Studies on Pupils and Informal Schooling Processes in Modern Europe
Edited By Anna Larsson and Björn Norlin
II. ‘It is Better to Learn than to be Taught’: Pupil Culture and Socialization in The Hazelwood Magazine in the 1820s
We are careful to lose no opportunity of providing motives and means for self-instruction; thoroughly convinced that the great maxim of education ought to be – “It is better to learn than to be taught.”1
This chapter explores pupil culture at Hazelwood School, Birmingham, in the 1820s as seen through the surviving pages of The Hazelwood Magazine. The school was a progressive institution established and run by the Unitarian Hill family and is best known for its innovative curriculum and model of pupil self-government. Historical sources for the school are scarce and consist in the main of two bodies of material that disseminated the principles of the Hills’ educational experiment and progressive pedagogy to an audience beyond the school itself. Firstly The Hazelwood Magazine, a rare example of a publication printed by the pupils of a British school between 1822 and 1830 which is the focus of this chapter, and secondly the publications of the Hill brothers, most notably Public Education which was first published anonymously in 1822 but is believed to have been authored by Matthew Davenport Hill with contributions from his bothers Rowland and Arthur.2 In this chapter I will use the Magazine in particular to explore the process of pupil participation, socialization and moral regulation at Hazelwood. The chapter will begin by providing ← 25 | 26 → a brief description of the development of the school and its system, before going on to discuss the content of the magazine and consider how The Hazelwood Magazine...
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