John Burnett 's Anthology Destiny Obscure Essay

1134 Words Dec 12th, 2016 5 Pages
John Burnett’s anthology Destiny Obscure tells a multitude of stories of men and women from the 1820s all the way up to the 1920s about childhood, education, and family. Excerpts from the authors autobiography concerning education in particular show the evolution of the education system in England as the school system became more accessible, standardized, and less reliant on religious Sunday schools for a formal education while maintaining some aspects such as corporal punishment.
The earliest of the excerpts shows the formal education in the 1820s when the industrial revolution was starting in Britain. James Bonwick started school at the age of six in 1823. The early organization for the classroom is described as being able to “accommodate five hundred scholars”, and at the front of the room, under the portrait of King George III is written “It is my wish that every poor child in my dominions be taught to read the Holy Scriptures.” The goal for schools in the 1820s was to have as many people learn the basics for their salvation by knowing scripture as England was protestant Anglican. These children were not excepted to have any logic or reasoning, but to be human capital for the factories. The school system was accessible to more poor, but it was not meant to expand knowledge for the students, but to ensure salvation of the soul.
Because of the large classroom and lack of teachers, a system was created in which the older students taught the younger students, called the…

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