The Education Work of Richard Lovell Edgeworth, Irish Educator and Inventor, 1744-1817

Author: Lyons, Tony


“This is a comprehensive review and analysis of the educational writings of Richard Lovell Edgeworth. It deals with the formation of Edgeworth’s educational ideas, and it focuses in particular on morality; Edgeworthian psychology; the principle of association; the role of the imagination; the process of education; and Edgeworth’s curriculum and methodology….the author has drawn on primary as well as secondary sources, including some little known letters of Edgeworth’s, which have not previously been adverted to in published works. The analysis of Edgeworth’s educational writing is set in the context of the Enlightenment, and Edgeworth’s views and ideas are compared and contrasted with the writings of other Enlightenment figures including Rousseau, Locke, Fenélon and Darwin… painstaking and meticulous research….will undoubtedly be of major interest to scholars of history, of philosophy, of education, of psychology and of learning generally.” – Professor Áine Hyland, University College Cork, Ireland

“... Lyons’ book is welcome and valuable contribution both to Edgeworthian studies, and to the history of educational thought in general. Among the strengths of the study is the very successful contextual placing of Edgeworth within the intellectual and education milieu of his period. The author authoritatively relates Edgeworth’s thought to the influences which shaped it. In doing so, he succinctly brings to the surface a very rich tapestry of eighteenth century thought in relation to education…. For those with an interest in the history of education, the history of childhood, the history of ideas and in the nature of late eighteenth and early nineteenth century society this book has a great deal to offer.” – Professor John Coolahan, National University of Ireland, Maynooth

“... a very significant and well-researched contribution to the study of an individual who has not been given due attention or recognition in the history of education…. It elucidates, in particular, the interactions and interconnections between European educational theorists while also filling out a chapter in Irish educational history that has received relatively little attention.” – Dr. Andrew Burke, St. Patrick’s College, Ireland

"Tony Lyons' study explores Edgeworth's educational work under a number of headings. He traces the development of Edgeworth's thinking on morality, psychology, imagination, the development of the emotions, the processes involved in education and how such theories might be put into use. Edgeworth's deliberations on the role of play and discovery in early education are of particular interest. For the modern reader it is instructive to see how some of Edgeworth's theories may still be found in the best practices of child-centred education ... Dr. Lyons' book will appeal to a readership keen to learn more about the history of education, the evolution of an educational philosophy and the influence of the past on the present." - InTouch - A Magazine of the Irish National Teachers' Organization

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
Preface; Foreword
The Formation of Richard Lovell Edgeworth’s Educational Ideas
Morality and the Edgeworthian Viewpoint
Edgeworthian Psychology: Attention in Education and the Development of the Emotions
The Role of the Imagination
The Process of Education
Edgeworth’s Curriculum
Edgeworthian Methodology
Bibliography; Index