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Andrew Bell (1753–1832)
A priest and an educationalist, Andrew Bell proposed his own Madras System of Education to the schools of the United Kingdom (Ryan, 2012). The system presupposed that the teacher should focus on those students, who are brighter than the rest and then allow these students to transfer the information to their peers in a way that the latter can understand. Though Bell can be considered the pioneer of the Madras system, his rival, Joseph Lancaster, claimed that he came up with this idea first. Madras system is used widely in a range of British schools nowadays.
Robert Owen (1771-1858)
Robert Owen was famous for establishing the first infant school in England. Owen was neither a teacher nor did he belong to the realm of education directly. A co-founder of utopian socialism, he also influenced the development of British schools. To be more exact, he was the first to create an infant school in Great Britain. More importantly, Owen discovered a crucial fact concerning child education, which would, later on, become the basis for early childhood development strategies. Owen found out that children learn and, therefore, can be educated, through playing. Thus, integrating the principles of 3Rs (reading, writing, arithmetic), he developed a strategy for teaching young children efficiently (Lascarides & Hinitz, 2013).
Thomas Arnold (1795–1842)
Born into a family of the Customs officer, Thomas Arnold received his education at Oxford University and went on to become the headmaster of the school in Laleham. He was offered the chair of a headmaster in the Rugby School, and, as he was appointed for the position, he revolutionized the entire system of the Rugby school’s functioning. Creating the “Praepostor” system (Stanley, 2013), he not only changed the strategy of teaching physical science but also made boarding schools possible for middle-class students, thus, opening more educational options to the later.
Lascarides, V. C., & Hinitz, B. F. (2013). History of early childhood education. New York, NY: Routledge.
Ryan, D. (2012). Technologies of Empire: Writing, imagination, and the making of imperial networks, 1750–1820. Lanham, MD: University of Delaware.
Stanley, A. P. (2013). The life and correspondence of Thomas Arnold. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.