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This book explores the historical experience and process of learning, and sheds light on the social nature and importance of learning since modern ideas about learning started to be developed from the eighteenth century onwards to the present day. It engages systematically with the concept of learning as a social process. It examines the processes of learning from the point of view of the learner and learners, rather than from those of policy makers, administrators and teachers. It also relates this history to current educational problems and issues, and to broader research trends in education and the social sciences. These approaches open up ways in which to identify, describe, assess and historicise forms of learning.
The contributions to the collection encompass a very wide range of learning institutions and devices, including books, literature, elite and mass schooling, families, teachers’ colleges, higher education, and the cinema. They observe in detail the interactions of individuals and groups experiencing learning of different kinds and at different stages during their lives, from childhood to adulthood. Together, they provide insight not only into the modern world of learners but also into the importance of learning in the making of the modern world.
This book was published as a special issue of the Oxford Review of Education.
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Gary McCulloch is Brian Simon Professor of History of Education at the Institute of Education, University of London.
Tom Woodin is a senior lecturer in education at the Institute of Education, University of London.
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