Social change in the history of education: perspectives on the emergence of learned professions in England, c.1500-1800.
History of Education, 36(4/5) pp. 409–428.
The English educational revolution c.1560-1640 excited much interest in the 1960s and '70s. This paper seeks to show the relationship between the emergence of learned professions of church, law and medicine and that more general expansion in education. It shows how scholars have established the comparability of the ethos of these professions with that of the gentleman. It proceeds to detail, through a review of the literature, the consequences of this relationship for one of the professions - the clergy. The law of unintended consequences operated: state intervention and the introduction of formal educational requirements sometimes undermined the raison d'être of the clergy and the control they had over their own affairs. It suggests a way forward for consideration of the development of all learned professions that requires close attention to both the external and the internal influences on them and, above all, to conflicts of interest among segments of each profession.
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