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Factors influencing education in metallurgy in England and Wales 1851 - 1950

Almond, John Kenneth (1982) Factors influencing education in metallurgy in England and Wales 1851 - 1950. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The scale and range of metal industry both expanded greatly during the period 1851 - 1950 and there also occurred a large increase in the understanding of metals and alloys, materials vital for engineering. On these grounds it might be expected that the discipline of 'metallurgy' would occupy a key position in formal teaching programmes, but the reality was different: metallurgy classes did show growth, but it was only small by comparison with that in many other subjects. To account for the relatively-poor showing of metallurgy, the effects of a number of agencies have been examined. It is considered that industry's influence on instruction was largely negative; job opportunities for those who possessed formal training were few, poorly paid, squalidly situated, and lacking in prospects. By contrast, among individuals a few, including several teachers, made outstanding positive contributions, either by persuading boards of directors to give substantial funds, or as ambassadors for metallurgy at meetings of learned societies and in Government committees. State encouragement was manifested in several ways: there was a background effect upon general schooling; more importantly, trading factors led to the provision of increased technical instruction; and thirdly, military aims prompted financial investment in technological and scientific tuition. Metallurgical instruction received help from various societies, e.g. the Society of Arts, the London livery companies, the Iron and Steel Institute, and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. These last two bodies, with others, published useful papers which furthered knowledge. In 1945 a professional body, the Institution of Metallurgists, came into being and at the same time a national certificate scheme in metallurgy was started. These developments marked real progress. It is suggested that, particularly in earlier years, growth was impeded by metallurgy's academic and industrial subordination to chemistry and to engineering, which resulted in the lack of any clearly-perceived distinctive identity.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Education
Thesis Date:1982
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:16 Jul 2013 11:00

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