History lessons


People in every time and place 'construct' different childhoods (James and Prout 1997; Hendrick 2003). That is, they hold certain beliefs and values that guide their behaviours and policies, which in turn reinforce or change their beliefs and behaviours about what children are and ought to be like. Historians trace the changing child, from the Puritan child whose will must be broken, through Rousseau's free romantic or natural child, to the pure evangelical child, the factory child who was either to be forced to work intensely hard or to be rescued, and the delinquent child who was supposed to be tamed into the school child.

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