A critical review of some concepts of freedom in education in England from 1900 to 1944
AbstractConsideration of the concepts of freedom reflected in some important Parliamentary Debates on education and revealed by some theoretic and practical contributors to English Education during the period 1900 to 1944, shows that freedom has been a regulating idea directing attention to constraints on full human growth. Consequently, the idea of freedom has become associated with the removal of a wide range of constraints varying in nature according to the time, place, circunstance and particular outlook of the writer or speaker. Whilst the participants in the Debates have been chiefly concerned with the removal of constraints on access to appropriate education, most of the theoretical and practical contributors have recognised that freedom arises from the gradual assumption of personal responsibility for growth through the effort of the child and the guidance of adults. =t the problem of assuming responsibility, it is recognised less explicitly, requires the integrating and harmonizing of the child's unique inner nature through willed commitment to an experienced reality - physical, social, moral and spiritual. It is the active cor znitt. ent to the truth thus experienced which gives rise to the positive freedom that makes the removal of constraints meaningful and, to this end, the individual needs a belief which males coherent the reality of self, society and universe if he is not to suffer a limitation of his freedom through acting upon a partial concept of reality. This involves the achievement of an outlook which is essentially religious. The general consensus in the political debates and in the theoretical concepts of freedom points to the almost universal desire for a way of life based upon religious belief, yet rising above the details of any particular creed. Thus the final question for education and freedom is the adequacy of the values and the purpose to which the individual is prepared to actively commit his whole life, and the degree to which the community, in its persons and its institutions, is prepared to commit itself to the active pursuit
Campbell, Hugh (1956) A critical review of some concepts of freedom in education in England from 1900 to 1944. PhD thesis, Institute of Education, University of London.