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Secondary technical schools in England and Wales : A study of administrative and curriculum policies

Linnett, Clive Peter (1986) Secondary technical schools in England and Wales : A study of administrative and curriculum policies. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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The impact of vocationalism on secondary education in England and Wales has been limited in range and incidence. This study examines some of the attempts to give expression to practical education in schools between 1889 and 1965. It focuses on institutions specifically charged with providing a technical education to pupils of secondary school age, with particular reference to Junior and Secondary Technical Schools. Collectively, the technical schools were casualties of policies which emphasized their instrumental nature, and which failed to secure their ambiguous institutional foundations. This impeded the projection of the educational benefits of vocationalism. Nor were curriculum policies clear about the favoured methods, content or disposition of secondary technical education. Practical education denoted an ambition rather than an agreed approach to secondary education. Administrative and curriculum policies lacked the coherence necessary if new ideas were to be presented successfully. These contentions are elucidated through an examination of central and local policies. These were determined by the interaction between administrative, professional, industrial and political interests. Reference is also made to some of the contemporary justifications of practical education. Enabling policies originated in the localities and found expression in a number of institutions. They were belatedly endorsed by the central department. In the process an 'ideal' type emerged, the 'Technical High School of Science'. It was intended to be the vocational counterpart of the academic grammar school. With its emphasis on scientific and technological concerns it represented one strand of practical education. Changes in science, technology and employment have meant that the curriculum of the technical schools no longer reflects contemporary needs. Their concern with practical education, however, remains undiminished. Their importance lies in the assistance they provide in posing questions about present day practices. The history of the technical schools underlines the need to define precisely the meaning of vocationalism. In the period under discussion, 'vocationalism' was the starting point for disagreements about the nature and purposes of practical education. 'Liberal' vs. 'Vocational'; 'Education' vs. 'Training' were standard formulations which left little room for synthesis. The case for vocationalism was un-coordinated . It was hindered by a disinclination to include curriculum issues alongside matters of provision. It was left to individuals, sectional groups, and sympathetic administrators who approached the subject from a multiplicity of viewpoints and institutional settings.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Vocationalism in education
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Education (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.378337
Depositing User: Ethos Import
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2020 07:38
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2020 07:38
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/26096

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