'Little prisoners of city streets': London elementary schools and the School Journey Movement, 1918-39

Barron, Hester (2013) 'Little prisoners of city streets': London elementary schools and the School Journey Movement, 1918-39. History of Education: Journal of the History of Education Society, 42 (2). pp. 166-181. ISSN 0046-760X

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Abstract

This article examines the experience of the 'school journey', an educational fieldtrip of a fortnight's duration, as practised in London's interwar elementary schools. Established historical debates over perceptions of the countryside in interwar Britain have previously failed to discuss the messages promoted in schools. This article demonstrates that an idyllic notion of the rural countryside often influenced school practice, but that there was little attempt to link this explicitly to a wider ideological message around national identity or patriotism. Although exposure to the countryside was seen as undoubtedly beneficial, school journeys were not uncritical of rural life. They also encompassed a much wider range of purposes, being an opportunity to study different industries and local heritage, or foster contact with local people. Furthermore, they provided an unequalled opportunity for increased supervision by teachers, and thus a valuable chance to counter the perceived moral ill-effects of a child's usual working-class environment.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > History
Depositing User: Hester Barron
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2012 12:57
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2013 13:22
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/30691
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