Development of Primary, Secondary, and Teacher Education in England: A History of the College of Teachers

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This book outlines the emergence of teacher standards in England which were enacted to raise the quality of primary and secondary education. The College of Teachers in London is a prestigious institution known for pedagogy and training teachers. Willis shows how the college developed into a leading force in the field by giving out diplomas in the mid-19th century. This was something no other teachers colleges were doing at that time. It ushered in a new era in education of raised standards. The quality of schooling throughout the country was elevated by this policy, which other colleges eventually adopted, but only after a long fight with the state to make certifications mandatory throughout the country.


“This valuable new history of the College of Teachers demonstrates just how much has been achieved since the College’s inception in 1846. It not only details important milestones in the development of the College, but places them in the broader context in which they were achieved.”

-Prof. Geoff Whitty,
University of London

“The question of how to prepare teachers for their role in the classroom has been a hot topic for centuries, and the College of Teachers has been one of the unsung heroes of the debate. Scholarly work such as this history can only help to raise the profile of an organization that has argued consistently for professional standards in teaching. This is an important volume for any teacher who wishes to understand the origins of his or her profession.”

-Prof. David Turner,
Glamorgan University

“This book flows engagingly, but is meticulously researched and referenced, providing a valuable resource for any future investigator. It will appeal both to scholars and to general readership interested in the teaching profession, the dynamics of policy-making, and the roles which can be taken by an independent professional body.”

-Prof. Raphael Wilkins,
President, The College of Teachers

Table of Contents

Foreword by Geoff Whitty

Chapter 1: Introduction: Statement on Aims, Methods and Sources

Chapter 2: Foundation 1846-1850
Background and Origins
Aims, Constitution and Legal Status
The Introduction of Examinations for Teachers

Chapter 3: Consolidation 1850-1880
The Introduction of School Examinations
The Establishment of Local Examinations
Diplomas for Teachers
Lectures and the Professorship of Education
The Scholastic Registration Council
The Registration Bills introduced into Parliament

Chapter 4: Expansion and a Teachers’ Council 1880-1910
School Examinations, London Chamber of Commerce and Bryce Commission
Teacher Examinations, University of London, H.G. Wells and the Board of Education
The Training College
More Registration Bills in Parliament and a Select Committee

Bryce Commission, Board of Education Act 1899 and the Teachers’ Council

Chapter 5: Survival of the Fittest 1910-1940
School Examinations and the Board of Education
A New Teachers’ Council and the Role of Frank Roscoe
Teachers’ Examinations at Home and Overseas

Chapter 6: New Paths 1940-1970
Examinations for Teachers
School Examinations in Secondary Schools
A General Teaching Council for Scotland and the Weaver Report
Chapter 7: Testing Times 1970-2000
The General Teaching Council for England and the College
James Report, Graduate Status for the LCP and Personal Study Courses
The Regional Committees and Margaret Thatcher Supplemental Charter 1998

Chapter 8: Into a New Millennium 2000-2011
Facilities to Teachers
Regional Committees
Move from Theydon Bois, Staff, Membership, and Finances

Chapter 9: Conclusion

Appendix: Honorary Fellows of the College of Teachers

Select Bibliography

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