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Great Schools of England
A Victorian polymath examines the educational system at the heart of the British Empire
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By Staunton, Howard
ISBN 1843820137
Paperback  600 pages
Subject [Staunton ] [British & Irish history: c 1700 to c 1900 ] [Philosophy of education ] [Educational systems ] [Independent / public schools ]
 
Published February 2003
UK Price £29.95   Order from amazon.co.uk
US Price $44.95   Order from amazon.com

This book promotes remarkable and advanced theories on education, many of which seem revolutionary even today. Demonising learning by rote and excoriating the traditional British neglect of science, Howard Staunton, noted primarily as the only British chess master who could lay claim to being world champion of his day, claims that learning can only take place successfully if the active interest of the student is engaged. The classics must not be taught for their own sake - the living force of Greek and Roman civilisation must be invoked - corporal punishment is to be avoided at all costs and fagging should be abolished.Mens sana in corpore sano - a healthy mind in a healthy body is Staunton's ideal.Yet this book was published in 1865! Howard Staunton was a superb example of High Victorian self-confidence, a polymath who in turn acted on stage, became a noted chess writer and champion, edited an edition of Shakespeare and, in this volume, scrutinised the educational system at the core of the British Empire. Staunton organised the first international gathering of chess masters for the inaugural tournament of London in 1851,and for many years his works were the standard teaching tools for generations of aspiring chess players.

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