The Rev. Francis Close and the Foundation of the Training Institution at Cheltenham 1845-78

Trafford, Robert Sydney (1997). The Rev. Francis Close and the Foundation of the Training Institution at Cheltenham 1845-78. PhD thesis The Open University.



This study investigates the foundation and the first three decades of the teacher training institution at Cheltenham. Its main thesis is that the Cheltenham training college was primarily the work of one man, the Rev. Francis Close who was the incumbent of Cheltenham between 1824 - 1856. He played a key role at every stage including the ini tial period when the first proposal was made in 1845. Contrary to previous accounts it was not founded there in response to a widespread demand for a national institution based on evangelical principles. It was established as a result of Close's religious position within the Church of England, his dominant personality and the situation which he had helped to create in Cheltenham by that time. An evaluation of his career, his work in making Cheltenham a centre of education, his involvement in controversies and his educational ideas reveal him as a leading pioneer of education during the nineteenth century. His ideas on the training of teachers and the way he ensured that they were carried out are particularly important.

The second part of the study includes research into the way the college was governed, an account of how it was financed, in particular how it was affected by the Revised Code, the staff, the students and their professional training. composition of the student body The chapter on the includes a detailed analysis of the first 288 students who were trained between 1847 and 1851 and of 2054 who were trained between 1852 and 1878. Throughout this period a very strong element of continuity in attitudes towards religious education and teacher training, which originated with Close, persisted against a background of rapid change.

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