Course details

Victorian and Edwardian Education and Childhood 1820 to 1920 (251)

Tutor: Linda Newey

This course explores the development of education, and with it the main influences affecting childhood during the Victorian and Edwardian eras in England and Wales; a period spanning one hundred years of considerable social change.

As we plough our way back through the records, how often do we stop to consider what life was really like for our forebears in their younger years? Childhood is often overlooked as a fleeting moment in a person's lifetime; and yet circumstances as a child dictated life as an adult. In this course we will consider how our ancestors' childhoods were nothing like our experiences today, and how the very definition of childhood has changed, including attitudes to work and play and in turn, access to education.

During this course you will learn the various influences on the childhood experience such as class, gender and urban and rural living, and how this impacted on opportunities in life as an adult. You will also learn about philanthropic and charitable organisations that influenced Victorian and Edwardian Acts of Parliament, laws and legislation that brought about social change. A wide range of organisations and records particularly associated with childhood are considered, as well as the establishment of numerous societies who continue to influence lives as much today, as they did back then.

How often have you seen the word 'Scholar' in a census return? What did this actually mean? Did every child have access to education? And if they did, were they able to progress to secondary school, higher education or university? The improvements made in the childhood experience, ultimately enabled better opportunities to attend school, and eventually gave rise to free education for all. This course considers education for those from all backgrounds and age groups; from the development of early years education, including elementary and secondary education, to specialised educational establishments and university.

On completion of this course, you will have skills to identify a wide range of sources and records of education and childhood, that will greatly enhance your own family history research.

Lesson Headings:
  • *What is Childhood?
  • *The Influence of Status on Childhood
  • *The ‘3 Rs’ - Early years in Education
  • *The Pathway to Higher Education

Each lesson includes exercises and activities; a minimum of 1 one-hour chat session per week.

See How the Courses Work.

STUDENTS SAID: "I enjoyed learning about the different types of schools and how the experiences of rich and poor children differed especially in terms of working children. This course has given me an insight into numerous generations of my ancestors. Thank you Linda!"

"... enough references to keep me busy for months. Thank you very much Linda for all your hard work in pulling this together. Lots of ideas that would never have occurred to me without your prompting."

Relevant Countries: England, Wales

Course Length: 4 weeks
Start Date:   2024
Cost: £52.00
Start Date Available Soon
Enquire about this course