Changing Pedagogies for Children in Eighteenth-Century England
Title Details

238 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

3 b/w illus.

Series: Studies in the Eighteenth Century

Series Vol. Number: 12

Imprint: Boydell Press

Changing Pedagogies for Children in Eighteenth-Century England

by Michèle Cohen

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
  • Reviews
  • Blog Post
Using pedagogy as a lens through which to explore issues of gender, social class, power and hegemony, Cohen's study makes a major new contribution to the study of education in eighteenth-century England.

Through a detailed examination of contemporary methodologies, curricula, and practices this book brings together topics often treated separately: the education of boys and girls of the middling and the upper classes. Further, this study widens the scope of our definition of education to include the often-under-valued field of "accomplishments". Indeed, Cohen shows that accomplishments were a formal part of male and female education, with carefully theorised pedagogies, challenging the enduring perception that these subjects were superficial.

Subject specific chapters on Latin and geography pedagogies examine the relations between these subjects and the competitions which shaped and produced them. While Latin pedagogy dominated eighteenth-century education, geography, as a modern subject, had to develop a new normative pedagogy. Cohen shows that girls were not excluded from learning a science like geography, and that the contemporary perception of the inferiority of their education as opposed to that of boys was constructed as part of the classic vs. modern debate. Further, chapters on debates surrounding public and private education, the Grand Tour, and conversation show that pedagogy is the thread linking education, gender, social class and politics.

This book will be essential reading for historians of education, childhood and gender.
Introduction
1. Boys, Men and Education: The Public/Private Debate, and the Grand Tour
2. Girls, Women and Education: The Public/Private Debate, and 'Achievement'.
3. Latin
4. Geography
5. The Accomplishments
6. Conversation as a Pedagogy
Conclusion

MICHÈLE COHEN is emeritus Professor of Humanities, Richmond, American International University in London, UK.

"In this incisive, original and elegantly written study of eighteenth-century pedagogy, Michele Cohen makes us rethink almost every aspect of education during the Enlightenment. Astutely sensitive to the class and especially gendered assumptions that shaped teaching, learning and knowing, she re-fashions our views on public and private education, the grand tour, Latin pedagogy, the role of modern subjects such as geography, the paradoxical nature of accomplishment (about which she is especially brilliant), and the values attached to conversation. Her insights resonate into the present and show how fundamental the education of boys and girls was to the construction of eighteenth-century society and culture." John Brewer, Eli and Edythe Broad Professor of History and Literature, Emeritus, Harvard University
"This study provides fascinating insights into the struggles over pedagogy in the long eighteenth century and the competing discourses used to justify different approaches. Central to the argument are the gendering of Latin as a subject for boys, embedded in a pedagogy of difficulty, discipline and punishments; versus geography and the modern sciences as subjects for girls, built round a pedagogy of interest and engagement. Michele Cohen shows how these different approaches played out in pedagogic texts written at the time, long before the state became involved in education and fixed the sequence in which knowledge should be taught. The book is a timely reminder of how much we take for granted in what and how we teach now, and how little we should trust what we think we know." Gemma Moss, Professor of Literacy, UCL

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9781837650699

June 2023

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Title Details

238 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

3 b/w illus.

Series: Studies in the Eighteenth Century

Series Vol. Number: 12

Imprint: Boydell Press