Colin Richards

Progressive education: why it’s time to rescue its rep

Progressivism in the English schools system has been smeared and rubbished for decades, but now is the time to unearth its rich legacy – and it’s not about allowing the kids to run wild, writes Colin Richards

It’s time to rescue progressive education's rep

Nineteen seventy-four was an inauspicious time for those supporting “child-centred” education. It was the year in which the head of William Tyndale Junior School took up his post, and in which the West Riding of Yorkshire disappeared as a county and as a local education authority (LEA).

William Tyndale Junior School, in Islington, soon became a cause célèbre both for those sympathetic to its radical ethos and those fundamentally opposed to it. It became notorious as an example of laissez-faire education. Its critics claimed there was neither order nor teaching in the school and, by 1975 ...

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