Teaching Britain: Elementary Teachers and the State of the Everyday, 1846-1906

ISBN : 9780198833352

Christopher Bischof
256 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
May 2019
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Teaching Britain examines teachers as key agents in the production of social knowledge. Teachers in nineteenth century Britain claimed intimate knowledge of everyday life among the poor and working class at home, and non-white subjects abroad. They mobilized their knowledge in a wide range of media, from accounts of local happenings in their schools' official log books to travel narratives based on summer trips around Britain and the wider world. Teachers also obsessively narrated and reflected on their own careers. Through these stories and the work they did every day, teachers imagined and helped to enact new models of professionalism, attitudes towards poverty and social mobility, ways of thinking about race and empire, and roles for the state. As highly visible agents of the state and beneficiaries of new state-funded opportunities, teachers also represented the largesse and the reach of the liberal state - but also the limits of both.


Part I: Becoming Teachers
1 Education Policies
2 Pupil Teaching
3 Rules and Rule Breaking
4 'A Home for Poets'?
Part II: Out in the World
5 The Job Market
6 Seeing Britain and the World
7 Everyday Stories
8 The Over-Pressure Controversy

About the author: 

Christopher Bischof received his PhD from Rutgers University and is currently Assistant Professor of History at the University of Richmond. He is a social and cultural historian of modern Britain and the world.

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