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The work of Lord Brougham for English education

McManners, T. (1952) The work of Lord Brougham for English education. Masters thesis, Durham University.



Various influences impelled Henry Brougham (1778-1868) along the path of educational reform. His- own early life and careful schooling in Scotland, his sensitivity to conditions, contact with Continental reformers and the influence of the Utilitarian philosophy, all helped to mould his ideas. Brougham's ambition however gave the driving force to belief and educational reform was but one means of achieving greatness. The ambitious young lawyer came to London and politics in 1805, entering Parliament in 1810. By 1816 he was leading a reforming Whig group and urging specific reforms, including measures for the education of the people. As chairman of the Select Committee on the Education of the Lower Orders (1816-1818), Brougham amassed much information on the state of education. The Committee's "Reports" showed the lack of education, recommended a scheme for its universal promotion and pointed to the abuses in educational charities. In 1820 Brougham followed up with his Parish Schools' Bill - it failed. Brougham was also interested in infant education, his ideas being founded on the authoritative opinion of Owen and Fellenberg. A founder of ah infants' school at Westminster, by the 1830's he regarded infant education as most vital. The most sensational of Brougham's activities was his work for adult education; the founding of Mechanics' Institutes, the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge and of London University. Here he displayed most clearly his dynamic power and irrepressible zeal. When a Whig government war formed in 1830 Brougham accepted the Chancellorship. He lost office in 1834 and never regained it. He still pressed for educational reform but his Bills of 1835, 1837 and 1838 met with no success. Brougham did not die till 1868 but his effective career was now over. In education his were not the original ideas and his scheme had glaring limitations. His greatness however lies in the fact that he convinced the country that "the scnoolmaster was abroad."

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Education
Thesis Date:1952
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:33

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