Schools through the ages: an illustrated history

Sunday 29 October, 13:1013:50, Frobisher Auditorium 1Battle for Education

Education in England has a rich history going back over a thousand years, but since the 1980s, teacher training has downplayed history and theory in favour of practical classroom experience and research, and teachers are often the first to admit they know little about how their profession took shape. In the search for ‘what works’ in the classroom, has an important source of ideas about teaching – its own history – been overlooked?

This short, illustrated talk will provide an introduction to the history of education for teachers and non-teachers alike. It will trace a journey from the first grammar school, set up by Augustine of Canterbury in the sixth century, to the creation of the state education system in 1870.

Harley Richardson, who has spent the last decade studying the history of education, will explain the profound impact that events such as the Black Death, the Reformation and the Industrial Revolution had on access to education, and show that the liberating potential of knowledge has always threatened those in power.

What were the Seven Liberal Arts taught in medieval schools and what made them ‘liberal’? How did ‘public schools’ come to be private schools?  And if state education is now seen as a self-evident good, why were so many people against it?