Skip to Content

Articles, News & Updates

Publishing this December from Routledge Library Editions: Community, Hierarchy and Open Education

Part of our upcoming multivolume Sociology of Education collection Community, Hierarchy and Open Education examines the English secondary school and its community.

Editor Gary Easthope discusses the importance of this reissue

The book describes the English school, especially the secondary school, as a hierarchical community in which the head-teacher (principal) is an autocratic ruler. After explaining how that particular organization of the school developed historically from the market situation faced by the English public (i.e. private) schools in the developing industrial society of the nineteenth century it provides empirical evidence demonstrating that the hierarchies of knowledge, teachers and students that developed then were still in place when the book was published in 1975. They are still present today.

It also looks at the challenges to the school as a hierarchical community presented by the ideologies of deschooling, progressive education and open education. Finally, it provides an explanation of why these ideologies were never put into practice in English schools despite some pioneering exemplars.

Although first published over thirty-five years ago the issues examined in it raise questions that are still central to education today:
Does size of school affect the commitment of teachers to the school, their colleagues and their students?
How can the teaching staff be organized in a school? Do all need to work to the same ends? What is the role of leadership from the head-teacher (principal) in this?
Is it possible to have a curriculum that is open without losing rigour? What should be the relationship between using local community knowledge and the educational wish to extend students’ horizons?

The result is a short, nuanced, and densely argued text that demands thought and reflection from any contemporary educator.

 

Related Products

  1. Community, Hierarchy and Open Education (RLE Edu L)

    By Gary Easthope

    Series: Routledge Library Editions: Education

    The book describes the English school, especially the secondary school, as a hierarchical community in which the head-teacher (principal) is an autocratic ruler. After explaining how that particular organisation of the school developed historically from the market situation faced by the English...

    Published December 7th 2011 by Routledge

  2. Routledge Library Editions: Education Mini-Set L Sociology of Education

    By Various

    Series: Routledge Library Editions: Education

    Mini-set L: Sociology of Education re-issues 48 volumes originally published between 1928 and 1990. The books in this mini-set discuss: Teaching and social change, research processes in education, class, race, culture and education, marxist perspectives in the sociology of...

    Published December 7th 2011 by Routledge