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ERIC Number: EJ763444
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-May
Pages: 24
Abstractor: Author
ISSN: ISSN-0046-760X
Inventing International Citizenship: Badminton School and the Progressive Tradition between the Wars
Watkins, Christopher
History of Education, v36 n3 p315-338 May 2007
This article explores an educational experiment mounted at a public school for girls in Bristol in the 1920s and 1930s. In examining the aims and methods of the Badminton School for girls in this period it aims to do two things. The first is to analyse the relationship between the gendered, class-based and nationalist values of the public school system and the aspirations of progressive internationalism that Badminton sought to introduce. The second is to assess how that relationship influenced the citizenship-building role that Badminton (as with all public schools) charged itself with in this period. In answering these questions it is useful to consider the work of Gary McCulloch and Colin McCaig who have reflected on the history of education in the light of Eric Hobsbawm's "The Invention of Tradition". McCulloch and McCaig argued that the headmaster of Harrow and leading defender of the public schools, Cyril Norwood, summoned the public school tradition in this period "as a direct response to threats, from rapid sociological and ideological change". Did the progressive public schools also "invent" tradition in this way? How did the gender of the students and the ideology of the staff influence this process? The interwar period saw the rise of a number of schools that positioned themselves in opposition to the structures and ethos of the public schools but retained their class exclusivity and their confidence in education for leadership. The term "progressive" was applied to schools that opposed the structures and ethos of the public school tradition root and branch, decrying their repressive moral codes, autocratic value systems and veneration of classical and athletic prowess. "Progressive" has also been used to refer to schools that accepted the role of elite schooling in shaping models of citizenship and national leadership but aimed to subvert the value-system of the public school tradition in order to mould new kinds of citizens and leaders. As we shall see, Badminton was progressive in the latter sense. (Contains 101 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Bristol)