History of English Studies, Victorian literature, History of Education, Victorian Education
Discusses the British government's introduction in 1861-62 of the Revised Code, under Robert Lowe, tying government funding of elementary schools to annual examination of the progress made by each child in the basic skills of Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic, and the satiric perspective on the debate given by the poet and essayist Matthew Arnold, himself one of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools, charged with implementing Lowe's reforms. Many of the issues about local and national curriculum, state funding of education, the importance of basic or core skills in relation to breadth, and the best means to assess teacher effectiveness have recurred in educational and policy debates in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
Patrick Scott, "Matthew Arnold and Minimum Competency: the Nineteenth-Century British Experience with National Basic Skills Assessment," Conference on Educational Issues and Research, Columbia, SC, 1980, and Carolina English Teacher, 1983 (1984): 18-24. (c) Patrick Scott, 1980.