A British Childhood? Some Historical Reflections on Continuities and Discontinuities in the Culture of Anglophone Childhood
A special issue of Genealogy (ISSN 2313-5778).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (6 May 2019) | Viewed by 46070
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.
Interests: psychological wellbeing in childhood, adolescence, families and education psychology; sociology and social policy relating to children; young people, families and education; the history of childhood
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
This special edition of Genealogy will consider the history of childhood through a focus upon continuities and discontinuities in British and affiliated Anglophone cultures. It will begin with Not Just ‘Once’ upon a Time by Pam Jarvis, a reflection upon the changing nature of Western childhood, focusing upon traces that previous generations have left in ‘folk’ and 'fairy' tales and rhymes. Such tales, and their underpinning narratives were further disseminated across the world via British colonial culture, and currently play a large role in contemporary US multimedia products; the implications of this process are considered. The role of psychobiological and evolutionary factors in human storytelling provides an underpinning theoretical basis for this article.
Mark Malisa and Thelma Quardey Missedja pick up upon the dissemination of British culture through colonisation in their article Schooled for Servitude: The Education of African Children in British Colonies, 1910–1990, pointing out that the invaders did not introduce education into their African colonies as is frequently claimed, but instead changed and channelised it so that it carried messages of conquest and colonialism. Yinka Olusoga describes a similar process of conditioning undertaken with the working classes in England in her article Younger Infants in the Elementary School: Discursively Constructing the Under-Fives in Institutional Spaces and Practices, reflecting upon how young children were reconstructed as ‘scholars’ by Victorian industrialists. In Margaret McMillan’s Contributions to Cultures of Childhood, Betty Liebovich considers a positive early twentieth century development upon this bleak, functional construction of the working class child, exploring the work of Christian Socialists Margaret and Rachel McMillan with working class children in London. These sisters developed a holistic pedagogy which encompassed both education and care, preparing the ground for the modern British nursery school.
in their article Does Early Childhood Education in England for the 2020s Need to Rediscover Susan Isaacs: Child of the Late Victorian Age and Pioneering Educational Thinker, Philip Hood and Kristina Tobutt question whether 21st century Britain might have much to learn from the style of practice pioneered by the McMillans, in particular, moving away from narrow 'information transmission' practice in contemporary education, and subsequently embracing a more holistic approach to child learning and development. They illustrate their article with ideas drawn from the practice of Susan Isaacs in her 1930s experimental nursery school. Finally, in her article Child Abandonment in England, 1743–1834: The Case of the London Foundling Hospital, Claire Phillips considers the dawning of the modern conception of vulnerable childhood, documenting the increasingly conscious recognition of children's particular developmental needs over the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. She focuses upon the diligent work that 'Foundling hospitals' undertook to nurture and protect young children who had been abandoned by their parents.
Overview of topics covered by this special issue: current and historical constructions of childhood; the development of linguistic and 'storying' skills in childhood; childhood play and recreation; childhood and ‘folk’ narratives; philosophies of childhood; childhood and industrialisation; childhood and post industrialisation; childhood education; childhood health; cultures of childcare
Dr. Pam Jarvis
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