Failing the ordinary child?: the theory and practice of working-class secondary education

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Open University Press, 1998 - Education - 202 pages
In seeking to answer these questions, this book explores working class secondary education over the past century in terms that help to explain the unresolved issues and debates of the 1990s. It focuses on social distinctions in secondary education, and especially on initiatives designed to provide for the mass of the population, or the 'ordinary child'. These initiatives culminated in the secondary modern schools which only a generation ago were the main providers of secondary education in England and Wales. The book discusses general social and historical issues relating to working class secondary education, and the emergence of the idea in the late nineteenth century. It examines the experiment of the Secondary Modem schools in detail to appraise the reasons for their rise, their successes and their ultimate failure. It also pursues the underlying theme of differentiation in secondary education since the 1960s, its continuing influence despite the spread of comprehensive schools over that time,and its role in the educational and social debates at the end of the century.

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The theory
The practice
The legacy

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