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Our Victorian Education

ISBN: 978-1-4051-4505-3
192 pages
December 2007, Wiley-Blackwell
Our Victorian Education (1405145056) cover image
This groundbreaking book combines a historical interpretation of Victorian educational debate with a critical overview of contemporary educational thought.

* Traces the roots of contemporary educational practice in the values of Victorian thinking

* Combines detailed consideration of Victorian sources, literary and non-literary, with reflections on their legacy in the 21st century

* Reflects on questions of social class, religion, and gender as the Victorians defined them in relation to educational ideals

* Suggests challenging connections between literary and social history and contemporary dilemmas
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Preface.

Acknowledgements.

1 Defining Knowledge.

The Spread of Education.

Conflicts in Learning.

Poetry and Teaching: William Wordsworth.

Imagination and Fact.

Poetry and Schooling: Matthew Arnold.

Fiction and Memory: Charles Dickens.

2 Religious Learning.

Changing Balances.

Evangelical Seriousness.

Educating Clergymen.

A Complete Education.

The Uses of Ignorance: John Ruskin.

3 Teaching Women.

Gender and Education.

A Generation of Schoolmistresses.

Literary Case Studies.

The Educated Heart: Charlotte Bronte.

Teaching Independence: Ellen Wood.

Practical Faith: Elizabeth Sewell.

“School-Time”: George Eliot.

Finding the Way.

4 New Conversations.

Education, Education, Education.

False Distinctions.

“To School and Intelligence and Make it a Soul”.

The Mechanics of Learning.

Admiration, Hope and Love.

Notes.

Bibliography.

Index

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Dinah Birch is a Professor of English Literature at Liverpool University. Her work on Victorian literature includes Ruskin's Myths (1988), Ruskin on Turner (1990), and John Ruskin: Selected Writings (2004). She writes regularly for the Times Literary Supplement and the London Review of Books, and is General Editor of a forthcoming revised edition of the Oxford Companion to English Literature.
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  • Traces the roots of contemporary educational practice in the values of Victorian thinking
  • Combines detailed consideration of Victorian sources, literary and non-literary, with reflections on their legacy in the 21st century
  • Reflects on questions of social class, religion, and gender as the Victorians defined them in relation to educational ideals
  • Suggests challenging connections between literary and social history and contemporary dilemmas
See More
"Dinah Birch's aims, in this recent addition to the Blackwell Manifestos series, are bold ... .Birch has performed not only a scholarly but also a civic service." (Brontë Studies, November 2009)
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