Thomas Arnold on Education by Bamford
Thomas Arnold, headmaster of Rugby School from 1828 till his death, is famous as the reformer of public schools. Dr Bamford sees this reputation as a misleading one and in his introduction he presents Arnold as a paradoxical figure. 'He had a very large family, but did not really understand children at all, he ran a public school but his heart was in the religious and social struggles outside the gates. Again, he adored the classics and despised the moderns but thought that the future hope of mankind lay with industry. As a headmaster it was his duty to educate and prepare boys for the professions and yet openly he despised these occupations. Even after he died the paradox remains, for he is said to have reformed the public schools whereas in fact there is precious little evidence of it.' In this book, a selection of his writings on education is presented to students of education. The writings are preceded by a full introduction which describes Arnold's social, religious and educational ideas and evaluates his influence.