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The history of education is a contested field of study, and has represented a site of struggle for the past century of its development. It is highly relevant to an understanding of broader issues in history, education and society, and yet has often been regarded as being merely peripheral rather than central to them.

Over the years the history of education has passed through a number of approaches, more recently engaging with a different areas such as curriculum, teaching and gender, although often losing sight of a common cause. In this book McCulloch contextualizes the struggle for educational history, explaining and making suggestions for the future on a number of topics, including:

  • finding a set of common causes for the field as a whole
  • engaging more effectively with social sciences and humanities while maintaining historical integrity
  • forming a rationale of missions and goals for the field
  • defining the overall content of the subject, its priorities and agendas
  • and reassessing the relevance of educational history to current educational and social issues.

Throughout this book the origins of unresolved debates and tensions about the nature of the field of history of education are discussed and key examples are analysed to present a new view of future development.

The Struggle for the History of Education demonstrates the key changes and continuities in the field and its relationship with education, history and the social sciences over the past century. It also reveals how the history of education can build on an enhanced sense of its own past, and the common and integrating mission that makes it distinctive, interesting and important for a wide range of scholars from different backgrounds.

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