28th May 2004 at 01:00
Students currently learn about child labour during the Industrial Revolution and the fact that this still carries on today. The article can develop their understanding beyond looking at child labour as an historical theme-park exhibit.

Look at the household accounts of poor Victorian families (many studies were carried out in the late 1800s and early 1900s) and examine how important children's wages were for survival.

Try to get beyond the stereotypical saintly image (often manufactured by later writers) of the reformers opposing child labour and understand their complex and varied motives by using a range of extracts from their original writings.

Examine the structural factors that caused child labour and look at the stereotypical image of those who supported it. These people are often portrayed as heartless, greedy employers, but opponents also included welfare workers and parents. Examine interviews by Mayhew, Booth and Rowntree to add some complexity to this often over-simplified debate.

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