Edited By Chris Mounsey and Stan Booth
‘This so low a purpose’: Richard Mulcaster and the Aims of Public Education in Sixteenth-Century England
This chapter briefly explores an example of what Norbert Elias calls the ‘civilizing process’ in grammar school education in sixteenth-century England. Through a close reading of Richard Mulcaster’s published texts on education, the aims of public education as an education towards public service are given voice. A desire for uniformity is seen to be coupled with an attention to variability – a responsiveness to the variability of learners being necessary to producing a uniform outcome. A sensitivity to variability if shown to be crucial for Mulcaster’s educational theory – not to preserve it but to take it into account so that individuals can be better groomed for public service.
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