divorced from its origins. The emergence of ideas such as Anthony Fyson and Colin Ward’s ‘exploding school’ recalled the earlier utopian ideals of progressives such as Neill and Russell, but, like the experimental schools that were founded in inter-war Britain, these variants ultimately failed to have much impact on mainstream education – although they were often taken as representative of a system that had failed. The impact of child-centred education upon marginalised groups – girls, ethnic minority or immigrant pupils, working-class pupils, and disabled pupils – is further considered, and it is ultimately argued that, while these groups were the most deeply affected, all children and adolescents were defined by non-utopian progressive educationalists as abnormal, seen as incomplete versions of adults despite reformers’ assertions to the contrary.

Keywords:   Race, Class, Gender, Progressive, Education

Manchester Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.