Course details

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


Tutor: Linda Newey


Our ancestors' childhoods were nothing like our experiences today, the very definition of childhood has changed and yet, 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, often dictated life as an adult. This course will explore childhood and education throughout the Victorian and Edwardian eras in England and Wales, a period spanning one hundred years of considerable social change.

We will consider just what childhood was and the various social status influences on the childhood experience, such as wealth, gender and the differences between urban and rural living. You will learn about the influence of philanthropic and charitable organisations, that brought about social change by Acts of Parliament, laws and legislation, all of which ultimately led to improvements in the childhood experience and the provision of education for all.

We then move onto just how much there is to glean about our ancestors' childhoods, by considering the records of education. How often have you seen next to a childs name the word "scholar" in a census return? What did this actually mean? You will learn about the provision of early years education, the pathway to higher education and numerous educational establishments.

By the end of this course, you will know how to locate a wide range of records related not only to education, but many other organisations associated with childhood, and be able to apply this to 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.

Relevant Countries: England, Wales

Course Length: 4 weeks
Start Date: 08 Nov 2021
Cost: £45.99

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