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A Progressive Education?How Childhood Changed in Mid-Twentieth-Century English and Welsh Schools$
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Laura Tisdall

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781526132895

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7765/9781526132901

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Conclusion: the reinvention of childhood?

Conclusion: the reinvention of childhood?

(p.245) Conclusion: the reinvention of childhood?
A Progressive Education?

Laura Tisdall

Manchester University Press

The conclusion argues that the failure to connect the histories of education and the histories of childhood and youth, especially in work on twentieth-century Britain, has led to significant problems for both sets of historiography. Most importantly, thinking about both these things together indicates that there was a fundamental shift in concepts of childhood and adolescence at mid-century, and problematises the idea of a ‘permissive society’ emerging from the 1960s onwards. Teachers’ discourses assumed disproportionate significance in post-war Britain as central funding for schools increased, and the education system attracted more public attention. Finally, it is contended that more work needs to be done on adulthood as a constructed category in its own right in order to fully understand its relational counterparts, childhood and youth.

Keywords:   Childhood, Adolescence, Progressive, Child-centred, Education, Teachers

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