What Has been, What Is and What Might Be: the relevance of the critical writings of Edmond Holmes to contemporary primary education policy and practice

FORUM - ISSN 0963-8253
Volume 52 Number 3 (2010)

What Has been, What Is and What Might Be: the relevance of the critical writings of Edmond Holmes to contemporary primary education policy and practice
COLIN RICHARDS, pages 337-348
DOI: 10.2304/forum.2010.52.3.337

Abstract

Edmond Holmes was His Majesty's Chief Inspector of Elementary Schools from 1905 to 1910. No full biography of Holmes has been published nor any detailed critique of his contribution to the theory and practice of education. Yet his post-retirement observations on education were widely quoted and, in some quarters, very influential. They remain pertinent today in an accountability climate which bears some resemblance to that pertaining in 1911 - the year in which Holmes' most influential book, What is and What Might Be, was published. Following a brief account of Holmes' career this article focuses on some particularly memorable passages from his educational writing where he criticized policy and practice which he traced back to the period of the Revised Code and its successors and to the shadow it continued to cast a decade or so after its formal abolition. The article also attempts a brief personal commentary on the relevance of Holmes' critique to issues in contemporary policy and practice in primary education - the twenty-first counterpart of elementary education with which he was so closely concerned.

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To cite this article
COLIN RICHARDS (2010) What Has been, What Is and What Might Be: the relevance of the critical writings of Edmond Holmes to contemporary primary education policy and practice, FORUM, 52(3), 337-348. https://doi.org/10.2304/forum.2010.52.3.337

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