By ucylppr, on 18 January 2021
The New Curators Project is a new programme by UCL Special Collections and Newham Heritage Month. It will offer 10 young people in East London the chance to develop the skills and experience needed to start a career in the cultural heritage sector.
Among other skills, The New Curators Project will train participants in carrying out research, creating exhibitions and public speaking.
What will the project entail?
Successful applicants will receive training from industry experts in key areas such as carrying out historical research, creating an exhibition and engaging with cultural heritage audiences. Participants will also work together to create an exhibition for Newham Heritage Month. Using historical material from UCL Special Collections and the Archives and Local Studies Library in Stratford, the exhibition will be an opportunity for participants to gain real life curation experience for a public heritage festival audience.
We expect the entire project to take place online, with the possibility of face to face sessions towards the end of the project (this will depend on national and local restrictions. Any face to face activity that does take place with be compliant with government guidelines).
Who can apply?
Applications are open to people who:
• Are aged 18 to 24 at the time of making their application.
• Are living, studying or working in Newham, Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.
• Are not a university graduate.
• Have less than 6 months paid experience in the cultural heritage sector.
As this project is a part of Newham Heritage Month, there are 5 places available to individuals who live, work or study in the borough of Newham. The remaining 5 places are available to those who live, work or study in Tower Hamlets, Hackney or Waltham Forest.
When is it happening?
Application close midnight on 12th February 2021. There will be two online sessions per week, the first will be during the week of 1st March 2021 (date and time to be agreed with participants). The final week of activity will be the week of 24th May 2021.
What’s in it for me?
We will be providing training in essential skills for working in the cultural heritage field, including:
• How to carry out historical research.
• How to use an archive.
• How to create an exhibition.
• Presentation and public speaking skills.
We are also offering a £200 bursary, paid in instalments, to support participants in attending as many of the workshops as possible.
Do I need to have any specific A Levels or GCSEs?
Absolutely not. We want to recruit participants who have a passion for local history, regardless of their qualifications.
What is Cultural Heritage?
The cultural heritage field is an area of work focused on preserving history and culture and making it available to the general public. Among other things, it includes:
• Arts organisations and charities.
• Libraries and Archives.
• Historic Buildings and heritage sites.
How do I apply?
You can apply online via our online form. If you have difficulty using the form, please send us an email and we can find an alternative way for you to apply.
The due date for the application is midnight on 12th February 2021. We aim to reply to applicants by 25th February 2021.
You can send us an email at: email@example.com.
Or, if you’d prefer to give us a call, you can call Vicky Price, Head of Outreach, on 07741671329.
If you think this project is a good fit for you, apply now!
By utnvwom, on 15 January 2021
To start, I feel this post needs a disclaimer – there is no way I can cover all the inspiring women who have played important roles in the life of the Institute of Education. These are just snapshots, hopefully they will inspire people to look further and read more about these women. I have put them in order of date of birth, in an effort to equalise any hierarchy of perceived significance.
Explanation of abbreviations;
LDTC – London Day Training College, the name of the IOE on its founding in 1902
IOE – Institute of Education, the name adopted in 1932
Margaret Punnett (1867-1946)
Margaret Punnett’s staff registration page
As Mistress of Method and later Vice Principal at the LDTC, she was responsible for organising and overseeing the teaching of the women students, and had overall responsibility for the teaching of maths, to which scripture and psychology were later added. She lectured also on the Principles of Education.
For many years she carried the main burden of administration, and also took a personal interest in students and their welfare. When she retired the responsibilities of her post were divided, perhaps demonstrating how much work Punnett carried. It is interesting to note that, at a time when women’s salaries were generally lower than those of men with the same level of responsibility her salary on appointment, and subsequently, often equalled that of her male colleagues’.
Clotilde Rosalie Regina Von Wyss (1871-1938)
Article by Clotilde von Wyss, IE/12/3/1
Clotilde von Wyss was a pioneer of educational broadcasting and film. Her teaching at the LDTC was enriched by her introduction of collections of plants, an aquarium, artists’ materials and animal photographs. In an article Nature Study for Fidgety Children in the Londinian, the Student Union magazine (Summer 1909), von Wyss expressed her belief in practical manual work as an outlet for children’s natural energy; one example was the creation of gardens in boxes brought in and painted by the pupils. She offered two separate courses in biology at the LDTC, for specialists and non-specialists and, in the 1930s, a special voluntary course for the colonial group. In addition to her work at the college she taught on a voluntary basis at Wormwood Scrubs prison. In retirement she acted as adviser to producers of a film on Wood Ants.
Susan (nee Fairhurst) Isaacs (1885-1948)
Susan Isaacs was an influential child psychologist, her primary interest being in child development. She had had a varied career before joining the Institute of Education, including several years as Head of an experimental school in Cambridge, and was an advocate of nursery education.
At the Institute of Education she was the first Head of the new Department of Child Development. The Department grew rapidly, her work and reputation bringing prestige to the Institute. When the Institute was evacuated to Nottingham in 1939, and the department temporarily closed, Isaacs led the Cambridge Evacuation Survey. Illness prevented her from returning as Head of Department when the Institute moved back to London in 1943 and she was succeeded by one of her earliest students, Dorothy Gardner.
Between 1929 and 1940 Isaacs, under the pseudonym Ursula Wise, was an “agony aunt” replying to readers’ problems in child care journals. She also had her own practice as a psychoanalyst, which she maintained while working at the Institute. Isaacs was awarded the CBE in 1948.
Grace Mary Wacey (1894-1987)
During her 38 years at the LDTC/IOE Grace Wacey saw it grow from a small college chiefly engaged in preparing students to teach in London schools, to a major academic institution with an international reputation. The changes were reflected in the scope and responsibility of her own post: starting off as the only full time member of administrative staff, by the time of her retirement the complement was about 50, over which she, as Secretary, presided.
Grace Wacey was remembered as an approachable, kindly yet firm administrator – so much so that in 1984 the IOE organised a party to celebrate her 90th birthday. In 1953 she was awarded the MBE in the Coronation Honours.
Margaret Gladys Calthrop (1886-?)
At the LDTC/IOE Margaret Calthrop taught French and German, lectured in methods of teaching Modern Languages and supervised student teachers’ school practice. She was one of a number of subject tutors who sought to make learning her subject more interesting to children, incurring some opposition from those who wondered whether the essentials of grammar were receiving sufficient attention. Her demonstration lessons attracted a good deal of attention, one on a La Fontaine fable drawing applause from children and students.
In the mid-1930s she suffered health problems. Restored to health she continued to work until she reached retirement age in 1952; she was then offered the possibility of remaining on for a time, but decided not to accept.
Margaret Helen Read (1889-1991)
Margaret Read joined the Colonial Department after five years engaged in missionary social work in India. She had carried out research in anthropology at LSE, and been awarded a doctorate. She took charge of the department during the war years and became Head in 1945.
Margaret Read, front row, centre. Class photograph 1946/7
She was a pioneer in applying social anthropology to issues in the developing world, with a particular interest being the nature of cultural change affecting families and individuals who, having for generations practised agriculture in villages, had become part of the industrial proletariat. She thought that education in colonial territories should not be simply in basic skills, but also in citizenship and social relations, taking account of cultural traditions, and she stressed the need for adequate histories of education in each territory, to provide an objective description of what had happened since the earliest European contacts.
Read was a member of, and advisor to, various governmental, and world-wide organisations. In 1948 she was awarded the CBE for work in connection with colonial education.
Marion Elaine Richardson (1892-1946)
As art mistress at Dudley High School Marion Richardson started to develop a child-centred approach to art education, encouraging pupils to use memory and visual imagination in creating art works. At the LDTC she established a specialist course for students training to teach art. She was one of several subject tutors who challenged the prevailing methods of teaching in schools. In addition to her work in schools and the LDTC, Marion Richardson taught classes in Winson Green and Holloway prisons.
Her ideas about child centred art education gained international recognition, while her book Writing and Writing Patterns remained in use in schools for some 50 years. A London school, Senrab Street in Stepney, has been renamed Marion Richardson School in her memory.
Sophia Weitzman (1896-1965)
Weitzman had progressive ideas on methods of teaching history and on the contents of the school curriculum which, she felt, had traditionally been overly concerned with political and constitutional matters. She believed in working from the realities of children’s lives, and saw the value of visits in arousing their interest in history. Weitzman also considered that school should no longer be a forcing house for knowledge, but should prepare children for social living, encouraging initiative and independence.
Her lectures to students on teaching methods spelled out ways in which historical content might be communicated through the medium of active interest, including modelling, drawing, talking, writing and acting of historical plays, historical excursions, films and radio talks.
Like many of her colleagues at the Institute, Weitzman was interested in the educational systems of other countries, and in her later years she devoted much time to work with students who studied Indian education.
Geraldine Susan Maud de Montmorency (1900-1993)
Geraldine de Montmorency’s appointment as the first Librarian of the LDTC was on a part time basis. Realising the restrictions of this, with the help of students from UCL’s School of Librarianship, she worked on cataloguing and on a classification scheme within the subjects. Additions to the stock came from donations of books and material, as well as purchases.
Over the years de Montmorency increased the number of days she spent at the Institute, in 1940 her post was made full time. Both before and after the second world war specialist collections were developed, e.g. in the fields of colonial education, child development, comparative education and English as a foreign language. Although the marriage bar had been lifted some years earlier, the expectation that women could not cope with working and managing home life prevailed, and de Montmorency retired her post at the IOE upon marriage in 1957. By the time Geraldine de Montmorency resigned her post, the Institute Library had grown massively, with a stock over 50,000 volumes, and had achieved an international reputation.
Dorothy Ellen Marion Gardner (1900-1972)
Dorothy Gardner trained as a Froebel teacher, then worked with young children in a variety of settings and as a trainer of teachers and nursery nurses before becoming a part time student on the new advanced Child Development course at the IOE, while lecturing at Bishop Otter College. As a student she greatly admired Susan Isaacs, the first Head of the new Department of Child Development, and in due course succeeded her.
Gardner became head of the Department of Child Development in 1943. When teaching – which included a course on the needs of young children in war time – resumed in January 1944 it had to take place in the evenings because teachers were unable to get paid leave. In 1948 Gardner established a research centre at Coram Fields: one of its projects, conducted jointly with the Institute of Child Health, was a long term study of local children.
Gardner played an important part in shaping the development of child centred education. A highly regarded community nursery centre in West London, catering for 100 children, bears her name.
A number of these women recount their experiences in the volume Studies and Impressions, 1902-1952 Harrison, A. S., and University of London. [edited by A. S. Harrison … Et Al.]. London: Evans Brothers for the U of London Institute of Education, 1952. Print. https://ucl-new-primo.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/f/5qfvbu/UCL_LMS_DS21167882720004761
Further biographical information has been collated from the Institute archives. Extended profiles of most of these women are available on request from the IOE archives firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any ideas of who could be included in this list, and why they should be here, please add them in the comments.
By ucylppr, on 12 January 2021
We are excited announce a new collaboration with Newham Heritage Month 2021
Building on previous successes working with the London Borough of Newham’s Libraries and Archive and Newham Heritage Month, The New Curators Project will be a community curatorship project made especially for young adults aged 18-24 from Newham, Waltham Forest, Hackney and Tower Hamlets who do not have a university degree or more than 6 months paid experience in the cultural heritage field.
Over three months, participants will be given training in skills and competencies relevant to working in the cultural heritage sector. They will also work as a group to create their own collaborative exhibition for the Newham Heritage Month programme (held in May 2021). It is hoped that this can become a recurring annual project, developing an ‘alumni’ of community curators who can go on to enrich future programming from this partnership.
With funding from Foundation for Future London and UCL Culture’s Community Engagement Seed Fund, we are able to bring in a range of different professionals from multiple corners of the cultural heritage field to deliver these training sessions, and we are able to offer a bursary to participants to ensure all those interested are able to apply. This funding has also enabled us to bring in an external evaluator for the project.
A conservator working on items at UCL Special Collections. Photograph © David Tett.
Call for Trainers and an Evaluator
We are currently seeking professionals in the cultural heritage sector with the right skills and experience to deliver one or more of a series of training sessions;
1) Carrying out public history research (including how to develop an historical enquiry, understanding and interpreting a wide range of historical resources and how best to record findings).
2) Accessing public records, archives, museums and libraries (how to find publicly available historical resources).
3) Digital tools, skills and accessibility for the cultural heritage sector (how to create online ‘exhibitions’ and how to use online platforms to engage with new audiences within the cultural heritage sector).
4) Curatorship (how to develop ideas for an exhibition as a group, including ways of creating a narrative, using themes and how to first identify and then play with or challenge the tradition ‘norms’ of what an exhibition is).
5) Oracy and presentation skills (how to speak about yourself and your work to various audiences, including on the radio or podcast, or to run an online or face to face event for the public).
We would be particularly keen to hear from professionals based in or around East London. For a full brief, please contact us at email@example.com .
We are also seeking an evaluator who is available to start in January. We would also be most keen to hear from prospective evaluators who are based in or near East London. A full brief will be provided on request, please email firstname.lastname@example.org before sending an expression of interest.
By ucylppr, on 24 November 2020
We are excited to announce a new remote volunteer project, starting in January 2021 at UCL Special Collections!
The project is part of our team’s work towards Liberating the Curriculum and is our first foray into digital, remote volunteer work. If you are interested in being a part of a project that widens all of our knowledge of, and access to, voices that might otherwise be under represented or under highlighted in our collections, please read on (and register here to attend an induction event)!
Staff and visitors inspecting items from our Poetry Store collection.
The Special Collections team are always working towards enabling access to the collection. This usually involves the acquisition, preservation, conservation, digitisation and cataloguing of rare books, archives and manuscripts. We also use the collection in teaching and outreach, deliver a reader and an enquiry service and provide as much digital access to the collection as possible.
Despite this work, we are aware that there are still many barriers (both physical and ‘invisible’) that prevent some users from accessing the collection and that prevent lesser heard voices in the collections coming to the fore: Historically, society’s most privileged have been most able to write and publish work, to collect rare materials and to create archives. The result is that stories from less privileged people – those of non-white ethnicity, women, those living with a disability or people who are LGBTQ+, for example – can be obscured or lost in the narratives mined from the special collections at UCL.
We know that we could do better, and want to make a start in this effort. A more focussed approach to researching the collection, and on communicating this research to collection users, could result in more diverse representation and in these lesser heard voices being more visible to collection users. However, our challenge is routed in the sheer size of the collection at UCL – we need your help to make this happen!
How to get involved
If you have an interest in historical research, librarianship, archives, representation in historic collections, or are simply curious about the project, please consider registering for one of our induction events.
Following one of these induction events, volunteers will be invited to sign up to a specific area of research – some examples could be searching for representations of non-European people and cultures in the Jewish & Hebrew rare books and pamphlets, Small Press collections and Folklore Society, or searching for early modern female book owners that are connected to our rare books. Volunteers will be trained and supported throughout the project by a UCL Special Collections team member.
How much time do volunteers need to give, and what equipment will they need?
We are very flexible with regards to how much time volunteers can offer, and as this is a remote project, the required equipment amounts to a computer and internet access. If you would like to be a part of this project, but don’t have access to this equipment, or have further questions, please let us know by emailing email@example.com, as we can offer further support for those who need it.
Register to attend an induction event here!
By Nazlin Bhimani, on 24 August 2020
I have been studying key texts on the history of schooling during the interwar period for my research. In this post, I highlight some of the sources from the late 19th century to the end of the period between the two wars that are relevant to the history of special education needs or, more precisely, the history of intelligence testing and eugenics and the exclusion of children with learning difficulties in state-funded schools. Many of the labels used to describe children with disabilities are offensive to us now and it is, therefore, important to consider the use of these within their historical context.
Sandlebridge Schools at Warford
The history of education is replete with references to mental health issues in the legislative acts and books dating from the first half of the 19th century to the recent past. The first piece of legislation that deals with the issue of provision “for the care, education and training of idiots and imbeciles” was the 1886 Idiot’s Act of Parliament. It was the first time that the UK government had differentiated between those with mental health problems (‘lunatics’) and those who had learning disabilities (‘idiots’ and ‘imbeciles’). In 1902, the first facility that included children with special needs, and differentiated between the ‘mentally subnormal’ and the ‘ mentally ill’, was Mary Dendy’s Sandlebridge Colony in Great Warford, Cheshire. Dendy (1885-1933) was a typical feminist educator who showed compassion and humanity but from the vantage of one who wanted control in preventing social degeneration. She was an advocate of Francis Galton’s (1822-1911) eugenic theories and her address at the Galton Laboratory for National Eugenics in Manchester in 1902 confirms the similarities of her views with Galton’s. Galton (who was the half-cousin of Charles Darwin) had published his book Hereditary Genius in 1862 and by the early years of the 20th century had begun to question the ‘civic worth’ of the ‘feeble-minded’. Dendy believed that the ‘feeble-minded should be segregated in order that their deformities were not perpetuated through marriage into future generations – forced sterilisation was actively promoted by the Eugenics Education Society which many eminent educationalists of the day belonged to. In Dendy’s opinion, the ‘degenerate children’ were incapable of being educated in the normal schoolroom and these children should be sent to special residential homes where they would be taught a livelihood to make them useful members of society. Her views are expressed in the 1911 publication Schooling of the Feeble-minded Children,
The debates about eugenics, social responsibility, ethics, religion or the ‘biosocial’ (genetic dispositions) aspect of race continued during the early part of the 20th century and several reports were published by the Royal Commission on the Care and Control of the Feeble-Minded (set up in 1904) which culminated with the 1913 Mental Deficiency Act. This Act ensured the institutionalisation of the “feeble-minded’ and “moral defectives” such that they were removed from the institutions established as part of the Poor Law – thus incorporating the ideas the eugenicists, including Dendy, had been advancing. John and Samuel Wormald’s Guide to the Mental Deficiency Act, 1913: containing a legal and general exposition of the Act, with suggestions to the local authorities, managers and others for the organization and administration of the work dealing with the mentally defective is in the IOE’s special collections. The Wormalds, father and son, were active in the eugenics movement. John Wormald was a solicitor and for many years the Chairman of the Schools and the Special Schools, Boarding-out and Care Committees for the Mentally Defective in Leeds. The guide was written for those who are “actively concerned about the welfare of feeble-minded or defective persons”:
Imprisoned in our jails, confined in our Industrial Schools and maintained in the wards of our Workhouses are a large number of people who ought not to be there at all, and who are too often only injured by their present treatment, which is both costly and ineffective….The new powers of guardianship will be welcomed by those who are familiar with after care work in connection with these children. Very often such children will never need institutional treatment if these powers be wisely exercised but they will need the guiding and protecting hand whose continued presence the Act makes possible. … They will afford scope for the noblest exercise of the religious spirit, in training, tending and cheering lives, which at present are needlessly darkened, but which are capable of a real, though it may be a limited development; and are keenly sensitive to many simple joys of which they are now deprived (Wormald & Wormald, 1913, p. vii).
The above gives the impression of being quite caring but Wormald’s son Samuel, a member of the Eugenics Society, later became the notorious Executive Officer of the Mental Deficiency Meanwood Park unit in Leeds. He is remembered today for his often ruthless removal of more than 2,000 people (children, unmarried mothers and factory workers) considered to have a disability from society because he believed that “…by being allowed to repeat their type, the feebleminded are increasing the ranks of the degenerate and wastrel classes with disastrous consequences to the entire community”(Digital Archives of the Meanwood Park Hospital).
George E. Shuttleworth, a pioneer psychologist and Medical Examiner for the School Board in London, and did much to promote an understanding of differences between the different types of children deemed to be ‘subnormal’. It was through his persistent efforts that provision was made for children with disabilities. He devised teaching methods and set up “special” schools for children considered to have ‘mental deficiencies’. His book, Mentally Deficient Children was the standard text on the subject and ran to five editions from 1895 to 1922. The British Medical Journal suggested that the book was so widely read that “there can be few psychiatrists throughout the civilised world to whom his name is not familiar”.
In the preface to his book, Shuttleworth explains the various terms used to describe these ‘feeble-minded’ and ‘backward’ children suffering from ‘retarded mental development’. Shuttleworth included in the 2nd edition of his book two additional chapters that give an account of an inquiry on the educational training of children with learning disabilities by a Committee under the Education Department of which he was a member. The School Board for London adopted the recommendations for practical measures proposed by the Committee as did several other school authorities. His advice was that the “mentally-feeble child is specially incapable of comprehending abstractions: all instructions, therefore, must be presented in a concrete form, which it can not only see, but when possible grasp in the hand as well as in the mind” (p. 100). Shuttleworth’s papers are held at the Wellcome Library.
Schooling children with special education needs was also considered by educationalists and psychologists on the Continent. In the early part of the 20th century, the French psychologist Alfred Binet (1857-1911) had been commissioned by his government to find a way to measure intelligence as a way to find out which children needed additional assistance. His theories, and those of his collaborator Dr.Theodore Simon, are included in The Intelligence of the Feeble-minded which was translated into English and published in 1916. In this book, we get a glimpse of Binet’s discoveries which he obtained by observing children. Binet and Simon developed the Intelligence Quotients or IQ tests to determine the mental age and ratio of a child’s intelligence. These tests were also used to gauge the intelligence of the men recruited to fight in the First World War. Later in the mid-1920s, ratios for each group of ‘mental defectives’ were set out – idiots had an ‘Intelligence Quotient’ or IQ of under 20, imbeciles were those with a mental ratio of between 20 and 40 and feeble-minded were those that had a ratio of up to 60 – these were published in the British Journal of Psychology (July 1926, pp. 20-53).
Other relevant books in the Special Collections include the Feeblemindness in Children of School Age by C. Paget Lapage published in 1911. Lapage was a medical doctor at the Children’s Hospital in Manchester and a lecturer in School Hygiene at Manchester University. His book was aimed at school medical officers, teachers and social workers who deal with feebleminded children. In Lapage’s view, effective methods of dealing with the feebleminded were of immense importance to the national welfare of the community as “feeblemindedness is an inherited taint handed on from generation to generation, and that every feebleminded person, who is a free and unrestrained agent, may, by becoming a parent, transmit and taint and so affect tens or hundreds of future generations” (p. viii).
The Education of Mentally Defective Children: Psychological observations and practical suggestions by Alice Descoeudres (translated from French into English by Ernest F. Row) was published in 1928. In the previous year, an amendment to the Mental Deficiency Act enabled those who had mental health problems through illness or accident to be included in the group that could be supported in specialist institutions. The book acknowledges the difficulties of working with ‘defective children’ stating that “WE have to contrive in a variety of ways to arouse their [these children’s] interest, to awaken and hold their attention, or develop their will power, to gain their confidence, and to strengthen their characters” (p. 7).
Cyril Burt (1883-1971)
Lastly, no list on this subject would be complete without reference to the work of Cyril Burt who influenced the structure of the schooling system in the interwar years with his work on psychometrics or the science of measuring mental capabilities. Burt was the first part-time school educational psychologist to be appointed by the London County Council (LCC) in 1913. From 1924, he was a part-time lecturer at the London Day Training College (which became the Institute of Education in 1932) and in 1931 Burt was appointed to the Chair of the Psychology Department at UCL, taking over the position from Charles Spearman. Burt had been introduced to Galton’s work at an early age and developed mental testing in schools in 1909 whilst working as Lecturer in Psychology and Assistant Lecturer in Physiology at Liverpool University. This work continued whilst he was at the IOE and at UCL. His belief that the innate intelligence of children could be measured to judge their capabilities is demonstrated in the book Mental and Scholastic Tests published in 1921. His initial report for the LCC on The Backward Child was published in 1923 but the most influential work was his The Young Delinquent (1925) which established the acceptance of psychometrics and its hegemony for pedagogy for the future decades. Evidence of his thinking is presented in The Subnormal Mind which was published in 1935.
The above sources are examples which illustrate that eugenics was prevalent and permeated educational thinking in the early 20th century. The marginalisation of children continued in the interwar years (albeit in a less draconian manner) for if children did not fit the norm in terms of their mental or physical capabilities, they were segregated in the schools or excluded altogether.
If you would like to view any of the texts mentioned above, please contact us when the libraries open.