A tale of two committees: Newbolt illuminated through the Cox models
AffiliationUniversity of Bedfordshire
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Other TitlesThe New Newbolt Report: One Hundred Years of Teaching English in England
AbstractThe historical moment of Newbolt, and what gives it enduring significance, is that it defined English as the business of the state and the key to the state of the nation. The Committee had an extraordinary brief, which it developed into a remarkable mission to transform ‘English’ from its pitiful place in education oppressed by ‘The Classics’ to the paramount subject charged with the salvation of the nation. Despite the inevitably elitist nature of its members, it argued for an emancipatory model of English to benefit every class of society. How could anything as bureaucratic as a committee produce such an evangelical and missionary manifesto? Almost 70 years later, the Cox committee, used much more subdued language. However, with a Newbolt legacy that had promoted English to the key subject in schooling, Cox set out a vision of English for ages 5-16 with the same emancipatory principles. The Newbolt and Cox Committees have a remarkable affinity that deserves recognition and analysis, beginning with the notion that the committee phenomenon itself is a remarkable historical agent in the history of the subject English.
CitationGoodwyn A (2022) 'A tale of two committees: Newbolt illuminated through the Cox models', in Green A (ed(s).). The New Newbolt Report: One Hundred Years of Teaching English in England, London: Routledge pp.31-49.
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