Culture and Government: The Emergence of Literary Education by Ian Hunter

By Ian Hunter

Since the Romantics tradition has been pointed out with the promise of a whole improvement of human capacities and, as a rule, the 'rise of English' has been seen when it comes to the (true or distorted) fulfilment of this promise within the schooling method. This e-book provides a sustained and traditionally knowledgeable problem to that view.

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Pp. 108-9) In their accusations of sentimentality these readers apparently betray their own inhibited emotions. Richards describes the 'further use' that the poet has for the seemingly sentimental phrases in the following terms: Whatever its cause, the fact that so many readers are afraid of free expansive emotion, even when the situation warrants it, is important. It leads them, as Poem VIII showed, to suspe,ct and avoid situations that may awaken strong and simple feeling. It produces shallowness and trivial complexity in their response.

They were as much a rural as an urban phenomenon, as much part of an agrarian as of an industrial economy. Furthermore . . Sunday school teachers were predominantly working class, funds often came from the working-class community, and indeed the lower orders responded as eagerly to the philanthropic surge of the late eighteenth century as did other strata of society. The great majority of Sunday schools were neither the direct product of industrialism nor of the middle class. , p. 216) But it is Laqueur's second line of argument that bears most centrally on our inquiry into the formation of popular education.

In this instance the cultural dialectic tends to be organised around an opposition between a pedagogy 'imposed' by social utility or political necessity and one developed 'for its own sake', as part of the self-realisation of 'man' or the 'universal class'. Mary Sturt (1967 pp. 1-92), for example, constructs her history of The Education of the People around an exemplary transition from a utilitarian and normative pedagogy - symbolised by monitorialism and governed by the maintenance of social order and the relief of poverty - to one expressing the humanitarian goal of' education for its own sake', characterised by a new 'sympathetic discipline'.

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