The Froebel movement and state schooling 1880-1914 : A study in educational ideology

Brehony, Kevin Joseph (1988). The Froebel movement and state schooling 1880-1914 : A study in educational ideology. PhD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000de73

Abstract

This thesis examines the relation between the Froebel movement and state schooling in England between 1880 and 1914. It is argued that the Froebelian pedagogy functioned as an ideology which expressed the interests of middle class women in the sphere of schooling and in particular, the interests of such women who were for political or religious reasons excluded from the dominant culture of the hegemonic fraction of the power bloc. It is further argued that the relation between the Froebel movement and state schooling during the period may best be approached through a consideration of the articulation of Froebelian ideology with ideologies of industrial modernization and national efficiency which were advanced by groups who aimed to modernize the schooling of young children who attended state schools. The failure of the Froebelians to transform state schooling in the way that they desired is shown to be not only an effect of their own lack of power and the inappropriateness of their strategies but also an effect of the relative failure of broader attempts to modernize state schooling.

The internal transformation of the Froebelian pedagogy is charted and it Is related to external critiques, the main condition of existence of which was a search for a science of education which was linked to the perceived need for a new type of teacher. This transformation is also shown to have been determined by the requirements of the state system of schooling which broadly understood included not only schools but training colleges and state policies as well.

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