British adolescence: a history in textbooks

Educational Studies 31 (1):55-63 (2005)
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Little is in print on the development in Britain of university disciplines including the academic study of education. This paper provides a historical narrative of the study of adolescence from the 1870 Education Act to the contemporary day. Adolescence textbooks are examined in the context of changes in the education system, such as the demand for secondary education and the expansion of teacher education. Changing emphases in adolescence research are traced through various publications to illustrate curriculum developments. The important contributions of Dame Olive Wheeler, Professor W. D. Wall and other leading writers on adolescence are evaluated. It is clear that in over a century of national educational provision British teachers have never faced a great choice of adolescence texts and the paper concludes with some reflections on this observation



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