Schooling the Smash Street Kids by Paul Corrigan

By Paul Corrigan

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46 Schooling the Smash Street Kids The 1950s saw a large amount of research into the relationship between home and school; how the working-class home did not provide the correct background for the working-class pupil to get on at school. The remedy for this was to change the working-class home a bit and (later in the 1960s) to change the school a bit too so that it became more welcoming for the pupil from that class background. My own initial view of classroom misbehaviour was only slightly more sophisticated than this.

The expectation is absurd. Continuous labour and sober thoughts are alike impossible to them. 23 It was necessary to ensure that the years of 'the young ostriches' were spent in ordered pursuits. In some of the mills where schools have been established and attendance regularly enforced the mill-owners have assured me that great improvements in the conduct and habits of the children had been evident and that the difficulties were not so great as they apprehended! 24 and I am assured that the younger classes, in every case where their education is based upon any sound and regular system, are deriving much benefit from it, and that the training consequent upon such order and regularity, is securing a greater degree of subordination than was expected.

7 For people such as Tremenheere, then, it became important to explain how the working population of Durham could have risen up against their masters and, indeed, have seen their masters as people who were acting against their interests. Tremenheere saw the mine proprietors as benevolent men; the workers as honest men who were easily led astray. '9 However, crucially, as Tremenheere states earlier in his Why do kids play truant? 35 report, these children were in the main already being sent to school; so a desire for instruction was not sufficient, it had to be correct instruction - in other words, those facts, ideas and so on which were in accordance with the maintenance of the social order.

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