Failing the ordinary child? - Gary McCulloch



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Failing the ordinary child? - the theory and practice of working class secondary education
Gary McCulloch
Paperback / softback
Open University Press
UK Publication Date

* How have the ideals of working class secondary education related to its practical outcomes, and to what extent has it failed the 'ordinary child'?

* How can the historical tradition of working class secondary education illuminate our understanding of contemporary debates at the end of the 20th century?

In seeking to answer these questions, this book explores working class secondary education over the past century in terms that help to explain the unresolved issues and debates of the 1990s. It focuses on social distinctions in secondary education, and especially on initiatives designed to provide for the mass of the population, or the 'ordinary child'. These initiatives culminated in the secondary modern schools which only a generation ago were the main providers of secondary education in England and Wales. The book discusses general social and historical issues relating to working class secondary education, and the emergence of the idea in the late nineteenth century. It examines the experiment of the Secondary Modern schools in detail to appraise the reasons for their rise, their successes and their ultimate failure. It also pursues the underlying theme of differentiation in secondary education since the 1960s, its continuing influence despite the spread of comprehensive schools over that time, and its role in the educational and social debates at the end of the century.

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Keyword Index
Education, Secondary - England.|Education, Secondary - Wales.|Educational equalization - England.|Educational equalization - Wales.
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