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Social Change and English: A Study of Three English Departments
This study was funded by the Leverhulme Trust to investigate how social and cultural developments in the twenty years after the Second World War played out in the teaching of English in certain London secondary schools. The project was led by Dr John Hardcastle at IOE working with Dr Peter Medway at King's College London. We looked to establish what went on in English classrooms in relation to broad social and cultural change. In the post-war era a revitalisation of the subject occurred, initiated by teachers acting without official support in a few schools. No studies of English that we know of have examined specific changes in post-war school curricula as one facet of developments in society more generally. Our reading in the history of English teaching, together with our own exchanges with former teachers who had in turn heard older teachers recall their experience, leads us to view certain important innovations in the subject as manifestations of attitudes, aspirations and policies, predominantly democratic in temper that characterized the Britain of the later 1940s and 50s. We thus proposed to write a history of English teaching from 1945 to 1965 in three London schools where significant developments occurred. (£244,858, Leverhulme Trust)
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