Education and State Formation: Europe, East Asia and the USA by Andy Green (auth.)

By Andy Green (auth.)

Re-issue of a seminal, widely-acclaimed research at the origins of nationwide schooling structures in Europe and the united states with a brand new Postscript exploring schooling and kingdom formation in East Asia.

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In any case, although exact numerical comparisons are not possible, it would seem that England had comparatively few adequate secondary schools, least of all to suit the middle class. 54 Comparative statistical analysis of enrolment rates in secondary education can only be very approximate given the nature of the data and the difficulty of comparing institutions which are not entirely cognate. However, if we limit the attempt to full secondary institutions which take children up to 17 or 18 and prepare them for university or higher vocational studies, we can make some proximate comparisons, using English public, proprietary and grammar schools, French lycées and collèges, German Gymnasien and Realschulen, and US high schools and academies.

The early attacks on educational traditionalism in the first decades of the century were linked to the growing political challenge of the middle class in an, albeit uneasy, alliance with an emergent workingclass radicalism. In its most radical philosophical guise of utilitarianism, the educational reform movement argued for changes in secondary education which would reflect middle-class scientific, rationalist and utilitarian beliefs, and for the extension of mass elementary education for moral enhancement, and political and social stability.

The comparison with Prussia’s near-universal enrolment for this age range is stark. In his detailed study of the 1851 census, D. I. 40 Enrolments in elementary schools in England and Wales did, of course, rise steadily throughout the century and particularly after 1870. 41 Another measure of enrolment rates is the proportion of the total population at school. Although this is a somewhat abstract statistic, and assumes equal national age distributions for comparative purposes, it was the favourite contemporary unit of comparison.

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