Education in the largest sense is any act or experience that has a formative effect on the mind, character or physical ability of an individual. In its technical sense, education is the process by which society deliberately transmits its accumulated knowledge, skills, and values from one generation to another.
- You can think of the curriculum as the shadows cast on a wall by the light of education itself as it shines over, under, around, and through the myriad phases of our experience. It is a mistake to be sure to take these shadows for the reality, but they are something that helps us find or grasp or intuit that reality. The false notions that there is a fixed curriculum, that there is a list of things that an educated person ought to know, and that the shadow-exercises on the wall themselves are the content of education—these false notions all come from taking too seriously what was originally a wise recognition—the recognition that the shadows do in fact provide a starting point in our attempt to fully envision reality.
- Andrew Abbott, “Welcome to the University of Chicago,” Aims of Education Address, September 26, 2002
- Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts.
- Education makes a greater difference between man and man, than nature has made between man and brute. The virtues and powers to which men may be trained, by early education and constant discipline, are truly sublime and astonishing. Newton and Locke are examples of the deep sagacity which may be acquired by long habits of thinking and study.
- John Adams, in a letter to Abigail Adams (29 October 1775), published Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife, Vol. 1 (1841), ed. Charles Francis Adams, p. 72.
- The Science of Government it is my Duty to study, more than all other Sciences: the Art of Legislation and Administration and Negotiation, ought to take Place, indeed to exclude in a manner all other Arts.—I must study Politicks and War that my sons may have liberty to study Mathematicks and Philosophy. My sons ought to study Mathematicks and Philosophy, Geography, natural History, Naval Architecture, navigation, Commerce and Agriculture, in order to give their Children a right to study Painting, Poetry, Musick, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry and Porcelaine.
- John Adams, letter to Abigail Adams, after May 12, 1780; reported in L. H. Butterfield, ed., Adams Family Correspondence (1973), vol. 3, p. 342.
- The object of education is not merely to enable our children to gain their daily bread and to acquire pleasant means of recreation, but that they should know God and serve Him with earnestness and devotion.
- The reproduction of labour power thus reveals as its sine qua non not only the reproduction of its ‘skills’ but also the reproduction of its subjection to the ruling ideology. ... It is in the forms and under the forms of ideological subjection that provision is made for the reproduction of the skills of labour power.
- "Much knowledge of the right sort is a dangerous thing for the poor," might have been the motto put up over the door of the village school in my day. The less book-learning the labourer's lad got stuffed into him, the better for him and the safer for those above him, was what those in authority believed and acted up to. I daresay they made themselves think somehow or other—perhaps by not thinking—that they were doing their duty in that state of life to which it had pleased God to call them, when they tried to numb his brain, as a preliminary to stunting his body later on, as stunt it they did, by forcing him to work like a beast of burden for a pittance.
- Joseph Arch, The Story of his Life Told by Himself (1898), p. 25
- [The educated differ from the uneducated] as much as the living from the dead.
- Attributed to Aristotle; reported in Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, trans. R. D. Hicks (1942), vol. 1, book 5, section 19, p. 463. Diogenes also credits Aristotle with saying: "Teachers who educated children deserved more honour than parents who merely gave them birth; for bare life is furnished by the one, the other ensures a good life" (p. 463).
- For rigorous teachers seized my youth,
And purged its faith, and trimm’d its fire,
Show’d me the high white star of Truth,
There bade me gaze, and there aspire.
- From my grandfather's father, [I learned] to dispense with attendance at public schools, and to enjoy good teachers at home, and to recognize that on such things money should be eagerly spent.
- Why is it that millions of children who are pushouts or dropouts amount to business as usual in the public schools, while one family educating a child at home becomes a major threat to universal public education and the survival of democracy?
- Stephen Arons. Compelling Belief: The Culture of American Schooling (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1983), 88.
- The assumption is all but universal among those who control our educational policies from the elementary grades to the university that anything that sets bounds to the free unfolding of the temperamental proclivities of the young, to their right of self-expression, as one may say, is outworn prejudice. Discipline, so far as it exists, is not of the humanistic or the religious type, but of the kind that one gets in training for a vocation or a specialty. The standards of a genuinely liberal education, as they have been understood, more or less from the time of Aristotle, are being progressively undermined by the utilitarians and the sentimentalists. If the Baconian-Rousseauistic formula is as unsound in certain of its postulates as I myself believe, we are in danger of witnessing in this country one of the great cultural tragedies of the ages.
- Irving Babbitt, "What I Believe" (1930), Irving Babbitt: Representative Writings (1981), p. 16
- To spend too much time in studies is sloth; to use them too much for ornament, is affectation; to make judgment wholly by their rules, is the humour of a scholar.
- Francis Bacon, "Of Studies," in The Essayes or Counsels, Civil and Moral, of Francis Lord Verulam, Viscount St. Alban (1625) as quoted in Bacon's Essays (1892) p. 128
- There is a risk of elevating, by an indiscriminating education, the minds of those doomed to the drudgery of daily labour above their condition, and thereby rendering them discontented and unhappy in their lot.
- Reverend Andrew Bell, as cited in Education for the Future: The Case for Radical Change (1979), p. 29
- I have often observed, to my regret, that a widespread prejudice exists with regard to the educability of intelligence. The familiar proverb, "When one is stupid, it is for a long time," seems to be accepted indiscriminately by teachers with a stunted critical judgement. These teacher lose interest in students with low intelligence. Their lack of sympathy and respect is illustrated by their unrestrained comments in the presence of the children: "This child will never achieve anything... He is poorly endowed... He is not intelligent at all." I have heard such rash statements too often. They are repeated daily in primary schools, nor are secondary schools exempt from the charge.
- Alfred Binet (1909/1975). Modern ideas about children. Translated by Suzanne Heisler. Menlo Park, CA. Les idées modernes sur les enfants, Paris, E. Flammarion, 1909., as cited in: B.R. Hergenhahn. An Introduction to the History of Psychology 2009. p. 312-3
- Our schools may be wasting precious years by postponing the teaching of many important subjects on the ground that they are too difficult…the foundations of any subject may be taught to anybody at any age in some form.
- Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, water-bugs, tadpoles, frogs, mud-turtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, chestnuts, trees to climb, brooks to wade in, water-lilies, woodchucks, bats, bees, butterflies, various animals to pet, hay-fields, pine-cones, rocks to roll, sand, snakes, huckleberries and hornets and any child who has been deprived of these has been deprived of the best part of his education.
By being well acquainted with all these they come into most intimate harmony with nature, whose lessons are, of course, natural and wholesome.
- Think about every problem, every challenge, we face. The solution to each starts with education.
- There's a reason some may say education sucks, and it's the same reason it will never be fixed. It's never going to get any better. Don't look for it. Be happy with what you've got... because the owners of this country don't want that. I'm talking about the real owners now... the real owners. The big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They've long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls. They got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies, so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying. Lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I'll tell you what they don't want. They don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They're not interested in that. That doesn't help them. That's against their interests. That's right.
- That there should one Man die ignorant who had capacity for Knowledge, this I call a tragedy.
- When I speak of the purpose of self-culture, I mean that it should be sincere. In other words, we must make self-culture really and truly our end, or choose it for its own sake, and not merely as a means or instrument of something else. And here I touch a common and very pernicious error. Not a few persons desire to improve themselves only to get property and to rise in the world; but such do not properly choose improvement, but something outward and foreign to themselves; and so low an impulse can produce only a stinted, partial, uncertain growth. A man, as I have said, is to cultivate himself because he is a man. He is to start with the conviction that there is something greater within him than in the whole material creation, than in all the worlds which press on the eye and ear; and that inward improvements have a worth and dignity in themselves quite distinct from the power they give over outward things. Undoubtedly a man is to labor to better his condition, but first to better himself. If he knows no higher use of his mind than to invent and drudge for his body, his case is desperate as far as culture is concerned.
- Without education, we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously.
- G.K. Chesterton, Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton : The Illustrated London News, 1905-1907 (1986), p. 71
- Mass public education is one of the great achievements of the United States. ... The U.S. did pioneer it, but it had purposes. One purpose was to drive independent farmers into the industrial system, to induce them to give up their independence, the rights of free men and women, and to submit themselves to industrial discipline and everything that went along with it, to accept a life of wage slavery. ... Ralph Waldo Emerson discussed the fact that the political leaders of his day ... were calling for popular education. When he thought about why they were doing it, he said their reason is fear. "They say this country is filling up with thousands and millions of voters, and you must educate them to keep them from our throats." In other words, educate them, the right way, to passivity, obedience, acceptance of their fate as right and just, conforming to the new spirit of the age, keep their perspectives narrow, their understanding limited, discourage free, independent thought, frighten them into obedience, because the masters are afraid.
- If there is to be any permanent improvement in man and any better social order, it must come mainly from the education and humanizing of man. I am quite certain that the more the question of crime and its treatment is studied the less faith men have in punishment.
- Clarence DarrowCrime : Its Cause And Treatment (1922) Ch. 36 "Remedies"
- If today you can take a thing like evolution and make it a crime to teach it in the public school, tomorrow you can make it a crime to teach it in the private schools, and the next year you can make it a crime to teach it to the hustings or in the church. At the next session you may ban books and the newspapers. Soon you may set Catholic against Protestant and Protestant against Protestant, and try to foist your own religion upon the minds of men. If you can do one you can do the other. Ignorance and fanaticism is ever busy and needs feeding. Always it is feeding and gloating for more. Today it is the public school teachers, tomorrow the private. The next day the preachers and the lectures, the magazines, the books, the newspapers. After a while, your honor, it is the setting of man against man and creed against creed until with flying banners and beating drums we are marching backward to the glorious ages of the sixteenth century when bigots lighted fagots to burn the men who dared to bring any intelligence and enlightenment and culture to the human mind.
- Education is an ornament for the prosperous, a refuge for the unfortunate.
- Democritus (ca. 4th century BC). Tr. Kathleen Freeman, Ancilla to the Pre-Socratic Philosophers: A Complete Translation of the Fragments in Diels, Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, 1948.
- In my opinion the prevailing systems of education are all wrong, from the first stage to the last stage. Education begins where it should terminate, and youth, instead of being led to the development of their faculties by the use of their senses, are made to acquire a great quantity of words, expressing the ideas of other men instead of comprehending their own faculties, or becoming acquainted with the words they are taught or the ideas the words should convey.
- William Duane, "Journal of the Senate of the Commonwealth of Kentucky," 1822.
- I hope we still have some bright twelve-year-olds who are interested in science. We must be careful not to discourage our twelve-year-olds by making them waste the best years of their lives on preparing for examinations.
- Freeman Dyson, “Butterflies and Superstrings” in Timothy Ferris (ed.) The World Treasury of Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics (p. 135)
- How does it happen that a properly endowed natural scientist comes to concern himself with epistemology? Is there no more valuable work in his specialty? I hear many of my colleagues saying, and I sense it from many more, that they feel this way. I cannot share this sentiment. When I think about the ablest students whom I have encountered in my teaching, that is, those who distinguish themselves by their independence of judgment and not merely their quick-wittedness, I can affirm that they had a vigorous interest in epistemology. They happily began discussions about the goals and methods of science, and they showed unequivocally, through their tenacity in defending their views, that the subject seemed important to them. Indeed, one should not be surprised at this.
- Albert Einstein, “Ernst Mach,” Physikalische Zeitschrift (1916) 17, pp. 101-102, a memorial notice for Ernst Mach, as quoted by Don Howard, "Albert Einstein on the Relationship between Philosophy and Physics."
- All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom. It is no mere chance that our older universities developed from clerical schools. Both churches and universities — insofar as they live up to their true function — serve the ennoblement of the individual. They seek to fulfill this great task by spreading moral and cultural understanding, renouncing the use of brute force.
- Albert Einstein, "Moral Decay" (1937); published in Out of My Later Years (1950)
- It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom; without this it goes to wreck and ruin without fail. It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty. To the contrary, I believe it would be possible to rob even a healthy beast of prey of its voraciousness, if it were possible, with the aid of a whip, to force the beast to devour continuously, even when not hungry, especially if the food, handed out under such coercion, were to be selected accordingly.
- Albert Einstein; quoted in "Autobiographical Notes", Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist, Paul Schilpp, ed. (1951), pp. 17-19.
- The great object of Education should be commensurate with the object of life. It should be a moral one; to teach self-trust; to inspire the youthful man with an interest in himself; with a curiosity touching his own nature; to acquaint him with the resources of his mind, and to teach him that there is all his strength, and to inflame him with a piety towards the Grand Mind in which he lives.
- Parents thought it was enough to bring their children into the world and to shower them with riches, but had no interest in their education. There are severe laws against people who expose their children and abandon them in some forest to be devoured by wild animals. But is there any form of exposure more cruel than to abandon to bestial impulses children whom nature intended to be raised according to upright principles to live a good life? If there existed a Thessalian witch who had the power and the desire to transform your son into a swine or a wolf, would you not think that no punishment could be too severe for her? But what you find revolting in her, you eagerly practise yourself. Lust is a hideous brute; extravagance is a devouring and insatiable monster; drunkenness is a savage beast; anger is a fearful creature; and ambition is a ghastly animal. Anyone who fails to instil into his child, from his earliest years onwards, a love of good and a hatred of evil is, in fact, exposing him to these cruel monsters.
- Erasmus, “On Education for Children,” The Erasmus Reader (University of Toronto Press: 1990), p. 74
- Remarquez un grand défaut des éducations ordinaires: on met tout le plaisir d'un côté , et tout l'ennui de l'autre; tout l'ennui dans l'étude, tout le plaisir dans les divertissements.
- The greatest defect of common education is, that we are in the habit of putting pleasure all on one side, and weariness on the other; all weariness in study, all pleasure in idleness.
- François FénelonDe l'éducation des filles, ch. 5, cited from De l’éducation des filles, dialogues des morts et opuscules divers (Paris: Firmin Didot, 1857) p. 21; translation from Selections from the Writings of Fénelon (Boston: Hilliard, Gray, Little and Wilkins, 1829) p. 72.
- The greatest defect of common education is, that we are in the habit of putting pleasure all on one side, and weariness on the other; all weariness in study, all pleasure in idleness.
- Teaching, as well as preaching, to which it is allied, is certainly a work belonging to the active life, but it derives in a way from the very fullness of contemplation
- Étienne Gilson, Thomism: The Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, Introduction
- Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths theatre.
- Gail Godwin, as cited in Robert Byrne's The 2,548 Best Things Anybody Ever Said #766
- As the true object of education is not to render the pupil the mere copy of his preceptor, it is rather to be rejoiced in, than lamented, that various reading should lead him into new trains of thinking.
- Nicht vor Irrthum zu bewahren, ist die Pflicht des Menschenerziehers, sondern den Irrenten zu leiten, ja, ihn seinen Irrthum aus vollen Bechern ausschlürfen zu lassen, das ist Weisheit der Lehrer. Wer seinen Irrthum nur kostet, hält lange damit Haus, er freuet sich dessen als eines seltenen Glücks; aber wer ihn ganz erschöpft, der muß ihn kennen lernen, wenn er nicht wahnsinnig ist.
- Not to keep from error, is the duty of the educator of men, but to guide the erring one, even to let him swill his error out of full cups. That is the wisdom of teachers. He who merely tastes of his error will keep house with it for a long time. … But he who drains it to the dregs will have to get to know it.
- Even if the world progresses generally, youth will always begin at the beginning, and the epochs of the world's cultivation will be repeated in the individual.
- Elitism is repulsive when based upon external and artificial limitations like race, gender, or social class. Repulsive and utterly false—for that spark of genius is randomly distributed across all cruel barriers of our social prejudice. We therefore must grant access—and encouragement—to everyone; and must be increasingly vigilant, and tirelessly attentive, in providing such opportunities to all children. We will have no justice until this kind of equality can be attained. But if only a small minority respond, and these are our best and brightest of all races, classes, and genders, shall we deny them the pinnacle of their soul's striving because all their colleagues prefer passivity and flashing lights? Let them lift their eyes to hills of books, and at least a few museums that display the full magic of nature's variety. What is wrong with this truly democratic form of elistim?
- Stephen Jay Gould, "Cabinet Museums: Alive, Alive, O!", Dinosaur in a Haystack: Reflections in Natural History (1995)
- Vi har väldigt mycket att tjäna på att sluta ömma för dem som ändå kommer att få ett gott liv.
- Translation: We have very much to earn by ceasing to tender those who are going to have a good life anyway.
- Swedish socialist debater Göran Greider about giving special education to gifted pupils, in the television program Godmorgon världen from the episode aired 17 February 2002.
- I have not the least doubt that school developed in me nothing but what was evil and left the good untouched.
- Edvard Grieg; quoted in Henry T. Fink, Grieg and His Music (1929), page 8.
- Education is the factory that turns animals into human beings. […] If women are educated, that means their children will be too. If the people of the world want to solve the hard problems in Afghanistan — kidnapping, beheadings, crime and even al-Qaeda — they should invest in [our] education.
- Education is a means of sharpening the mind of man both spiritually and intellectually. It is a two-edged sword that can be used either for the progress of mankind or for its destruction. That is why it has been Our constant desire and endeavor to develop our education for the benefit of mankind.
- Haile Selassie, in a University Graduation address (2 July 1963), published in Important Utterances of H. I. M. Emperor Haile Selassie I, 1963-1972 (1972), p. 22
- The educated don't get that way by memorizing facts; they get that way by respecting them.
- Tom Heehler, The Well-Spoken Thesaurus (Sourcebooks 2011).
- The best education will not immunize a person against corruption by power. The best education does not automatically make people compassionate. We know this more clearly than any preceding generation. Our time has seen the best-educated society, situated in the heart of the most civilized part of the world, give birth to the most murderously vengeful government in history.
Forty years ago the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead thought it self-evident that you would get a good government if you took power out of the hands of the acquisitive and gave it to the learned and the cultivated. At present, a child in kindergarten knows better than that.
- What we need is to justify coercion, paternalistic control, blame, scolding, and punishment - all of which are less evident in trigonometry class than in a fourth grade learning long division.(...) I have argued that blame, scolding, and punishment in public schools - what I have called "the ordeal" - can be successfully defended. Students have a duty to learn, and can be held responsible for violating whatever rules, policies, or instructions are enforced to ensure that they do so.
- Charles Howell - Syracuse University: Education, Punishment, and Responsibility
- Between the ages of five and nine I was almost perpetually at war with the educational system. ... As soon as I learned from my mother that there was there was a place called school that I must attend willy-nilly—a place where you were obliged to think about matters prescribed by a 'teacher,' not about matters decided by yourself—I was appalled.
- Fred Hoyle, The Small World of Fred Hoyle: an Autobiography (1986)
- One purpose of education is to draw out the elements of our common human nature. These elements are the same in any time or place. The notion of educating a man to live in any particular time or place, to adjust him to any particular environment, is therefore foreign to a true conception of education.
Education implies teaching. Teaching implies knowledge. Knowledge is truth. The truth is everywhere the same. Hence education should be everywhere the same.
- H. Gordon Hullfish, Philip G. Smith, Reflective Thinking: The Method of Education (1961) p. 129.
- Why is it that in most children education seems to destroy the creative urge? Why do so many boys and girls leave school with blunted perceptions and a closed mind? A majority of young people seem to develop mental arteriosclerosis forty years before they get the physical kind. Another question: why do some people remain open and elastic into extreme old age, whereas others become rigid and unproductive before they're fifty? It's a problem in biochemistry and adult education.
- Aldous Huxley, in an interview by Raymond Fraser and George Wickes for The Paris Review, Issue 23, Spring 1960.
- Within the next generation I believe that the world's leaders will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging them and kicking them into obedience
- Aldous Huxley, letter to George Orwell (Smith, Grover (1969). Letters of Aldous Huxley. Chatto & Windus).
- Universal education through schooling is not feasible. It would be no more feasible if it were attempted by means of alternative institutions built on the style of present schools. Neither new attitudes of teachers toward their pupils nor the proliferation of educational hardware or software (in classroom or bedroom), nor finally the attempt to expand the pedagogue's responsibility until it engulfs his pupils' lifetimes will deliver universal education. The current search for new educational funnels must be reversed into the search for their institutional inverse: educational webs which heighten the opportunity for each one to transform each moment of his living into one of learning, sharing, and caring. We hope to contribute concepts needed by those who conduct such counterfoil research on education — and also to those who seek alternatives to other established service industries.
- Ivan Illich, Deschooling Society (1971) Introduction (November 1970).
- Plato is the first writer who distinctly says that education is to comprehend the whole of life, and to be a preparation for another in which education begins again... He has long given up the notion that virtue cannot be taught; and he is disposed to modify the thesis of the Protagoras, that the virtues are one and not many. He is not unwilling to admit the sensible world into his scheme of truth. Nor does he assert in the Republic the involuntariness of vice, which is maintained by him in the Timaeus, Sophist, and Laws... Still, we observe in him the remains of the old Socratic doctrine, that true knowledge must be elicited from within, and is to be sought for in ideas, not in particulars of sense. Education, as he says, will implant a principle of intelligence which is better than ten thousand eyes. The paradox that the virtues are one, and the kindred notion that all virtue is knowledge, are not entirely renounced; the first is seen in the supremacy given to justice over the rest; the second in the tendency to absorb the moral virtues in the intellectual, and to centre all goodness in the contemplation of the idea of good. The world of sense is still depreciated and identified with opinion, though omitted to be a shadow of the true. In the Republic he is evidently impressed with the conviction that vice arises chiefly from ignorance and may be cured by education; the multitude are hardly to be deemed responsible for what they do ... he only proposes to elicit from the mind that which is there already. Education is represented by him, not as the filling of a vessel, but as the turning the eye of the soul towards the light.
- Benjamin Jowett, "Introduction and Analyisis," (1892) p. cc, The Dialogues of Plato: Republic. Timaeus. Critias.Vol. 3The Republic
- Man must develop his tendency towards the good.
- It was imagined that experiments in education were not necessary; and that, whether any thing in it was good or bad, could be judged of by the reason. But this was a great mistake; experience shows very often that results are produced precisely the opposite to those which had been expected. We also see from experiment that one generation cannot work out a complete plan of education.
- Transforming hereditary privilege into ‘merit,’ the existing system of educational selection, with the Big Three [Harvard, Princeton, and Yale] as its capstone, provides the appearance if not the substance of equality of opportunity. In so doing, it legitimates the established order as one that rewards ability over the prerogatives of birth. The problem with a ‘meritocracy,’ then, is not only that its ideals are routinely violated (though that is true), but also that it veils the power relations beneath it. For the definition of ‘merit,’ including the one that now prevails in America’s leading universities, always bears the imprint of the distribution of power in the larger society. Those who are able to define ‘merit’ will almost invariably possess more of it, and those with greater resources—cultural, economic and social—will generally be able to ensure that the educational system will deem their children more meritorious.
- Jerome Karabel, The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton (Houghton Mifflin: 2005), pp. 549-550
- When brought to the proletariat from the capitalist class, science is invariably adapted to suit capitalist interests. What the proletariat needs is a scientific understanding of its own position in society. That kind of science a worker cannot obtain in the officially and socially approved manner. The proletarian himself must develop his own theory. For this reason he must be completely self-taught.
- Liberty without learning is always in peril; learning without liberty is always in vain.
- John F. Kennedy, speech on 18th May 1963 on the 90th Anniversary Convocation of Vanderbilt University 
- Give the children of the poor that portion of education which will enable them to know their own resources ; which will cultivate in them an onward-looking hope, and give them rational amusement in their leisure hours : this, and this only, will work out that moral revolution, which is the legislator's noblest purpose.
- As educators, rather than raising your voices over the rustling of our chains, take them off, uncuff us, unencumbered by the lumbering weight of poverty and privilege, policy and ignorance. ... If you take the time to connect the dots, you can plot the true shape of their genius, shining in their darkest hour. ... Beneath their masks and their mischiefs exists an authentic frustration at enslavement to your standardized assessments. At the core, none of us were meant to be common. We were meant to comets, leaving our mark as we crash into everything. ... I’ve been the black hole in the classroom for far too long, absorbing everything without allowing my light to escape, but those days are done. I belong among the stars and so do you.
- I would advise no one to send his child where the Holy Scriptures are not supreme. Every institution that does not unceasingly pursue the study of God's word becomes corrupt. Because of this we can see what kind of people they become in the universities and what they are like now. Nobody is to blame for this except the pope, the bishops, and the prelates, who are all charged with training young people. The universities only ought to turn out men who are experts in the Holy Scriptures, men who can become bishops and priests, and stand in the front line against heretics, the devil, and all the world. But where do you find that? I greatly fear that the universities, unless they teach the Holy Scriptures diligently and impress them on the young students, are wide gates to hell.
- Martin LutherTo the Christian Nobility of the German States (1520), translated by Charles M. Jacobs, reported in rev. James Atkinson, The Christian in Society, I (Luther’s Works, ed. James Atkinson, vol. 44), p. 207 (1966).
- Surely a University is the very place where we should be able to overcome this tendency of men to become, as it were, granulated into small worlds, which are all the more worldly for their very smallness. We lose the advantage of having men of varied pursuits collected into one body, if we do not endeavour to imbibe some of the spirit even of those whose special branch of learning is different from our own.
- An uneducated population may be degraded; a population educated, but not in righteousness, will be ungovernable. The one may be slaves, the other must be tyrants.
- Henry Melvill (1798–1871). Quote reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 364.
- If the end of education is to foster the love of truth, this love cannot be presupposed in the means. The means must rather be based on a resourceful pedagogical rhetoric that, knowing how initially resistant or impervious we all are to philosophic truth, necessarily makes use of motives other than love of truth and of techniques other than “saying exactly what you mean.” That is why, for example, the earlier, classical tradition of rationalism recognized the inescapable need to speak in philosophical poems and dialogues as well as treatises.
- Arthur Melzer, “On the Pedagogical Motive for Esoteric Writing,” Journal of Politics, Vol. 69, Issue 4, November 2007, p. 1018
- A general State education is a mere contrivance for moulding people to be exactly like one another: and as the mould in which it casts them is that which pleases the predominant power in the government, whether this be a monarch, a priesthood, an aristocracy, or the majority of the existing generation; in proportion as it is efficient and successful, it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading by natural tendency to one over the body.
- I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly.
- The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and originality.
- Continued adherence to a policy of compulsory education is utterly incompatible with efforts to establish lasting peace.
- Education rears disciples, imitators, and routinists, not pioneers of new ideas and creative geniuses. The schools are not nurseries of progress and improvement, but conservatories of tradition and unvarying modes of thought.
- Ludwig von Mises, Theory and History: An Interpretation of Social and Economic Evolution, Ludwig von Mises Institute (2007) p. 263. First published by Yale University Press, 1957
- Show me the man who has enjoyed his schooldays and I will show you a bully and a bore.
- The Prophet said, "He who has a slave-girl and teaches her good manners and improves her education and then manumits and marries her, will get a double reward; and any slave who observes Allah's right and his master's right will get a double reward."
- Muhammad narrated Abu Musa Al-Ashari, in Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 46, Number 723'
- There is always the difficulty of difficulties, that of inducing the child to lend himself to all this endeavor, and to second the master, and not show himself recalcitrant to the efforts made on his behalf. For this reason the _moral_ education is the point of departure; before all things, it is necessary to _discipline_ the class. The pupils must be induced to _second_ the master's efforts, if not by love, then by force. Failing this point of departure, all education and instruction would be _impossible_, and the school _useless_.
- Maria Montessori, Spontaneous Activity in Education (available on Gutenberg.org).
- What are our schools for if not for indoctrination against communism?
- Richard Nixon, Speech before a meeting of San Diego educators during the 1962 gubernatorial election, cited in In Conflict and Order: Understanding Society, p. 153
- A tax-supported, compulsory educational system is the complete model of the totalitarian state.
- Isabel Paterson, The God of the Machine New Brunswick: NJ, Transaction Publishers (2009), first published 1943, p. 258
- Multis ne magistri veri essent magisterii falsum nomen obstitit: dum de se plus omnibus quam sibi dumque quod dicebantur, sed non erant, esse crediderunt, quod esse poterant non fuerunt.
- A meaningless master’s degree has kept many from becoming true masters. Believing others rather than themselves, and believing to be what they were cried up to be but really were not, they never became what they could have become.
- I believe that school makes complete fools of our young men, because they see and hear nothing of ordinary life there.
- We must encourage [each other] once we have grasped the basic points to interconnecting everything else on our own, to use memory to guide our original thinking, and to accept what someone else says as a starting point, a seed to be nourished and grown. For the correct analogy for the mind is not a vessel that needs filling but wood that needs igniting no more and then it motivates one towards originality and instills the desire for truth. Suppose someone were to go and ask his neighbors for fire and find a substantial blaze there, and just stay there continually warming himself: that is no different from someone who goes to someone else to get to some of his rationality, and fails to realize that he ought to ignite his own flame, his own intellect, but is happy to sit entranced by the lecture, and the words trigger only associative thinking and bring, as it were, only a flush to his cheeks and a glow to his limbs; but he has not dispelled or dispersed, in the warm light of philosophy, the internal dank gloom of his mind.
- Men must be taught as if you taught them not
And things unknown proposed as things forgot.
- This education forms the common mind, Just as the twig is bent, the tree's inclined.
- One of the main things about teaching is not what you say but what you don't say. When you hear someone play, you have to work out the way they do things naturally and then leave them alone, because you want the naturalness to be there still.
- The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.
- Formal education teaches how to stand, but to see the rainbow you must come out and walk many steps on your own.
- Amit Ray, Nonviolence: The Transforming Power
- Education is beautification of the inner world and the outer world.
- Amit Ray, Nonviolence: The Transforming Power
- Education is unfolding the wings of head and heart together. The job of a teacher is to push the students out of the nest to strengthen their wings.
- Amit Ray, Walking the Path of Compassion (2015) p. 62
- It is very strange, that, ever since mankind have taken it into their heads to trouble themselves so much about the education of children, they should never have thought of any other instruments to effect their purpose than those of emulation, jealousy, envy, pride, covetousness, and servile fear—all passions the most dangerous, the most apt to ferment, and the most fit to corrupt the soul, even before the body is formed. With every premature instruction we instil into the head, we implant a vice in the bottom of the heart.
- Early socialists and latter-day mercantilists and interventionist were united in the battle for state-controlled education as a means of social control. The uncontrolled mind was a dangerous mind.
- Rousas John Rushdoony, The Messianic Character of American Education: Studies in the History of the Philosophy of Education, Phillpsburg, NJ, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company (1963) p. 35
- There is only one thing that can kill the movies, and that is education.
- We are faced with the paradoxical fact that education has become one of the chief obstacles to intelligence and freedom of thought.
- I found one day in school a boy of medium size ill-treating a smaller boy. I expostulated, but he replied: 'The bigs hit me, so I hit the babies; that's fair.' In these words he epitomized the history of the human race.
- Men are born ignorant, not stupid; they are made stupid by education.
- Bertrand Russell, A History of Western Philosophy (1945), Book Three, Part II, Chapter XXI: Currents of Thought in the Nineteenth Century, p. 722.
- If you teach a man anything he will never learn it.
- Widespread ignorance bordering on idiocy is our new national goal. ... The ideal citizen of a politically corrupt state, such as the one we now have, is a gullible dolt unable to tell truth from bullshit. An educated, well-informed population, the kind that a functioning democracy requires, would be difficult to lie to, and could not be led by the nose by the various vested interests running amok in this country.
- Different views of the same truths are seldom disagreeable to men of taste, and are equally useful to beginners with the writings of different authors upon the same subject.
- Children arrived at the age of maturity belong, not to the parents, but to the State, to society, to the country.
- John Swett, History of the Public School System of California, San Francisco: CA, Bancroft (1876) p. 113
- The education of the child must accord both in mode and arrangement with the education of mankind, considered historically. In other words, the genesis of knowledge in the individual, must follow the same course as the genesis of knowledge in the race. In strictness, this principle may be considered as already expressed by implication; since both being processes of evolution, must conform to those same general laws of evolution... and must therefore agree with each other. Nevertheless this particular parallelism is of value for the specific guidance it affords. To M. Comte we believe society owes the enunciation of it; and we may accept this item of his philosophy without at all committing ourselves to the rest.
- If there be an order in which the human race has mastered its various kinds of knowledge, there will arise in every child an aptitude to acquire these kinds of knowledge in the same order. So that even were the order intrinsically indifferent, it would facilitate education to lead the individual mind through the steps traversed by the general mind. But the order is not intrinsically indifferent; and hence the fundamental reason why education should be a repetition of civilization in little.
- It is provable both that the historical sequence was, in its main outlines, a necessary one; and that the causes which determined it apply to the child as to the race. ...as the mind of humanity placed in the midst of phenomena and striving to comprehend them has, after endless comparisons, speculations, experiments, and theories, reached its present knowledge of each subject by a specific route; it may rationally be inferred that the relationship between mind and phenomena is such as to prevent this knowledge from being reached by any other route; and that as each child's mind stands in this same relationship to phenomena, they can be accessible to it only through the same route. Hence in deciding upon the right method of education, an inquiry into the method of civilization will help to guide us.
- How strange it seems that education, in practice, so often means suppression: that instead of leading the mind outward to the light of day it crowds things in upon it that darken and weary it. Yet evidently the true object of education, now as ever, is to develop the capabilities of the head and of the heart.
- Louis Sullivan, in "Emotional Architecture as Compared to Intellectual : A Study in Subjective and Objective", an address to the American Institute of Architects (October 1894)
- What are books but folly, and what is an education but an arrant hypocrisy, and what is art but a curse when they touch not the heart and impel it not to action?
- Louis Sullivan, in Kindergarten Chats (1918), Ch. 36 : Another City
- Teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot.
- The public, therefore, among a democratic people, has a singular power, which aristocratic nations cannot conceive; for it does not persuade others to its beliefs, but it imposes them and makes them permeate the thinking of everyone by a sort of enormous pressure of the mind of all upon the individual intelligence. In the United States the majority undertakes to supply a multitude of ready-made opinions for the use of individuals, who are thus relieved from the necessity of forming opinions of their own. Everybody there adopts great numbers of theories, on philosophy, morals, and politics, without inquiry, upon public trust; and if we examine it very closely, it will be perceived that religion itself holds sway there much less as a doctrine of revelation than as a commonly received opinion.
- I had been to school most all the time and could spell and read and write just a little, and could say the multiplication table up to six times seven is thirty-five, and I don't reckon I could ever get any further than that if I was to live forever. I don't take no stock in mathematics anyway.
At first I hated school, but by and by I got so I could stand it. Whenever I got uncommon tired I played hookey, and the hiding I got the next day done me good and cheered me up. So the longer I went to school the easier it got to be.
- Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.
- I hated school so intensely. It interfered with my freedom. I avoided the discipline by an elaborate technique of being absent-minded during classes.
- Sigrid Undset, 1928 Nobel Prize in literature; quoted in Twentieth Century Authors, Kunitz and Haycraft, editors (1942), page 1432.
- Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I'll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select – doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors. I am going beyond my facts and I admit it, but so have the advocates of the contrary and they have been doing it for many thousands of years.
- John B. Watson. Behaviorism (Revised edition). (1930). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p.82.
- If you give a man a fish he is hungry again in an hour. If you teach him to catch a fish you do him a good turn.
- The prevailing conception is that education must be such as will enable one to acquire enough wealth to live on the plane of the bourgeoisie. That kind of education does not develop the aristocratic virtues. It neither encourages reflection nor inspires reverence for the good.
The history of education in England is documented from Saxon settlement of England, and the setting up of the first cathedral schools in 597 and 604. Before then education was an oral affair, or followed the Roman model in diaspora and integrated families.
During the Middle Ages, schools were established to teach Latin grammar to the sons of the aristocracy. Two universities were established in affiliation with the church: the University of Oxford, followed by the University of Cambridge, to assist in training the clergy. A reformed system of "free grammar schools" was established in the reign of Edward VI. Apprenticeship was the main way for youths to enter practical occupations.
The Protestant Reformation had a major influence on education and literacy in England, as it encouraged the reading of the Bible in the vernacular.
The 1944 Education Act established the Tripartite System of grammar schools and secondary modern schools. The school leaving age was raised to 16 in 1972.
Early modern period
Independent schools have a long history in England; some were set up before the tenth century. The oldest is King's School, Canterbury, which was founded in 597. Many were charity schools. A group of these schools, much later, invoked the name "public school" to indicate that they were open to the public regardless of religious beliefs.
In Tudor England, Edward VI reorganised grammar schools and instituted new ones so that there was a national system of "free grammar schools." In theory these were open to all, offering free tuition to those who could not afford to pay fees. The vast majority of poor children did not attend these schools since their labour was economically critical to their families.
In 1562 the Statute of Artificers and Apprentices was passed to regulate and protect the apprenticeship system, forbidding anyone from practising a trade or craft without first serving a 7-year period as an apprentice to a master.Guilds controlled many trades and used apprenticeships to control entry. (In practice sons of Freemen, members of the guilds, could negotiate shorter terms of training).
Following the Act of Uniformity in 1662, religious dissenters set up academies to educate students of dissenting families, who did not wish to subscribe to the articles of the established Church of England. Some of these 'dissenting academies' still survive, the oldest being Bristol Baptist College. Several Oxford colleges (Harris Manchester, Mansfield, and Regent's Park) are also descendents of this movement.
From 1692, 'parish' apprenticeships under the Elizabethan Poor Law came to be used as a way of providing for poor, illegitimate and orphaned children of both sexes alongside the regular system of skilled apprenticeships, which tended to provide for boys from slightly more affluent backgrounds. These parish apprenticeships, which could be created with the assent of two Justices of the Peace, supplied apprentices for occupations of lower status such as farm labouring, brickmaking and menial household service.
Until as late as the nineteenth century, all university fellows and many schoolmasters were expected or required to be in holy orders.
Schoolmistresses typically taught the three Rs (reading, writing and 'rithmetic) in dame schools, charity schools, or informal village schools.
Historian David Mitch argues that private philanthropy was a major source of funding by the 1640s, and in that regard England was distinctive among modern nations. The endowments were permanent, and were still active in the 19th century. In addition to the landed elites in gentry, merchants and clergy Were generous in supporting educational philanthropy. The national system that was developed in the last two thirds of the 19th century incorporated the earlier endowments philanthropies.
In the early years of the Industrial Revolution entrepreneurs began to resist the restrictions of the apprenticeship system, and a legal ruling established that the Statute of Apprentices did not apply to trades that were not in existence when it was passed in 1563, thus excluding many new 18th century industries.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge founded many charity schools for poor students in the 7 to 11 age group. These schools were the basis for the development of modern concepts of primary and secondary education. The Society also was an early provider of teacher education.
Sunday School Movement
Main article: Sunday school
Robert Raikes initiated the Sunday School Movement, having inherited a publishing business from his father and become proprietor of the Gloucester Journal in 1757. The movement started with a school for boys in the slums. Raikes had been involved with those incarcerated at the county Poor Law (part of the jail at that time); he believed that "vice" would be better prevented than cured, with schooling as the best intervention. The best available time was Sunday, as the boys were often working in the factories the other six days. The best available teachers were lay people. The textbook was the Bible. The original curriculum started with teaching children to read and then having them learn the catechism, reasoning that reading comprehension acquired through Bible study could be transferred to secular studies.
Raikes used his newspaper to publicize the schools and bore most of the cost in the early years. The movement began in July 1780 in the home of a Mrs. Meredith. Only boys attended, and she heard the lessons of the older boys who coached the younger. Later, girls also attended. Within two years, several schools opened in and around Gloucester. Raikes published an account on 3 November 1783 of Sunday School in his paper, and later word of the work spread through the Gentleman's Magazine, and in 1784, a letter to the Arminian Magazine.
The original schedule for the schools, as written by Raikes was "The children were to come after ten in the morning, and stay till twelve; they were then to go home and return at one; and after reading a lesson, they were to be conducted to Church. After Church, they were to be employed in repeating the catechism till after five, and then dismissed, with an injunction to go home without making a noise."
Further information: Victorian era § Education
In the 19th century the Church of England sponsored most formal education until the government established free, compulsory education towards the end of that century. University College London was established as the first secular college in England, open to students of all religions (or none,) followed by King's College London; the two institutions formed the University of London. Durham University was also established in the early nineteenth century. Towards the end of the century, the "redbrick" universities, new public universities, were founded.
National schools and British Schools
Prior to the nineteenth century, there were few schools. Most of those that existed were run by church authorities and stressed religious education. The Church of England resisted early attempts for the state to provide secular education. In 1811, the Anglican National Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church in England and Wales was established. Historically, the schools founded by the National Society were called National Schools (still an integral part of the state school system). The Protestant non-conformist, non-denominational, or "British schools" were founded by Society for Promoting the Lancasterian System for the Education of the Poor, an organisation formed in 1808 by Joseph Fox, William Allen and Samuel Whitbread and supported by several evangelical and non-conformist Christians.
In 1814, compulsory apprenticeship by indenture was abolished. By 1831, Sunday School in Great Britain was ministering weekly to 1,250,000 children, approximately 25% of the population. As these schools preceded the first state funding of schools for the common public, they are sometimes seen as a forerunner to the current English school system.
In 1818, John Pounds, known as the crippled cobbler, set up a school and began teaching poor children reading, writing, and arithmetic without charging fees.
In 1820, Samuel Wilderspin opened the first infant school in Spitalfields.
After John Pounds' death in 1839 Thomas Guthrie wrote Plea for Ragged Schools and started a ragged school in Edinburgh, another one was started in Aberdeen. In 1844 Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury formed the 'Ragged School Union' dedicated to the free education of destitute children and over the next eight years over 200 free schools for poor children were established in Britain. with some 300,000 children passing through the London Ragged Schools alone between 1844 and 1881.
Over 95% of children of elementary school age were already enrolled in schools well before it was made compulsory and free.
In August 1833, Parliament voted sums of money each year for the construction of schools for poor children, the first time the state had become involved with education in England and Wales (whereas a programme for universal education in Scotland had been initiated in the seventeenth century). A meeting in Manchester in 1837, chaired by Mark Philips, led to the creation of the Lancashire Public Schools' Association. The association proposed that non-denominational schools should be funded from local taxes. Also 1837, the Whig former Lord ChancellorHenry Brougham presented a bill for public education.
In 1839 government grants for the construction and maintenance of schools were switched to voluntary bodies, and became conditional on a satisfactory inspection.
In 1840 the Grammar Schools Act expanded the Grammar School curriculum from classical studies to include science and literature. In 1861 the Royal Commission on the state of popular education in England, chaired by the Duke of Newcastle, reported "The number of children whose names ought [in summer 1858 in England and Wales] to have been on the school books, in order that all might receive some education, was 2,655,767. The number we found to be actually on the books was 2,535,462, thus leaving 120,305 children without any school instruction whatever."
In fee-paying public schools, which served the upper-class, important reforms were initiated by Thomas Arnold in Rugby. They redefined standards of masculinity, putting a heavy emphasis on sports and teamwork.
Robert Lowe (1811-1892), a powerful Liberal politician who worked closely with Prime Minister Gladstone, was a key reformer. He agreed with the consensus against too much centralization in English education, but wanted to improve educational standards, and prevent the waste of public money on inefficient teaching, especially in church schools. He introduced a revised code in 1861; future grants would be allocated not by the subjective judgment of inspectors but rather on the basis of the number of students passing an examination in reading, writing, and arithmetic. It was known as ‘payment by results’. The code ended the favoritism often shown by inspectors; it came under attack by schoolteachers, inspectors, and Anglican and dissenting opponents of state activity.
The Forster Act of 1870
William Forster'sElementary Education Act 1870 required partially state-funded board schools to be set up to provide primary (elementary) education in areas where existing provision was inadequate. Board schools were managed by elected school boards. The schools remained fee-charging, but poor parents could be exempted. The previous government grant scheme established in 1833 ended on 31 December 1870.
The Act meant that compulsory attendance at school ceased to be a matter for local option, as children had to attend between the ages of 5 and 10, with exceptions such as illness, if children worked, or lived too far from a school. Section 74 of the Act empowered school boards to make byelaws for educating children between the ages of 5 and 13 but exempted any child aged over 10 who had reached the expected standard (which varied by board).
Introduction of compulsory education 1880
The Elementary Education Act 1880 insisted on compulsory attendance from 5 to 10 years. For poorer families, ensuring their children attended school proved difficult, as it was more tempting to send them working if the opportunity to earn an extra income was available. Attendance officers often visited the homes of children who failed to attend school, which often proved to be ineffective. Children under the age of 13 who were employed were required to have a certificate to show they had reached the educational standard. Employers of these children who weren't able to show this were penalised. An act brought into force thirteen years later went under the name of the "Elementary Education (School Attendance) Act 1893", which stated a raised minimum leaving age to 11. Later the same year, the act was also extended for blind and deaf children, who previously had no means of an official education. This act was later amended in 1899 to raise the school leaving age up to 12 years of age.
The 1891 Elementary Education Act provided for the state payment of school fees up to ten shillings per head.
The Elementary Education (School Attendance) Act 1893 raised the school leaving age to 11 and later to 13. The Elementary Education (Blind and Deaf Children) Act of the same year extended compulsory education to blind and deaf children, and made provision for the creation of special schools.
The Voluntary Schools Act 1897 provided grants to public elementary schools not funded by school boards (typically Church schools).
In the late Victorian period grammar schools were reorganised and their curriculum was modernised, although Latin was still taught.[clarification needed]
Funding of technical colleges
In 1889, the "Technical Institutes Act" was passed. According to D. Evans, "It gave powers to the County Councils and the Urban Sanitary Authorities to levy a penny tax to support technical and manual instruction. The curricula in technical institutions also had to be approved by the Science and Art Department. In the following year the Local Taxation Act introduced the 'whiskey tax', which made extra money available for technical instruction."
From April 1900 higher elementary schools were recognised, providing education from the age of 10 to 15.
Balfour and Local Education Authorities
Balfour Act of 1902
Main article: Education Act 1902
The controversial ConservativeEducation Act 1902 (also 'Balfour's Act') made radical changes to the entire educational system of England and Wales. It ended the divide between schools run by the 2568 school boards and the 14,000 church schools, administered primarily by the Church of England, which educated about a third of students. Local Education Authorities were established, which were able to set local tax rates, and the school boards were disbanded. Funds were provided for denominational religious instruction in voluntary elementary schools, owned primarily by the Church of England and Roman Catholics. The law was extended in 1903 to cover London.
G. R. Searle, like nearly all historians, argues the Act was a short-term political disaster for the Conservative Party because it outraged Methodists, Baptists and other nonconformists. It subsidized the religions they rejected. However Searle argues it was a long-term success. The Church schools now had solid financing from local ratepayers and had to meet uniform standards. It led to a rapid growth of secondary schools, with over 1000 opening by 1914, including 349 for girls. Eventually, the Anglican schools were nationalized. Grammar schools also became funded by the LEA. The act was of particular significance as it allowed for all schools, including denominational schools, to be funded through rates (local taxation), and ended the role of locally elected school boards that often attracted women, non-conformists and labour union men. The Liberals came to power in 1906, but their attempt to repeal the act was blocked by the House of Lords, setting up a major constitutional confrontation.
In the long run the Nonconformist schools practically vanished. In 1902 the Methodists operated 738 schools, but these rapidly declined throughout the 20th century. Only 28 remained in 1996.
The Fisher Act of 1918
The Fisher Education Act 1918 made secondary education compulsory up to age 14 and gave responsibility for secondary schools to the state. Under the Act, many higher elementary schools and endowed grammar school sought to become state funded central schools or secondary schools. However, most children attended primary (elementary) school until age 14, rather than going to a separate school for secondary education.
The year 1918 saw the introduction of the Education Act 1918, commonly also known as the "Fisher Act" as it was devised by Herbert Fisher. The act enforced compulsory education from 5–14 years, but also included provision for compulsory part-time education for all 14- to 18-year-olds. There were also plans for expansion in tertiary education, by raising the participation age to 18. This was dropped because of the cuts in public spending after World War I. This is the first act which starting planning provisions for young people to remain in education until the age of 18. The 1918 act was not immediately implemented, instead waiting until an act in 1921 before coming into effect.
After the passing of the 1929 Local Government Act, Poor Law schools became state funded elementary schools. The concept of junior technical schools was introduced in the 1930s to provide vocational education at secondary level, but few were ever opened.
Spens and Norwood reports
A report of 1938 of a committee chaired by Will Spens, a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, recommended that entry to schools would be based on intelligence testing. This was followed by the Norwood Report of 1943 which advocated the "tripartite" division of secondary education that was embodied in the 1944 Education Act.
In 1937 historian G.A.N. Lowndes identified a "Silent Social Revolution" in England and Wales since 1895 that could be credited to the expansion of public education:
- The contribution which a sound and universal system of public education can make to the sobriety, orderliness and stability of a population is perhaps the most patent of its benefits. What other gains can be placed to its credit?...Can it be claimed that the widening of educational opportunity in the long run repays that cost to the community by a commensurate increase in the national wealth and prosperity? Or can it be claimed that it is making the population happier, better able to utilise its leisure, more adaptable? Anyone who knows how the schools have come to life in the past decade, anyone who is in a position to take a wide view of the social condition of the people and compare conditions to-day with those forty years ago, will have no hesitation in answering these questions in the affirmative.
1944: Butler and the tripartite system
See also: Education Act 1944 and Tripartite System
The Education Act of 1944 was an answer to surging social and educational demands created by the war and the widespread demands for social reform. The Education Act 1944, relating to England and Wales, was authored by Conservative Rab Butler and known as "the Butler Act", defined the modern split between primary education and secondary education at age 11; it also established the Tripartite System, consisting of grammar schools, secondary modern schools and secondary technical schools. Academically gifted students who passed the "Scholarship" exam (later replaced by a "Grading Test" and the 11+ examination) were able to attend a grammar school. Children who did not pass the selection test attended secondary modern schools or technical schools. It also represented a historic compromise between church and state. Three new categories of schools were set Voluntary Controlled schools where two thirds of the funding came from the state and one third from the church. In return the school kept the title deeds to the land, but taught an agreed religious education syllabus. These schools were favoured by the Anglicans. Voluntary Aided schools were favoured by the Roman Catholics, in return for one-third funding they agreed to become provide free education- but were their own admissions authority and could set their own religious education syllabus. Direct Grant Schools allowed former independent schools, often town grammar schools and predominantly in the north of England to accept a state grant in return for providing free education to many students but still charging for others. The state had little control on syllabus or admissions policy. The schools kept their title deeds. The school leaving age was raised to 15.
The elite system of public schools was practically unchanged. The new law was widely praised by Conservatives because it honored religion and social hierarchy, by Labour because it opened new opportunities for the working class, and by the general public because it ended the fees they had to pay. The act became a permanent part of the Post-war consensus supported by the three major parties.
Changes in government approaches towards education meant that it was no longer regarded adequate for a child to leave education aged 14, as that is the age when they were seen to really understand and appreciate the value of education, as well as being the period when adolescence was at its height. It was beginning to be seen as the worst age for a sudden switch from education to employment, with the additional year in schooling to only provide benefits for the children when they leave. Although there were concerns about the effects of having less labour from these children, it was hoped that the outcome of a larger quantity of more qualified, skilled workers would eliminate the deficit problem from the loss of unskilled labour.
The 1944 Act took effect in 1947. Education was made compulsory to age 15 in 1947. The 1944 Act had also recommended compulsory part-time education for all young people until the age of 18, but this provision was dropped so as not to overburden the post-war spending budget (as had happened similarly with the Act of 1918).
While the new law formed a part of the widely accepted Post-war consensus agreed to in general by the major parties, one part did generate controversy in the post-war years. Critics on the left attacked grammar schools as elitist because a student had to pass a test at age 11 to get in. Defenders argued that grammar schools allow pupils to obtain a good education through merit rather than through family income. No changes were made. In some areas, notably that of the London County Council, comprehensive schools had been introduced. They had no entrance test and were open to all children living in the school catchment area. However, despite tentative support for 'multilateralism' in secondaries, and a desire to raise the standard of secondary moderns to that of private institutions, from Minister for Education Ellen Wilkinson, the majority of Labour MPs were more concerned with implementing the 1944 Act; her successor George Tomlinson saw this through, although the secondary technicals remained underdeveloped.
Circular 10/65 and comprehensive education
Main article: Comprehensive school (England and Wales)
In 1965 the Labour government required all local education authorities to formulate proposals to move away from selection at eleven, replacing the tripartite system with comprehensive schools. This was done by the minister Tony Crosland by means of Circular 10/65 and withholding funding from any school that sought to retain selection. This circular was vehemently opposed by the grammar school lobby. Some counties procrastinated and retained the Tripartite System in all but a few experimental areas. Those authorities have locally administered selection tests.
The Circular also requested consultation between LEAs and the partially state-funded direct grant grammar schools on their participation in a comprehensive system, but little movement occurred. The 1970 report of the Public Schools Commission chaired by David Donnison recommended that the schools choose between becoming voluntary aided comprehensives and full independence. This was finally put into effect by the Direct Grant Grammar Schools (Cessation of Grant) Regulations 1975. Some schools (almost all Catholic) became fully state-funded, while the majority became independent fee-paying schools.
In 1964, preparations had begun to raise the school leaving age to 16 to be enforced from 1 September 1973 onwards. As well as raising the school leaving age in 1973, the year also saw the introduction of the Education (Work Experience) Act, allowing LEAs to organise work experience for the additional final year school students. In some counties around the country, these changes also led to the introduction of Middle schools in 1968, where students were kept at primary or junior school for an additional year, meaning that the number of students in secondary schools within these areas remained virtually constant through the change. As of 2007[update], there are now fewer than 400 middle schools across England, situated in just 22 Local Education Authorities.
This increased the legal leaving age from 15 to 16, and for one year, 1973, there were no school leavers as the students by law, had to complete an additional year of education.
Many secondary schools were unable to accommodate the new 5th year students. The solution to the problem was to construct a new building (often referred to as "ROSLA Buildings" or "ROSLA Blocks") for the schools that needed to extend their capacity. This provided them space to cope with the new cohort of ROSLA students. The ROSLA Buildings were delivered to schools in self assembly packs and were not intended to stand long-term, though some have proven to have stood much longer than was initially planned. Some are still standing now.
High technology industry (Aerospace, Nuclear, Oil & Gas, Automotive, Power Generation and Distribution etc.) trained its professional engineers via the advanced apprenticeship system of learning - usually a 5-year process. The higher Apprenticeship framework in the 1950s, 60s and 70s was designed to allow young people (16 years) an alternative path to A Levels to achieve an academic qualification at level 4 or 5 NVQ. The Higher Apprenticeship Framework was open to young people who had a minimum of 4 GCE "O" Levels to enroll in an Ordinary National Certificate or Diploma or a City & Guilds technician course. For advanced engineering apprenticeships "O" Levels had to include Mathematics, Physics, and English language. The advanced apprenticeship framework's purpose was to provide a supply of young people seeking to enter work-based learning via apprenticeships by offering structured high value learning and transferable skills and knowledge. These apprenticeships were enabled by linking industry with local technical colleges and professional Engineering Institutions.
The Advanced Apprenticeship Framework offered clear pathways and outcomes that addressed the issues facing the industry. This system was in place since the 1950s. The system provided young people with an alternative to staying in full-time education post- 16/18 to gain pure academic qualifications without work-based learning. The Advanced Apprenticeship's of the 1950s 60s and 70s provided the necessary preparation towards Engineering Technician. Technician Engineer or Chartered Engineer registration. Apprentices undertook a variety of job roles in numerous technical functions to assist the work of engineers, in the design, development, manufacture and maintenance of production system.
In modern times, apprenticeship became less important, especially as employment in heavy industry and artisan trades has declined since the 1980s. Traditional apprenticeships reached their lowest point in the 1980s: by that time, training programmes were rare and people who were apprentices learned mainly by example.
Conservative governments, from 1979 to 1997
Following the 1979 General Election, the Conservative Party regained power under Margaret Thatcher. In the early period it made two main changes:
- New Vocationalism was expanded (Labour had made some small efforts beforehand, but the Conservatives expanded it considerably). This was seen as an effort to reduce the high youth unemployment, which was regarded as one of the causes of the sporadic rioting at the end of the seventies. The Youth Opportunities Programme was the main scheme, offered to 16- to 18-year-olds. It had been introduced in 1978 under the Labour government of James Callaghan, was expanded in 1980 under the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher, and ran until 1983 when it was replaced by the Youth Training Scheme.
- The Assisted Places Scheme was introduced in 1980, whereby gifted children who could not afford to go to fee-paying schools would be given free places in those schools if they could pass the school's entrance exam.
In 1986, National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) were introduced, in an attempt to revitalise vocational training. Still, by 1990, apprenticeship took up only two-thirds of one percent of total employment.
The Education Reform Act of 1988
The 1988 Education Reform Act made considerable changes to the education system. These changes were aimed at creating a 'market' in education with schools competing with each other for 'customers' (pupils). The theory was that "bad" schools would lose pupils to the "good" schools and either have to improve, reduce in capacity or close.
The reforms included the following:
- The National Curriculum was introduced, which made it compulsory for schools to teach certain subjects and syllabuses. Previously the choice of subjects had been up to the school.
- National curriculum assessments were introduced at the Key Stages 1 to 4 (ages 7, 11, 14 and 16 respectively) through what were formerly called Standard Assessment Tests (SATS). At Key Stage 4 (age 16), the assessments were made from the GCSE exam.
- Formula funding was introduced, which meant that the more children a school could attract to it, the more money the school would receive.
- Open enrolment and choice for parents was brought back, so that parents could choose or influence which school their children went to.
- Schools could, if enough of their pupils' parents agreed, opt out of local government control, becoming grant maintained schools and receiving funding direct from central government. The government offered more money than the school would get usually from the local authority as an enticement. This was seen as a political move given that, often, local authorities were not run by the governing Conservative Party whereas central government was.
- Religious education was reformed; Chapter 1 of the law required that the majority of collective worship be "wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character".
In 1994, the government introduced Modern Apprenticeships (since renamed 'Apprenticeships'), based on frameworks devised by Sector Skills Councils. These frameworks contain a number of separately certified elements:
- a knowledge-based element, typically certified through a qualification known as a 'Technical Certificate';
- a competence-based element, typically certified through an NVQ; and
- Key Skills (literacy and numeracy).
Education Act 1996
Between 1976 and 1997, the minimum school leaving arrangements were:
- A child whose sixteenth birthday falls in the period 1 September to 31 January inclusive, may leave compulsory schooling at the end of the Spring term (the following Easter).
- A child whose sixteenth birthday falls in the period 1 February to 31 August, may leave on the Friday before the last Monday in May.
Under section 8(4) of the Education Act 1996, a new single school leaving date was set for 1998 and all subsequent years thereafter. This was set as the last Friday in June in the school year which the child reaches the age of 16.
Under section 7 of the Act, it was made an obligation for parents to ensure a full-time education for their children either at school or "otherwise" which formalised the status of home education.
Labour, from 1997 to 2010
During the 1997 General Election, the Labour party mantra was "Education, Education, Education", a reference to their conference slogan. Winning the election returned them to power, but New Labour's political ideology meant that many of the changes introduced by the Conservatives during their time in power remained intact.
They began changing the structure of the school and higher education systems. The following changes took place:
- The previous Labour focus on the comprehensive system was shifted to a focus on tailoring education to each child's ability. Critics see this as reminiscent of the original intentions of the Tripartite system.
- Grant-maintained status was abolished, with GM schools being given the choice of rejoining the local authority as a maintained community school, or becoming a foundation school.
The Government-run Eleven-Plus exam selection exam has now[when?] been abolished in the UK, and no longer do all children sit for it as used to be the case. However, voluntary selection tests are still conducted in certain areas of the UK, where some of the original grammar schools have been retained. These areas include: Northern Ireland and some English counties and districts including Devon, Dorset, Kent, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Birmingham, Trafford, Wiltshire, North Yorkshire, Calderdale, Kirklees, Wirral, Warwickshire, Gloucestershire, Lincolnshire and some London boroughs such as Bexley, Kingston-upon-Thames and Redbridge. There have been various so far unsuccessful attempts by campaigners to abolish all remaining grammar schools. The remaining grammar schools are now thus still selective, typically taking the top 10-25% of those from the local catchment area. Some of the still-existing grammar schools in the United Kingdom can trace their history back to earlier than the sixteenth century.
- Labour expanded a policy started by the Conservatives of creating specialist schools. This new type of secondary school teaches the National Curriculum subjects plus a few specialist branches of knowledge (e.g. business studies) not found in most other schools. These schools are allowed to select 10% of their pupils.
- Numbers: In 1997 there were 196 of these schools. In August 2002 there were 1000. By 2006 the plan was to have 2000, and the goal was to make all secondary schools specialist eventually.
- The Beacon Schools programme was established in England in 1998. Its aim was to identify high performing schools, in order to help them form partnerships with each other and to provide examples of effective practice for other schools. The programme was replaced in August 2005 with more broadly based programmes; the Leading Edge Partnership programme (for secondary schools) and Primary Strategy Learning Networks (PSLNs) (at the primary level).
- A new grade of Advanced Skills Teacher was created, with the intention that highly skilled teachers would be paid more if they accepted new posts with outreach duties beyond their own schools.
- City Academies were introduced. These are new schools, built on the site of, or taking over from existing failing schools. A city academy is an independent school within the state system. It is outside the control of the local education authority and set up with substantial funding from interested third parties, which might be businesses, charities or private individuals.
- Education Action Zones were introduced, which are deprived areas run by an action forum of people within that area with the intention of making that area's schools better.
- Vocational qualifications were renamed/restructured as follows:
- GNVQs became Vocational GCSEs and AVCEs.
- NVQs scope expanded so that a degree-equivalent NVQ was possible.
- The New Deal was introduced, which made advisors available to long-term unemployed (in the UK this is defined as being unemployed for more than 6 months) to give help and money to those who want to go back into Education.
- Introduced Literacy and Numeracy Hours into schools, and set targets for literacy and numeracy.
- Set Truancy targets.
- Set a maximum class size of 30 for 5-7 year olds.
- Introduced the EMA, (Education Maintenance Allowance), which is paid to those between 16 and 18 as an enticement to remain in full-time education and get A-Levels/AVCEs.
- A Performance Threshold was introduced in 2000 to allow experienced teachers access to higher rates of pay on meeting a set of performance standards, including a standard of pupil attainment. The performance-related pay changes have been bitterly opposed by teaching unions, most notably the National Union of Teachers which challenged the Threshold scheme by legal action.
- Introduced Curriculum 2000, which reformed the Further Education system into the current structure of AS levels, A2 levels and Key Skills.
- Abolished the Assisted Places Scheme.
- A report was commissioned, led by the former chief-inspector of schools, Mike Tomlinson, into reform of the curriculum and qualifications structure for 14- to 19-year-olds. The report was published on 18 October 2004 and recommended the introduction of a diploma that would bring together both vocational and academic qualifications and ensure that all pupils had a basic set of core skills. It is proposed that the current qualifications would evolve into this diploma over the next decade, whether the government will follow the recommendations is yet to be seen — the Conservative Party have already introduced alternative proposals to return to norm-referencing in A-levels rather than the current system of criterion-referencing.
- In 2003 a green paper entitled Every Child Matters was published. It built on existing plans to strengthen children's services and focused on four key areas:
- Increasing the focus on supporting families and carers as the most critical influence on children's lives
- Ensuring necessary intervention takes place before children reach crisis point and protecting children from falling through the net
- Addressing the underlying problems identified in the report into the death of Victoria Climbié - weak accountability and poor integration
- Ensuring that the people working with children are valued, rewarded and trained
- The green paper prompted a debate about services for children, young people and families resulting in a consultation with those working in children's services, and with parents, children and young people. The Government published Every Child Matters: the Next Steps in November 2004, and passed the Children Act 2004, providing the legislative spine for developing more effective and accessible services focused around the needs of children, young people and families.
- In January 2007 Education SecretaryAlan Johnson announced plans to extend the school leaving age in England to eighteen by 2013. This would raise the leaving age for the first time since the last raise in 1972, when compulsory education was extended until sixteen. This change will include training such as apprenticeships and work based training rather than exclusively offering continued academic learning.
Reports were published in November 2006 to suggest that England's Education SecretaryAlan Johnson was exploring ways to raise the school leaving age in England and Wales to 18, pointing to the decline in unskilled jobs and the need for young people to be equipped for modern day employment.
Cameron ministry 2010 – 2016
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The Academies Act 2010, one of the first government bills introduced in the Conservative – Liberal Democrat coalition government, allowed publicly funded schools in England to become academies, still publicly funded but with a vastly increased degree of autonomy in issues such as setting teachers' wages and diverging from the National Curriculum.
The Education Act 2011 made changes to many areas of educational policy, including the power of school staff to discipline students, the manner in which newly trained teachers are supervised, the regulation of qualifications, the administration of local authority maintained schools, academies, the provision of post-16 education, including vocational apprenticeships, and student finance for higher education. It abolished the General Teaching Council for England, the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency and the Training and Development Agency for Schools and other bodies.
In 2008, a new law was passed (the Education and Skills Act 2008). This affected education mainly from 2013 onward as it said that by 2013, all young people in England have to stay on in education or training at least part-time until they are 17 years old. It also said that by 2015, all young people will have to stay on in education or training at least part-time, until they are 18 years old.
This means that post-2015, all young people were now required to participate in education or training through either full-time education or training, including school, college and home education; work-based learning, such as an apprenticeship; or part-time education or training or volunteering more than 20 hours a week.
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