An 'energetic and controversial' historian of education yesterday and today: A. F. Leach (1851-1915)
This article is posthumously published as the late Joan Simon's most recent contribution to ongoing debates in historiography of education. Joan remained an active writer and a contributor to this journal and submitted the present article only months before her death, with characteristic determination to engage in historiographical debate, and to contextualize and defend her own contribution to the field. Like other periods preceding the Industrial Revolution, the later Middle Ages and Renaissance tend to have been neglected by historians of education in recent years, and the discussion below reminds us how recently, and for good reason, debate concerning the Reformation remained central to the historiography of education. Implications of the contemporary politics of education for historical interpretation are well illustrated. But the autobiographical threads of this piece also reveal the significance of personalities and academic politics in the configuration of prevailing interpretations of history. These factors impinge on the publication and editing of learned journals as well as more generally on the positioning of research in education history between its originating intellectual discipline on the one hand, and on the other the field of practice to which its insights contribute.
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