THE schools started by Robert Owen and his followers, together with Hazelwood and King’s Somborne, can be regarded as largely native products, responses to the conditions in town and country occasioned by the massive changes to an industrialized England. Dawes and the Hills did not draw heavily on the Continental thinkers, although Owen had more of a debt to them. Indeed, Continental theories of education did not easily take root in nineteenth-century England. They were either ignored, adopted piecemeal, or so modified to suit English conditions that much of the original spirit was lost. However, this did not happen to the theories of Pestalozzi and Fellenberg. On the Continent, their educational principles had given a new impetus to the educational systems of Switzerland, the Low Countries, the German states, and other West European countries. The Napoleonic Wars had impeded the free flow of ideas between Britain and the Continent, but the resumption of Continental travel after 1815 revealed the originality of Pestalozzi’s institutions at Yverdon and Fellenberg’s at Hofwyl to the inquiring British educationalist, and because it was possible to see their ideas in action, Pestalozzi and Fellenberg were the two Continental reformers whose theories made the greatest impact on post-war British education.
KeywordsReligious Instruction Poor School Central Society Moral World Infant School
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