A culture of teaching: early modern humanism in theory and practice
This provocative account of humanist education in early modern England relates the history of humanism to debates about its current status. The humanism Rebecca W. Bushnell traces through sixteenth-century sources emerges as distinct from humanist doctrines espoused today. And yet, in the conflicts faced by early humanists, Bushnell identifies the origins of contemporary educational notions and practices, including approaches to discipline, gender and class differences, reading and interpretation, canon formation, and the transmission of tradition. Renaissance texts depicting the schoolroom reveal a pedagogy fraught with tensions - between freedom and mastery, flexibility and rigid control, a passion for variety and a fear of excess. Bushnell describes this oscillation between opposites through debates over corporal punishment, in which the schoolmaster appears either as all-powerful or as the insignificant servant of authority. In pedagogical manuals strongly reminiscent of gardening guides, the scholar was seen as both a pliant vine and a force of nature. Bushnell perceives a similar ambivalence in early humanist attitudes toward reading and the creation of a literary canon. Moving outside the classroom walls, she considers the contradictory politics of appeals to tradition and invention in early debates over imitating the classics. In each instance, she indicates how, at the end of the sixteenth century, this balance began to tilt toward authoritarianism, selectivity, and discrimination.
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aesthetic Anthony Grafton argued argument Ascham authority Basilikon Basilikon Doron Buchanan Cambridge University Press canon century chap child classical Cornell University Press corporal punishment critical culture discipline early humanist Edward Elyot England Erasmus Erasmus's example father Foucault freedom garden George Buchanan Grafton and Jardine grammar Greek Helgerson humanism humanist education humanist pedagogy Ibid imitation James James's John Juan Luis Vives king language Latin learning liberal Lisa Jardine literary literature London manist Markham master Michel Foucault Mulcaster nature neoclassical notion O. B. Hardison Oxford past plants poet poetic poetry postmodern prince reading Renaissance reprint resistance rhetoric Richard Richard Mulcaster rule Samuel Daniel scholars schoolmaster schoolroom Scottish secular humanism Sidney sixteenth sixteenth-century social student teacher teaching theory things Thomas Thomas Elyot Toronto tradendis tradition tragedy trans translation treatise Tudor tutor tyrant Vives William Lawson writing York